Hello from London!
There is something so powerful about knowing your triggers. Even more powerful is knowing your NOT MY TRIGGER triggers so that no one else has power over you when they try to manipulate a decision out of you, get you to buy something, or have you behave in a certain kind of way.
Two recent examples from my travel.
One, on the ship. Specifically in the jewelry store on the ship. See, I had bought a ring in this shop and one of the things they do on the last night of the cruise is have a raffle for a $1000 necklace and each person who buys jewelry on that cruise gets one ticket for every 100 dollars spent… “must be present to win” and all that jazz.
So, I was in the ship’s jewelry store on the last night, eager to see if any of my tickets might get drawn out of the bag, landing me a $1000 necklace (I did not win it, in case you thought that was the point of the story).
Before the drawing, the jeweler who’d sold me my ring earlier on the cruise was busy trying to sell me its companion necklace, which I had no interest in. But, being the adventurous spirit that I am, I let him put the necklace on me and let my friend take photos and text them back to my husband, saying, “She’s trying on more jewelry!!” since, of course, he knew what happened the last time I was in this jewelry store trying something on. 😉
The jeweler was doing his best to sell me this thing. Talking about how many more tickets I would have in the drawing. Telling me how good it looks on me. Telling me that this is limited-edition and won’t be available for very long. And my travel companion says, “Wow! You are NOT triggered by FOMO.”
Nope. FOMO is *not* my trigger.
I could wear that necklace and listen to the jeweler go on for hours about all the ways I’d be missing out if I didn’t buy this piece. It wouldn’t make a dent.
Not my trigger.
And OF COURSE the whole reason they want everyone back in the store on that last night with the raffle is so these expert sales people can use tactics on people they know have already fired up a credit card to spend money on pretty things there.
Cut to the Barcelona airport, a few days later. I’m well-rested from my stay in seriously one of the best hotels I’ve ever even SEEN, much less stayed in, and I’m heading from Barcelona through Brussels to Berlin. Busy day, lots to do, and I’m passing by the shops area in the Barcelona airport when a salesperson thrusts a sample my way and offers it up.
It’s lotion. He works at a cosmetics shop. Starts talking to me about the miracle that is some under-eye product.
I do the whole, “I’m headed to my gate… big hurry…” thing, thinking he’ll certainly understand that, and maybe he does, but he grabs a trigger out of his bag of trigger tricks and tries it on me.
“I mean, you have GREAT skin…” (I do.) “…but this dryness under your eyes? And when you put makeup on, the way it cakes up there? Really… you’ve gotta try this product! It’ll clear that right up. C’mon in!”
Funny thing… I don’t wear much makeup. Like, I don’t even own foundation, so we’re talking lipstain, lipgloss, mascara, eyeliner, and a puff of pressed powder to even me out and reduce any shine. Seriously basic.
But he’s counting on the fact that there’s SOMETHING he could say that would trigger me enough to get me into the shop where he could use other tactics to try and get me to buy some kind of under-eye cream I don’t need.
Vanity? Insecurity about the state of the skin under my eyes? Enoughness about my looks?
NOT MY TRIGGER.
However, that one is very definitely one that can stick in your craw even if it’s not your trigger. Meaning, you can find yourself thinking — even if you did rebuff the salesperson’s tactics — “Hmm… *DO* I need to do something about how my under-eyes look? *IS* there dryness I’m not aware of? Did he say that to me because I look TIRED or OLD maybe?”
Yup. All of that can weave itself into our lives if we’re not aware that that’s what it’s meant to do and then fortify our enoughness against such insipid words.
Knowing what your triggers are — and aren’t — can be incredibly powerful. If you know someone just hit a trigger, even if you don’t fall for the manipulation, seeds can be planted, even by some rando in an airport you’ll never see again, right?
I remember being a college kid, parking my brand new sporty car in a lot and as I got out and crossed to the shops, a guy I must’ve cut off in traffic on the way in shouted, “Learn to drive, fat-ass!”
Was my enoughness about driving low? No. Was my enoughness about the size of my ass low? You betcha! And I made myself feel better by thinking how sad it was that he had to comment on my appearance to express his ire over my lane change or whatever had pissed him off. But somewhere inside, I knew he was right about the size of my ass. (Never once giving a second thought to whether he might be right about how courteous a driver I was at that time.)
That’s because he hit a trigger.
He meant to!
But I didn’t spend time ever thinking about the not-my-trigger he tried to hit because all I could see was the trigger he DID hit. Of course! And that’s how we get ourselves all tweaked out by complete strangers at times (not to mention those closer to us, who really know how to do damage). We focus on the trigger they hit rather than treating it just like the NOT-TRIGGER and never giving it a second thought.
I share this because if you’ve got a trigger that plays itself out around how much training you have, you can get thrown off course when someone mentions that you don’t have a degree in acting. If your trigger is about how you’ve never had more than a few lines in a short film, you could be manipulated into working for free just to get a larger part in a film on which everyone else is getting paid. You could find yourself signing with a ho-hum agent because you’re being pushed into that place that feels like ANY rep is better than no rep at all… setting yourself up for all sorts of power plays.
But knowing what your triggers are allows you to check yourself before spiraling out into some emotional tailspin. Even better, it allows you to prevent seeds from being planted. It allows you to prevent the fertilizing of long-ago planted seeds. You’re able to say, “Oh, hey, tactic! I see you. You tried to hit one of my triggers. Good job! But no. So, thanks, though.”
When you get practiced at identifying your NOT-triggers out there in the world when you see someone trying to use ’em on you, you begin to learn how to prevent the actual triggers from doing damage.
I freakin’ love this stuff! (Last chance to apply to join us in beta if this enoughness work lights you up too.)
Sending love from London where I’m wrapping up five weeks away. This has been an amazing experience and I’m so grateful to all the beautiful people I’ve been able to jam with on this trip. London, you asked for it! We’ll be back next year (and by WE, I mean I’m bringing the hubs next time). 😉 Cannot! Wait!
All my ninja love,