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Welcome to this episode of Friday Reflections by Dad.Work! 

Every Friday I share the best of what we have been doing in the Dad.Work community, to provide perspective, new ideas, and motivation for you to continue on your journey to becoming the best man, partner, and father you can be.

This week we talk about being triggered, why I love it, and how you can start to love being triggered, too. We’ll talk about:

  • What being triggered actually is
  • The protective mechanism created by the ego in response to trauma
  • Why being triggered is actually extremely helpful
  • How to use it to your advantage
  • How to stop being a victim and change your life

Listen to the episode to find out more!

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Curt Storring 0:00

Welcome to the Dad.Work podcast. My name is Curt Storring, your host and the founder of Dad.Work. My guest today is me, I am going to talk to you today in a Friday reflection for December 9 2021. We are going to be talking about being triggered everyone's favorite topic, everyone's favorite thing to experience. And I gotta tell you, I actually love being triggered, not immediately in the moment. But very soon after, it's one of my favorite things, I'm going to tell you why. I'm also going to walk through what is being triggered, how to be able to react more calmly, when you are triggered to find the space between the stimulus and the response that you send out into the world, how to take more responsibility for your life and how to use being triggered as actually a guide and a healing force in your life. Guys, if you are enjoying this podcast and you listen on Apple, would you please hit pause and leave us a review we're reaching more and more men every single week. And it is because people are sharing they are reviewing they are liking they are giving it to their friends. And I'd love for you to be part of the growth we are doing important work here I have got so much amazing feedback and reviews already that I want to be able to give this work to more men, I truly truly believe that we will heal the world as we heal more and more fathers and of course their families beyond them. So please leave a review. If you're on Apple. If you're on Spotify, hit the Follow button, make sure you are following us so you don't miss the next episode. If you would like to get our free 14 day better man better dad email course, head on over to Dad dot work. And right there on the homepage, there's a place to put your name and your email, I will send that out to you ASAP, you can join the literally 1000s of other men who are now taking that That's Dad dot work, type that into your browser and your URL. And you'll you'll find it. Alright. All that being said, let's get into why I love being triggered. And you should too. Here we go.

So I ran a little experiment on Instagram last week where I made intentionally inflammatory remarks. I don't think there are too bad I've seen a lot out there that are even worse. But the point was, I was doing things and saying things that some people could strongly disagree with or be triggered by. And that was on purpose. I wanted to test out what it felt like to deliver a message this way and teach people I wanted to test the Instagram algorithm and see if that allowed for more people to be reached. Because at the end of the day, even though I low the the social tools in many ways, they are a wonderful gifts to be able to bring this positive message to more people. And for that I'm grateful. So I wanted to see if I can reach more people by doing this kind of thing. And I wanted to see how y'all would react? Would you scream at me? Would you leave? Would you unfollow me? Would you actually like it Do you want to be called out. And so the result of this were that I have never had so many organic followers. So it turns out that when you stand for something and when you call people out and when you take a stand and when it's based in this foundation of love, which all of my stuff is I'm not out here to shame you or get you. These are all mental reframes that I'm hoping to shoot across your desk or on your phone, when you're least expecting it to sort of make sure that you're not living life from inertia. So I got so many people following me, but I have never had more unfollowed. So it looked like it kind of worked. I got a lot of people who liked what I was saying. And I lost a lot of people who were triggered or disagreed with what I was saying. And some people left comments saying that they can't believe this, and this is terrible. And you're shaming people. And how dare you do this. And that was fantastic. I love it. You know why? Because I love being triggered. And so I use this as a tool. And for those who are ready for it. It was a gift was a gift to be constantly triggered by me last week for those of you who follow me on Instagram, you can find me at at Dad.Work dot Kurt. That's da di w o rk.cu. RT, have a look at what I posted over the last week. It's not too bad, I don't think compared to a lot of what I see. And yet it was able to trigger a bunch of people. And the reason I'm bringing this up is because I think being triggered is one of the best gifts in the entire world. In fact, I love being triggered. I was talking to a good friend of mine about this. And he made the remark that you know what's different between you and I and some of the other guys in our men's groups or men's circles is that we love being triggered. It's an opportunity to learn and grow and we do not play the victim we do not blame we do not try and get away from the discomfort of this because we've done the work to be able to sit with it. So now I love to be triggered maybe not in the moment. Not all the time but very shortly after, because I'm able to sit with it because I've got a mindful practice that allows me to see what's actually going on. It is an opportunity for growth. When you're triggered. It marks the spot on your internal map if you will, that you can never to get to and heal and work through it, rather than this black box of who knows what in your internal psyche and your heart and your mind, when you're triggered, a huge red flag goes up. And all you have to do is follow the map, follow the path to that red flag and start digging. What is under there? Why are you feeling this way, maybe deep, which is hard, maybe small, but I always have something to continue to work toward. Because I keep getting triggered, I'm never going to not get triggered. Because there are always things in me that I will disagree with, that gets too close to my wounding that I don't like, that's going to bring up a reaction in me. And so I will always have something new to work on. Which for me, knowing how amazing you can feel doing the work and healing some of the stuff on the other side of it is a joyous occasion, I am so pumped to know that there is even more joy and satisfaction and contentment in my future if I keep doing the work on my triggers. Now, a lot of people take this personally. And you shouldn't take it personally when you're triggered. That's where a victim culture comes from. And it could take a while for you to get here, it certainly did for me, I would blow up and I would make a big deal out of it, I would blame. And through meditation, journaling and a whole bunch of other things, you can start to build more of a space between the stimulus and the response. rather than reacting immediately, you can choose your reaction so that you can then examine and observe and work on the thing that triggers you. So let's talk about triggering. Really quick, though, what what is being triggered? What is it actually, I think that it's overwhelming, usually negative reaction to something that's happened to you or that you see out in the world. Typically, it's

