There are always going to be situations that bring out our not best self.
Stop getting mad about it.
Those moments are opportunities to learn more about yourself and step closer to the person you want to be. Changing the way we respond in emotional situations is a lifelong process.
For me, that practice looks like awareness, reflection, integration and practice, patience and time.
This is where you begin to notice the way you are currently responding to situations. You notice the disconnect between how you want to act and how you are acting. You begin to realize what triggers you to respond the way you do. You become aware of the thoughts and feelings inside your body as you get ready to respond. This awareness brings power. It is in this space that you can choose to act differently.
Reflect on how you developed that reaction. How far back does that pattern go? Where did you get the idea that that was how you should react? Did that reaction serve you at some point? Did it protect you? Get you what you want?
Reflecting further, how do YOU want to react in the future? How will Future You handle these types of situations? When these types of things come up, what do you want to feel in your body? What thoughts do you want to think?
This is where you bring all of that inner work into reality. When you find yourself in a situation that typically causes you to react, mentally step back and BREATH. Step into Future You. You have rehearsed this, you know how you want to say, think and feel. And then do that.
You have to practice in your mind, handling these situations the way Future You would. Imagine yourself saying the things you want to say, thinking the things you want to think, feeling the way you want to feel. Get your body used to looking for those feelings whenever you’re triggered into a reaction. That way when the situations happen in real life, you already KNOW how you’re going to handle it. You’ve already PRACTICED your response. Those neural pathways have been laid, making it easier to actually DO.
Patience and Time.
This is where patience and time comes in. The first few times, you’re going to react the same way as always BUT either within the moment, or as soon as it’s over, you’ll remember Future You. Each time this situation arises, you have another chance to practice, another chance to catch yourself SOONER, until eventually, you really are pausing, choosing, and moving from there.
Giving yourself grace and compassion when you fall back to old habits is key. Giving yourself credit when you do make a tiny shift is of the utmost importance. And if you need someone helping you through this process, let’s talk and see if working together would be a fit ❤️