The 2 most likely ways you’re shooting yourself in the foot
Leadership Coach, Front of Room Leader and Systemic Change Guide

If you’re interested in anything related to couples, you’ll have likely heard about The Gottman Institute which has turned decades of relationship research into easy-to-read classics, like “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”.

The Gottman institute has identified 24 common triggers that lead people into conflicts they later regret.

Triggers are emotional buttons. We react when someone pushes them, because they make us relive negative feelings related to past experiences, often from childhood.

Everyone tries to avoid triggers to keep emotionally safe. How so?

In our conversations with inspiring people around their fifties and above, we found that the attempt to avoid those triggers has many of them struggling to turn their ideas and visions into reality. They do it, but it’s hardship! One of our conversation partners, when asked about his biggest obstacle, responded with a smile:

“My biggest obstacle? You are looking at it.”

Gottman lists 24 common triggers to support you in identifying your own, in order to up your relationship game at home and in the office. Amongst them are:

  1. I felt powerless.

  2. I felt unheard.

  3. I felt judged.

  4. I felt disrespected.

  5. I felt ignored.

  6. I felt I couldn’t be honest.

  7. I felt like the bad guy.

  8. I felt frustrated.

  9. I felt unsafe.

  10. I felt trapped.

  11. I felt like I couldn’t speak up.

  12. I felt controlled.

Our fear is not to relive the past, but rather to have something similar happen again in the future. We are afraid of the future, of what we make up might happen and how it may emotionally impact us. So we avoid certain situations.

Self-protection holds many people back from bringing their purpose and mission into the world, or from pursuing their goals with ease and confidence.

Does it stop you from really trying?

Has it had you give up sooner than necessary?

What’s the story you are telling yourself about that?

When you set out to follow your passion, what you do and communicate suddenly becomes very personal. It’s vulerable! And after the first rush of excitement, you might find it too dangerous to expose yourself to the outside world, even to your close friends and families.

And we’ve found that these two triggers hold back potential changemakers:

The fear of being judged, and,
The fear of being ignored

The irony is: Judging and ignoring ourselves leads to exactly the situation we were trying to avoid in the first place: not getting any positive response to our dream.

Instead, take one tiny step at a time, take the feedback as data, always stay curious. Perhaps the first person you are sharing your dream with, was less than excited. So what, it’s not about you, or your dream.

At the end of the day, we are our harshest judges.

There is a swarm of people out there who burn to contribute to the greater good. Be one of those who dare do it!

And we want to learn more about what holds them back, and how they overcome there challenges.

For leadership coaching and developement, get in touch

You might also like…

One More Time: Leaders Need Coaches
One More Time: Leaders Need Coaches

One of the most common refrains we hear from new leadership coaching clients is “Wow, it’s really great to be able to step back and talk about me in the context of my work and organisation. No one else ever listens to me like that, including my boss or partner." When...

Leadership Learnings from Taiji II
Leadership Learnings from Taiji II

Watching great leaders in action is one of the most effective ways to enhance your own leadership. So I often ask my coach clients:
⏩ “What leader has most inspired you?”

Leadership requires Agency
Leadership requires Agency

Photo by Kevin André on Unsplash The component required for leadership to shift from being a noun to a verb, is agency.  Agency is someone’s ability to act or take action. Without it, you may be aware, but you lack choice  - you’re  stuck in stasis. Why...

Share This