Backstory – six months ago, as the result of some coaching, you’d identified some unprofitable behaviours you’d concluded needed to be changed.

To be honest, you’d not really thought much about this kind of thing before but some people’ (including your best friend, your spouse, and your boss) had been increasingly complaining that when things didn’’t go your way, you got angry and  aggressive. Now, as the result of coaching, you understand that this behaviour is down to ‘attachment strategies’ formed during infancy.

OK, it’s time to move on!  After all, who wants baggage from childhood holding them back?

In real time – yet by the end of six months, you are not best pleased to discover that not only are you still not calm in moments of stress but actually you’ve gotten worse. The road rage incident this morning in which you were involved during your commute really scared you.

Epiphany– if you don’t change soon you might kill someone – or worse, get killed yourself.

Environment – You resolve to work harder on on this stuff this time  – you bring some of the techniques you learned in coaching out of the proverbial mothballs –  but just when you’d started your meditation – out of the blue – your boss storms into your office (or cubicle) and accuses you of doing something you did not do  – that’s it – you’ve had it – you quit.

Regret – on your drive home  – after have hung around in a coffee bar working out a story to tell your spouse about what happened – you hear something on the radio about a book named Triggers (available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle) by a guy called Goldsmith – could this really be you?
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The 15 ‘Belief’ Triggers that stop change in its tracks:

  1. Confusion– just because you realised that you needed to change (along with the reasons why and the benefits to be expected) never meant that you would do it.
  2. Overconfidence– just because you’re convinced that you have the necessary willpower to do what’s needed (you did quit smoking, after all) doesn’t mean that you won’t give in to temptation when it sneaks up on you from behind like your boss did today. Who could have expected that?
  3. Indulgent inconsistency– and on your birthday too – well, he (your boss) deserved it and will regret having been so horrible to you – you’d not have reacted the way that you did if it hadn’t been your special day  – and your boss ought to have known that.
  4. Immunity – well, it may not have gone well with the boss but it could have been worse – a couple of years ago something similar happened when some guy named Jim  (an ex pro-boxer) broke your boss’s nose during an argument – quitting is much better than dismissal with cause – at least you had more sense than to get yourself into the same mess as Jim.
  5. Exceptionalism– that coach did mention that you needed to practice those calming techniques every day but hey, that’s for other people, not you, right?
  6. Depletion– you were tired – if you’d been sleeping better, that wouldn’t have happened – but with the new baby and all…God, life is difficult.
  7. Procrastination– OK, to be honest, you’d been putting off practicing those calming techniques – and maybe things would have turned out better if you had – but there’s always tomorrow – yea, that’s it – you’ll start practicing those techniques tomorrow.
  8. Unrealistic expectations – no one in their right might could have predicted that your boss would behave so badly today and right after you’d had that road rage close call on the morning commute too – when it rains, it pours, right?
  9. Epiphany – so unfortunate that you’d just had your epiphany this morning – before you’d had a chance to get back on track.
  10. False sense of permanence – if only the changes you’d put into place six months ago had lasted – they should have done – but they didn’t – it seems acutely unfair that you would have to continue to work at them.
  11. Future challenges – just when you’d got that new promotion as the result of having implemented those changes six months ago, it all went wrong – how could you possibly have known that the new job would be more demanding than the old one especially with the new baby at home…
  12. Resentment – your boss really should have been more appreciative of the changes you’d already implemented six months ago – at the time he’d seemed pleased enough but then he just kept demanding more and more – it’s not fair.
  13. Isolation– you were just sitting quietly in your own office (cubicle) minding your own business and privately nursing the wounds inflicted by your earlier road rage epiphany – and then your boss jumped you.
  14. It’s just the way that I am – to be honest, you’ve always been a little hot-headed – and what’s wrong with that? At least it has kept others from imposing themselves on you – in fact if you’d not done that coaching and tried to be something that you’re not (i.e. calm and collected) this wouldn’t have happened.
  15. Objectivity – by the way, who were all those people (best friend, your spouse, and your boss) who said that you needed to change anyway – aren’t you the best judge of your behaviour? Of course, you are and besides, you aren’t angry as often as are least 75% of the people in your office – no, if you were to be honest, you’re calmer and more collected than 90% of the people you (used to) work with. It’s the office environment caused by hot-headed bosses like yours (or at least the boss that you used to have until this morning).

 

 

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