Topic of the Month:
Pushing Your Own Buttons
In our Presentation courses, we teach participants how to give direct, straightforward positive feedback to others in the class. Often, when a presenter gets simple feedback like, “I really liked the way your story unfolded,” the presenter will either negate or even argue about the feedback.
They are so into their own negative thoughts about themselves that they can’t even hear the positives. I call that “pushing your own buttons,” and it causes you to lose your own power.
Because the number one phobia is speaking in front of a group, many people have it in their heads – let me repeat that – have it in their heads (it’s not reality) – that no matter what they do in their presentation, they will not do it well.
So when we give them positive feedback, they can’t hear it. Hello!! We are giving you positive feedback and something inside your head is telling you we are wrong!
It’s irrational. But, this is how people “push their own buttons.” By changing these irrational thoughts, you can change your life!
Here are four ways to reduce the negative, often irrational thinking that reduces your own feeling of self-worth and power.
4 Steps to Stop Pushing Your Own Buttons
STEP ONE: Know what events set you off.
Write them down. Ask yourself: What are the inappropriate feelings and actions in this situation that lead me to feel and act differently than the way I want to?
STEP TWO: Define what makes you upset.
Ask yourself: What am I thinking that makes me so upset? Fear of failure? Rejection? Boring others? Not being able to answer a question? Fear of being just awful? When you clearly define why you’re upset, you can deal with it.
STEP THREE: Recognize that your thinking may be irrational.
Ask yourself: How can I deal with and challenge my irrational thinking? Start by asking yourself if what you wrote in the first two steps is really true. Is your fear rational? Is your fear of failing (embarrassing yourself, feeling that success only comes from being the absolute best, worrying about boring your listeners) rational?
STEP FOUR: Define what you want.
Now that you have done the first three steps, it’s time to make some realistic choices about what you want and prefer to happen. By using words and phrases like: I prefer, I want, and it would be better if, you can totally change your thought process and willingness to speak in front of others.
Just a caution: It is not easy to start recognizing how you reduce your own power and push your own buttons. It requires that you practice continually until you have mastered the 4 steps to conquer your negative thoughts.
No one wants to feel powerless. The 4-step process requires an awareness of what you are thinking inside your head. With a commitment to be aware of your feelings and work through the steps, you will regain strength and power, stop pushing your own buttons, and stop letting others push them for you.