I tend to be a calm and rationale individual. It is possible, however, to push me back and send me reeling in an irrational rage or anger.
For me, it is not my triggers, I only have one or two, for me it is the slow removal of my hierarchy of needs. When my needs and goals systemically become blocked I become more attuned to the potential loss and my mood and subsequent behaviors alter very perceptibly. Allow me an example:
Recently I needed to be at the airport for a 6:25 boarding call. Waking up at 4:30 A.M. I removed my ability to have a good breakfast. My hotel had not started service and did not have coffee.
My Uber arrived at the airport at 5:25 A.M. and there was a 45 minute line for baggage check with an estimated 45 minute TSA time. Feeling anxiety about missing my flight pushed me back further.
Inquiring to the gate agent I was further removed from safety and comfort when I was informed it is not her job and she walked off abrubtly. (turning back to customers is endemic to this airline but switching carriers would cost me my status :)) if I missed my flight I would be spending an entire unproductive day in an airport and not get home until late at night.
Bag checked, a miracle occurred and I made it through TSA (a smile, a bribe, and some good luck) others were not so fortunate. The lines at each post security restaurant were too long to consider either food or coffee and I made it to my gate as the doors were closing.
Each little set back and each obstacle took away a small piece of my safety and my security and each, independently and together served to further make it easier for me to lose control.
And this time, I was lucky. Sadly, in such powelesy situations (airlines, DMV, post office) we have goals blocked by monopolies with no true avenue it path around and our destinies and fates are often completely out of our hands making us all in edge.
Outside of these rare few places we have choices and we can act through our choices and make decisions that will increase or pyschological safety and comfort. My coaching clients often have serious concerns about work with toxic cultures and toxic bosses. Places where the P.H.B. tries to weild sociopathic control over the lives of his out her reports and coaching clients feel trapped.
Why do you feel trapped at work
If I push back I will lose my job
What are the consequences of losing this current job
I have kids. I need the insurance. We have to pay the mortgage. My spouse is in school. My parents are sick.
If you were not bound by those constraints what would you choose
Me? I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of having a travel blog and traveling across the world
And your spouse what does your spouse think about this.
We haven’t talked about it at all. Mostly we talk about work problems and bills and my parents. And our son is having trouble on school
I’m going to stop there on this conversation. And when we feel trapped in our jobs and powerless there are often many other constraints in our lives all helping to the constraint. Examining each of our obstacles can help us out of what seems to be a helpless situation.
Could this client sell his house, quit his job, and travel the world with his young family? I don’t know, coaching doesn’t provide answers directly. Looking into the situation we see this client has not yet had the opportunity to fully examine the obstacles to his dream.
Does his wife want to travel
Would his son want more parent time and enjoy studying abroad and home schooling
How do his parents feel about their illness and their relationship with their son (is the son perceiving and illness or infirmary that does not exist)
Will leaving the job, removing the mortgage, and changing lifestyles be fulfilling or if this just an unexamined other life
We humans are deep, complex individuals. We should not let other people and other constraints chip away from our need for a fulfilling life full of psychological safety and comfort.