This week I received an upsetting text. In essence it said (in my mind) “What you did was wrong; tell me you were wrong.” BAM! I was triggered. I had two choices: choose to respond with, “I am right,” and stay stuck in my old fear habit. Or choose peace.
Initially I chose to be right; my reaction was habit. I started to text a “you are wrong” message. This reaction kept me stuck – out of control. Notice how I allowed the text to control me.
Then I chose peace. I wrote “I am sorry; let’s get back on track. I look forward to seeing you soon.” That felt much better – for a moment.
“Not so fast Paula,” the voice in my head said. “Write another text. Tell him he is wrong.” My “voice” didn’t like letting him off the hook.
This was so frustrating. I took a sheet of paper and wrote, “What is my problem?” I wrote until I realized my problem was my need to be right.
I asked myself, “Do you want to be right, or do you want to have peace?” This is your defining moment, “between stimulus and (your) response is choice; freedom.”
Choosing “I am right,” = choosing a small life of fear. The text, thought or person controls you.
You think, “What if they say this, do that? I want to be right.” A life of fear keeps you stressed; you are constantly defending, protecting your self-image. Your fear impacts all your relationships; it limits happiness, success and peace.
I decided to choose peace; to be willing to break a bad habit for a new level of happiness.
It is simple. Notice when you are triggered by people, texts, email, social media, etc. Choose to let it go – ignore it – or respond positively. This begins a new habit. You feel peaceful. Responding versus reacting requires self-awareness. This is an essential trait of great leaders.
Every time you are triggered, think, “I choose peace,” then STOP and breathe deeply. Say, “I choose peace,” over and over again in your mind until you can respond positively.
Get your life back. Start noticing when you are triggered and ignore it or respond positively. Choose peace.