Q: I heard you and Chris say on a call last week that “If it triggers you, it’s about you.” While I think I get this conceptually, could you explain it a little further? ~ Amanda Valade, Indianapolis, IN
A: Hi Amanda. I would love to. I think the easiest way to explain this is to give you an example.
Let’s say someone calls you fat. If you had grown up with weight issues or body image concerns that word may be very painful for you and you would likely be hurt by this persons comment. However, if you had been thin all your life and had a healthy body image, you might be confused (maybe even amused) by this persons words, but it would hardly trigger the same hurtful emotions in you.
So you see, the event is the same: someone called you fat. How you respond to it completely depends upon what is already living inside you regarding the word or label “fat.”
Let’s look at another example that I heard recently. One woman’s husband said her business was a “hobby”, that it would never make a profit and that she should just give up. She told me she felt defensive, attacked and not supported.
Instead of making her husband wrong (which in the past – I would have had no problem jumping on that bandwagon I wanted her to see why it triggered her so much. I asked her if she had ever questioned the viability of her business and if she would be able to make it profitable. She admitted that she questioned it frequently.
But instead of acknowledging that she herself felt this way, she resented her husband for speaking her own fears back to her. He is simply mirroring back to her what’s inside of her.
So instead of reacting by attacking her husband (“oh yeah, well you do this…”) she needed to look at her own beliefs, thoughts and actions around her business.
Since you didn’t give me a specific example from your own life – I hope this helps you understand the concept better.