Mary was an accomplished project manager and trusted colleague with whom I worked in the past. She had a trigger: whenever a colleague mentioned a previous software implementation project, she would lose her composure and become visibly upset. Mary led a project that turned out to be a failure, and she took that as a personal failure.
After one such incident when I saw her getting upset, I asked her, “Why don’t you control your trigger?” “What do you mean?” replied Mary.
I introduced her to what I call an NP switch: a Negative Positive switch that I describe in my book Win Your Life with a Permanent Fix. Instead of remembering all the negatives associated with the project, I told Mary she needs to recollect the good things (such as added knowledge and competency and an alternate solution derived because of this project) to change her focus from negative to positive. I suggested that she visualize listening to the comments about the project and immediately remembering all the positives associated with it. I suggested her to replay this in her mind a few times.
“Thank you, it worked,” Mary told me a couple of weeks later, when she successfully implemented my suggestion.
When you can identify specific triggers (getting angry, jealous, tempted, and egoistic after a specific incident) you can use techniques to control that trigger. But what is more helpful is striving to be in the zone of equanimity throughout the encounter so that you remove all the power from your triggers—known and unknown. This is a permanent fix. Listen to the audio from the Fox News radio tour on KOGO News, San Diego, CA, where I talked about this issue.