a reaction that I find is triggering, it's when you have an intense reaction when you get super angry at someone or something. For example, when you feel indignant, when you feel righteous, when you feel as though someone has done something to you. Now the point of emphasizing these words at you, at someone to you something that's happened, this emphasis is important, because this is how it feels to you. I will suggest that at the end of the day, you are fully responsible for your responses to everything. And so saying someone made you angry or that you are mad at someone, this is not actually true. In my experience, you can get to a place where the thing that happened you didn't like but you are fully responsible for your own reaction. And so any sort of reaction, actually, if I think about it is being triggered any reaction because it's resulting in a response from you. On one hand, yes, we need to chill the fuck out and not get triggered so much. This is typically when we see our external circumstances, we don't like them, someone says something or does something we are so caught up in our head, we have such a fragile ego, we are so self centered, that we think that the other person needs to be punished, or we need to shape the world around us so that we don't have to feel these things anymore. And so you need to get more clear about who you are. First, make sure that your identity is not wrapped up in your beliefs so that people can't knock you off so easily. And so yes, one side of this is to meditate more is to establish a mindfulness practice is to do your own inner work and get to the point where you're not immediately triggered, find out how to stay calm, how to not react explosively. And on the other hand, revel in being triggered, it is so, so good, it shines a light on your pain, your wounding your repressed emotions that you'd rather keep hidden. This is gold guys. Like you would have to go to therapy for a long time to bring up some of these things if you're just talking about it. But when you're triggered this feeling in your body, if you can feel close enough, through breathwork, meditation, yoga, all these practices to get grounded in your body, you can feel where the pain is. This is such a shortcut. You're not broken, if you're triggered by the way, it's natural, and it's normal. And it's like the hamburger metaphor that I think I've shared on here before I think of repressed emotions, like hamburgers that don't get digested in your gut. So imagine you're eating this hamburger, and it goes down sits in your gut, but your digestive system doesn't work. Okay, so weeks go by months go by, and this hamburger is still sitting in your gut, well, it's not going to be very pleasant in there, you're gonna start to feel pretty sick, it's gonna probably rot fester a little bit and you go about your day just going like well, I got some stomach issues. I've got some gut issues. It's kind of uncomfortable, but this is probably just how it is. And I'm kind of worried because I thought it was supposed to digest but I'm just gonna keep going and if I keep staying busy, I won't have to deal with it. So I'll just go on my life. Okay, until one day, you're at work and someone's running down the hallway. They're late to a meeting. They've got their arms full. They can't see you as you step out of your office door and they elbow you right in the gun. Okay, and now this hamburger that's been sitting there something hits it some external force, but applies pressure to it. And it's only got one way to go. It's only got one thing it can do and what is that? It explodes, and it covers everyone in shin. And this is what happens when we repress our emotions. And something else triggers us is this hamburger this unresolved unfelt unmoved energy of our pain or our trauma, in this case, the hamburger is signifying something that hurt us. It has to come out. And oftentimes because we have not prepared for it, we just keep ignoring it. You get hit in the gut, or you get touched in the trauma. And yeah, you end up exploding all over everyone. In this case, it's a very visual metaphor, because it's gut related. And I think it's just very clear to see that yeah, you do shut over everyone, because you're usually angry and blaming was terrible. So instead of saying, fuck you, because someone bumped into you, say thank you, because they brought this to the surface, and they relieved your discomfort significantly. This isn't their fault. This isn't their problem, that you have this pain inside of you, thank them for relieving it. Thank them for pointing you to the pain. When you get defensive and you blame other people for quote, making you feel this way. You become a victim, the victim is powerless to change. What would you rather do feel good that you feel bad? Do you know what I mean? Have you ever felt this before where you feel self pity, you feel righteous indignation. You just want to feel bad because Oh, you deserve it, or people should make you feel better. Oh, very childish. I was there for a long time.

