You may ask, "What are hot buttons anyway?"
Hot buttons are those that, when people push, you turn red and out comes the anger, resentment, insecurity, and other negative emotions you wish weren't a part of your life.
Remember the last time your boss made a comment about the project you completed? For some reason, his assessment just sent you through the roof. What about when your partner told you that you are gaining weight? Did you get upset and begin feeling insecure about your relationship? What if your manager or teacher doesn't spend much time talking with you? Do you feel less valued or respected?
Some people avoid these hot buttons being pushed by simply avoiding people. Unfortunately, avoiding people can often mean "avoiding" the opportunities that can potentially change our lives for the better.
If you want to reach your dream, be successful, enjoy your life and make a positive impact on others, you must be willing to confront the fact that you have certain hot buttons. Face them and deal with them!
Imagine walking into every situation and circumstance lacking a single hot button that could be pushed.
No matter how your opponents try to make you go crazy or drag you down, you remain untouched. Imagine your jealous co-worker's comments to your boss, trying to highlight your weaknesses immediately before you presenting an important proposal.
Though you heard your co-worker's words, you let them fall right in front of your eyes. You remained calm and confident. The comment had no power to activate a negative reaction in you. Instead, you go forward, delivering your wonderful, well-prepared presentation. And, toss a loving smile back at your co-worker.
Ridding yourself of hot buttons is a life-long process. Everyone would like to get to the place of having few buttons (Note, I said, "few buttons, not no-buttons."). Getting there is possible but requires faith, hope, persistence and patience.
One of my mentors is a man with very few buttons. When I asked him how he reached this place, he told me that he had consciously devoted efforts into working on getting rid of the past. This allowed him to move slowly into not allowing the past to have a hold on him. He then progressed to forgiving people, asking God for forgiveness and forgives himself daily. Once he forgives and accepts forgiveness, he blesses.
After releasing forgiveness, any voice that comes to remind him of people who wronged him or mistakes that he has made, he simply ignores the voice, starts blessing the people and blessing himself. (I think he is so wise in releasing blessings to himself. So often, we get so busy in blessing others and we forget this important step for ourselves.)
Hot buttons are usually created by unresolved matters.
There are 3 main types of unresolved matters - old ones, new ones and recurring ones.
Old Unresolved Matters
Trauma from childhood
Bad things you did in the past
Bad things that happened to you in the past
New Unresolved Matters
Recent happenings that you left without having a positive closure
(For example: You left your loved one without communicating why you did what you did.
You let go of an employee without telling the truth why you let him go.)
Recent bad things you did
Recent bad things other people did to you
Recurring Unresolved Matters
Patterns of similar bad happenings created by you or done to you.
All the things mentioned above which, if you don't face them, will never be resolved. Matters will continue to pile up. In order to control the situation, you will start lying, manipulating, playing the victim, getting angry over little things, spend time at work to avoid facing certain situations, and begin having addictions to escape from having good relationships with people.
Have you ever seen a runner trying to win the race with a 50 pounds iron chain wrapped around his body?
You are made to be a champion and a winner. If you feel the heavy weight, check to see if you have iron chains on you. They are not fitting for you. It is time to break them off.
Challenge for you:
Give yourself a personal one or two day retreat. Go to a place where you can relax and reflect. Taking a walk in nature works great for me. For you, it may be fishing or doing something else. You know what makes you feel relaxed and puts you in your best state to reflect.
Quickly list your old unresolved matters, new unresolved matters and the recurring unresolved matters. Don't think too hard. If you have to think too hard, they may be for later.
As you deal with each layer of unresolved matters, the next layer will surface as time passes. So, don't worry too much about whether or not you have covered everything. You won't. Just be open to receiving them as they come to your mind and heart. Jot them down. Then, forgive the people who have wronged you. Forgive yourself for doing wrong to others. Do this for the old and new unresolved matters. For the recurring unresolved matters, be open and face what you perceive.
As you forgive people, if you feel that you need to make a phone call or write a letter to bring closure, mend the broken relationships or make things right, then do make that contact. This is the most important step. Do not skip it. You can have a long list of self-discovery but until you start taking actions to resolve things you are still the old YOU with a long list of self-discovery. Change requires risk. Take it and grow from it. The lightness you will feel is indescribable and well worth it.
For me, since I believe in God, I ask God to help me to forgive others and allow Him to forgive me and I forgive myself. Whenever I sense bitterness rising up from thinking or facing people that I have forgiven, I bless them. When I do that, with most people, I can honestly say that when I face them, I have totally forgotten what they have done to me. Then, of course, with a few people, sometimes because I am so close to them and they are still repeating certain behaviors that remind me of how they hurt me, blessing them doesn't help me to forget what they have done to me right away. But, I continue to forgive and bless them. Over the years, I have seen changes in my relationship with such people in my life.
Perhaps you would call me a hopeless optimist. But, when you believe in the good things and good principles, things do go well for you. If you are a hopeless optimist like me, people may think that you have not gone through enough in life. And, yes, you may be 16 years-old or 85 years-old but only you know what you have gone through.
But, you still believe in the good things, the good principles and things do go well with you. Right? Many times, circumstances don't change, but because of your perspective changes, your experiences also changes. For those of your out there that are hopeless optimists, I'd love to hear from you! J
Start with this. If you feel that you can't handle them by yourself, then seek professional help. You may need counseling if you have addictions or therapy issues. However, if you are healthy and simply need clarity, a life coach can help. A life coach can guide you not only to gaining clarity but help you to resolve these matters, enabling you to feel freer in many areas.
If people tell you that you are "high maintenance", what they are saying is that you make a big deal out of small things. Most likely, you anger easily. You are either too dependent or too controlling and manipulative. If you lack of confidence, you tend to escape from those that actually care about you the most. You let hours and days pass without accomplishing goals but feel that you are very busy. Take an honest look at yourself to evaluate if unresolved matters have turned into hot buttons for you.
Helen Chen is a Business and Life Coach. She specializes in partnering with remarkable individuals in business to get out of their own way and take themselves to the next fascinating new level of effectiveness and profitability. To receive her FREE ezine with proven tips and exercises to take yourself and your business to a SUREFIRE new level of success, go to http://www.HYCCoaching.com.