This past weekend the topic of being short tempered and impatient came up a few times. At work, towards the people we love the most, there were no limitations.
We all do it. We are human.
I used to have a bad temper. My buttons easily pushed by those closest to me.
My excuse, “It’s just the way I am, I can’t help it”.
I’d self-label, “I have a short temper” and that was that.
Self-labeling can take many forms. Not just about being short tempered. Self-labeling is when we chalk up our less than awesome characteristics as “just the way we are”.
What do you self-label as? Shy, lazy, cranky, a perfectionist, scatterbrained, etc….
If I haven’t said yours, fill in the blanks: “I am……………………………………, it’s just the way I am.”
The truth is, we give ourselves permission to act and to be this way.
To act in ways that really don’t add any value to who we want to show up as in this world or how we want people to see us.
3 Steps to Dropping your Excuses and Bad Habits:
1. Ask Yourself:
“What’s my legacy?”, “How do I want to be remembered?”, “What type of a person do I want people to say I was?”
2. The Truth:
Take an honest look at your life. Is your self-labeling behavior helping you to be this person?
My belief is that we act this way because we are on Autopilot.
Autopilot means that we are allowing our natural behavior or responses to take over. Assuming that whatever we’ve been taught since we were younger is going to be enough to support us in being the person we want to be.
If you are like me, it’s not.
Some examples of Autopilot:
Loosing my cool when my husband hasn’t done exactly what I want him to do.
A client sitting quietly in a meeting, not sharing her thoughts, when she’s up for a promotion and needs to be demonstrating leadership qualities.
Becoming defensive when someone is giving you feedback or sharing their thoughts.
The great thing is that it doesn’t have to stay this way.
We are unconsciously acting this way because we’ve been practicing it our whole lives.
With awareness, we can stop and choose a new Response.
“When you know better, you can do better.”
3. Plug into Your Power Zone.
A tool that I use with my clients, my own life and that I recently shared on my free training call is called Your Power Zone.
This Tool creates a structure to help you to shut down your bad habits and to make new choices.
To remind you that you actually get to choose how you want to respond in every situation.
Just because you’ve been a certain way your whole life, doesn’t mean you have to continue on the same path.
Especially when you realize that the impact is limiting you from being the person you truly want to be.
What’s the impact of NOT changing your negative Autopilot response?
So, Your Power Zone is the space between every Action and Response.
The exact space, opportunity, where you get to plug into to choose a Response that’s in line with how you want to be remembered and your Values, the qualities that are most important to you.
Otherwise you are on Autopilot, crossing your fingers and hoping that your natural responses are going to be enough.
Plugging into your Power Zone, stopping and choosing a Response may feel mechanical at first but that’s ok.
New habits take practice.
What’s important to remember is that your new Response, become your new habit and your new habit become an Autopilot response.
Victoria is an expert at helping women Get Out of Their Own Way. If you like what you’ve read be sure to register before you leave this page to receive these Tips and Tools to your inbox.