Keeping a strong and positive mindset in a world that has become uncertain and unpredictable is quite a challenge. In 2020 we have experienced huge amounts of change causing many to feel insecure and unsafe. With major drought, fires, floods and now a world-wide pandemic, all of us feel less in control of our lives than we did just 3 months ago.

In my work I deal with people. I have been leading, coaching, mentoring and serving people in various roles for over 40 years. I guess you could say I am a people expert. One of the things I know is that we are all different. The same things affect us differently. Siblings experience very similar things and yet often react very differently. One becomes bitter while the other forgives and overcomes.

There are unique triggers for each of us that challenge our mindset. Something that is a huge challenge for me may be easy for you to deal with. Something that slugs me in the gut and has me questioning myself, may be a motivating challenge for you.

Triggers for each of the D.I.S.C. Behavioural Styles

It is fascinating to understand the different D.I.S.C. behavioural styles. Through our DNA, our experience, our values and beliefs, each of us has developed certain ways of doing things that are easy and natural for us. Other ways of doing things are not so natural and take a lot more energy. There are 4 main styles and each style has some predictability in the way they respond under pressure. E.g. the D (Dominant) style is most likely to be triggered by losing control. Their biggest fear is to lose their independence and freedom. They will tend to be triggered by losing face in public because significance is a high value to them. If they feel like they are losing control their stress levels will rise and they will have to battle the triggers for a negative mindset. For more information on each of the DISC styles check here

DISC StyleTriggersEmotional and Mindset challenge
D DominantLoss of control, or loss of independence or freedom Loss of significance Loss of respectFeel stress   Feel demeaned Feel anger
I InfluencerDirect conflict with people People do not like themLeads to self-doubt, loss of confidence Leads to feelings of insecurity
S StabiliserSudden change without a clear plan UncertaintyFeel unsafe, unsettled Feel stress
C CompliantMaking mistakes or getting things wrong   Pushed to perform quicker than desiredFeel stress, loss of confidence, become negative, overwhelmed Feel overwhelmed and stressed

Other things that can trigger people:

1. Loss / grief – people who have not suffered significant loss in their lives before may find grief triggers all kinds of emotions and thoughts that undermine their normal confidence. E.g. many adults in Australia have never experienced a recession. The last time our unemployment queues were long was 1991 (almost 30 years ago). It was tough for those who remember. But we got through.

2. Enforced hardship – people who have not had to endure much hardship in their life can find it distressing if they are forced to endure a period of sacrifice that impinges on their life, freedom, independence. To have to close a business or take a redundancy, along with hundreds of thousands of others, is tough. To have to change all plans for travel and holidays, is devastating. It causes stress and will trigger the worst in you. A negative mindset makes it hard to be resilient and innovative and seek opportunities. A negative mindset only sees the problem and magnifies the pain.

3. Enforced isolation – people who like their freedom or who get their energy from others will find this extremely difficult and even depressing being alone or isolated.

We each need to understand our triggers and put things in place to support us when we are vulnerable. The more self-aware we are the better informed and prepared we can be to make sure we do not allow a negative mindset to develop.

Which foundational belief underpins your mindset?

There are 3 main foundational beliefs that underpin mindset. Depending on which of these 3 foundational beliefs you hold deep down inside it will be easier or harder for you to guard against a negative mindset.

1. Life is hard. “Life wasn’t meant to be easy” as Malcolm Fraser famously opined back in the late 1970’s. This is the ‘Aussie Battler’ type attitude. If things start going well, I’m worried, because soon something must go wrong.

2. Things will work out somehow. We will muddle through. If I hustle. If I work hard, I can make this work for me. I can bluff my way through this. This is a more hopeful belief, but it all depends on me. This belief can lead to exhaustion and burnout.

3. Things work for me. Based on the Bible verse that says, “Everything works together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) This enables me to have a deep faith that underpins a sense of hope that does not just depend on me but also on God (or the Universe). When this belief is combined with pragmatism it works to enable me to stay calm during hardship and loss. Not everything that happens to me is good, but somehow it will work for good. Viktor Frankyl (Mans Search for Meaning) discovered in Nazi Concentration Camps that people can endure anything if they have a faith in God, or someone waiting for them on the other side.

So, what are your triggers?

Do you know yourself well enough to know what triggers you? What is most likely to get under your guard and cause you to doubt yourself, or to get angry, or in some other way to lose your positive mindset? Have you put in place support structures to help guard you when you are vulnerable?

INTEGRATE: Why Work Life Balance is a Myth | John Drury

Integrate: Why Work Life Balance is a Myth and what you really need to create a fulfilling lifestyle

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