How will you react to the button-pushers?
Have you ever felt like, just when things are going so well, someone or something comes along to push your buttons and test your patience, your willpower or your focus?
I had a week like that, in both my personal life and in my business.
The natural reaction to these triggers is to give in to the emotions and to let the fear and anxiety get the better of me. I’m really good at letting my emotions rule how I respond to situations! But this week I decided to make an effort to be proactive instead of reactive to difficult situations.
In her book, ‘The 5 Second Rule’, Mel Robbins talks about slowly counting backwards from 5 when something happens that makes us want to scream or cry or punch the nearest object. She speaks about fooling our brains into a stop-start mode, giving us time to reassess the situation and our response to it.
It’s not always easy and I’m still practising getting it right but it’s made me realise that we have the power to choose how we react. Will being emotional help (and, yes, sometimes letting all the emotions out really does help) or will it help more to pause, breathe, think and THEN react? How would it be different?
This week, I decided to take the power back and I’m so glad I did! When faced with betrayal and disappointment, I had a choice: to get angry and respond in the moment, to hide under the duvet with chocolate and sulk with my cats, or to channel that energy into something positive. I chose the latter. I put that focus into creating more YouTube videos (which you can try for free here) and exercising. This way, instead of having to deal (unsuccessfully) with the angry hormones, I released some feel-good endorphins and instantly felt so much better and more energised. I gave myself time to think about the situation and how differently I would react now that I had a clear head and had calmed down.
I can’t always let fear rule my life. Fear leads to procrastination, which means I fall back on my goals and then have to deal with my own disappointment. It’s a vicious cycle. I won’t always get it right. There probably will be days when the pull of the chocolate and the idea of screaming into my pillow will be stronger than the pull of my bicycle and the open road. But I will not let the button-pushers get the better of me. They have no right to make me doubt myself or my achievements but only I have the power to hold them back and use my energy for something positive.
This week, why don’t you try the 5-second rule. Next time someone pushes your buttons at work or at home or in the traffic, stop, count backwards from 5, take 5 deep breaths and then reassess the situation. Would losing your shit have made it any better? Probably not. But turning that energy on yourself can help you do amazing things.
Here’s to a week of calm!