When you are overtired, stressed, and at the end of your rope, what's the worst version of you that comes out?
Last week I shared that my Monster Self is cranky, withdrawn, and sullen. She doesn't have a sense of humor and can't see the contributions of others (sorry, honey!). She's not a lot of fun to be around.
If you can catch your Monster Self before she truly hulks out, you'll still have bad days. But you'll have the reserves to respond to hard things that happen. You'll be able to be more calm and compassionate with yourself when tough stuff arises.
We're going to avoid our Monster Selves by doing three things:
Learn your triggers
This week, we're just focusing on Step 2: learn your triggers. Your triggers are the external circumstances that put you over the edge. They are the proverbial "last straw". They are the irritating and stressful situations that call your Monster Self into action.
(If you haven't already, hop on over to Part 1 to notice your warning signs.)
When your Monster Self emerges in all her wrath, take a moment afterwards to LEARN from the experience. What were the circumstances that caused you to snap? Could they be a trigger?
Here are some of the triggers that cause my Monster Self to rear her ugly head.
1) Competing demands from kids. I never thought I was a "yell-er". Having a second child proved that theory wrong. Having one small person need me at the exact same time another small person needs me is a trigger.
2) Running late. Fewer things are more stressful to me than rushing somewhere with the kids in my s̶h̶i̶n̶y̶ ̶L̶e̶x̶u̶s̶ used Mazda.
3) Noise. As anyone with young kids knows, there's no escaping it. Whether it's crying, whining, videos or computer games in the background, loud noises drive me up the wall and can easily trigger my Monster Self.
(One thing I learned recently is that noise can especially be triggering for people with the CliftonStrengths Intellection or Harmony, and for those who are Highly Sensitive.)
Your turn to play
Remember, triggers are the irritating and stressful situations that call your Monster Self into action.
What might some of YOUR triggers be?
Is it when someone bails on you?
Going from one kid activity straight to the next?
A terrible night's sleep?
A judgmental comment at the grocery store?
Driving through traffic?
Realizing at 5:00pm there's no plan for dinner and nothing in the fridge?
This week, we aren't doing anything about those triggers just yet (though sometimes, just noticing them changes how you respond). Just notice.
With a gentle and honest heart, learn from your experiences.
What tips you over the edge? What makes you snap?
Then click the 'Comments' link below, and report your findings!
This is a judgement-free zone, and I can't wait to read what you learned.
[Related: How to Avoid Your Monster Self, Step 1 and Step 3]