I remember that. As a new dad, I would feel that all the time. I would mope for days, it'd be completely miserable. Or would you rather learn, grow feel happiness, contentment, growth, peace. If you pick pity, oh, it's just I know the feeling like I said, but it just leads to driving people away and not getting your core needs met. Now remember, your reactions are there to keep you from getting hurt. And they are surrounding these core needs of healing and affirmation and validation. You develop these reactions. This ego a long time ago, likely, usually as a kid, usually as a response to trauma. And then you bury them, you didn't express them in a healthy way to move that energy. And so now you feel triggered when someone gets too close to these wounds, because they hurt to feel they hurt, big time to feel. And that's why this work is so important. You have to love getting close to this hurt because it means there's work to do. And now you have a good idea of where to start. And so these are so uncomfortable for a reason, you have developed these ego defense mechanisms to protect yourself from the pain, when people get too close, this is what happens it is a reaction to keep you safe. So on the other hand, this is also a very loving thing that your ego does to you, I think of it that way at least. And so when you are doing the work on being triggered, ask yourself why start a journal literally write down all the times in the day when you get angry or triggered. And then start looking at them every week to notice is there a pattern is one category of my day that seems to trigger me most meditate on it. Do my meditation for being triggered by your kids on Insight Timer. If you search for Dad.Work on Insight Timer, there is a meditation I've recorded to visualize being triggered by your kids. And then to react calmly, which actually helps you react more calmly in real life. But part of this is discovering why you're actually triggered in the first place. So ask why, why why why all the way down to bedrock until you can't answer anymore without the truth coming out. One thing I like to tell guys who are in my men's groups, is that the process is whatever you take from it. And by process, I mean sometimes in a facilitated men's group. Yes, we'll do open sharing Yes, we will support each other. Yes, we will do accountability. But sometimes the leader of the group will bring in a process, whether it's a prompt, that you say, to bring up certain things you didn't really think about in the conscious, waking hours, if you are basically these things help you get deeper and think about things in a way that you usually don't. So it could be a prompt, like something I fear is when you just keep going down that path. It could be someone asking you who are you for five straight minutes, and then getting to the very basis of who you think you are. I tell guys the process is whatever you take of it. So if you love it, if it gives you exactly what I hope it gives you fantastic. That's the point. But if you hate it, if you feel uncomfortable with it, if you think I'm an idiot for bringing this process in that is your work. And maybe it's not big work, maybe it's simply noticing it, but maybe it's huge work. Maybe you have to ask yourself why you're so triggered by this. Maybe you have to ask yourself why you don't want to think that. And so just like the process is whatever you take from it, the trigger and the event is whatever you take from it as well. If you get angry and bitchy and become a victim, then you lose. Who cares? Nobody's gonna save you. Your life is your own. You're the only one able to make your life better, and it's time that we take responsibility for him. It's not by nerfing the world, or creating safe spaces or any of that other woke bullshit. by fortifying your own self, you get better by finding value in your own identity. By finding self worth and self confidence, you can and should feel better than this. It's not your fault that you feel so triggered, or that you have these defense mechanisms like you were not the one who originally gave yourself the hurt or the wound, likely your father, your mother, a bully, someone at school, a sibling, these things are not your fault. And they are your responsibility to fix. They're your responsibility to feel to move through not to let them ruin your life, not to let them run your life and not to let other people be hurt by your reactions. And so anytime you have a reaction, it's a gift. You now have something to direct your energy toward. It's an opportunity to ask why over and over again until you hit bedrock and uncover your truth. As a man, you must build the tools to stay calm and grounded during chaos when your inner pain is poked. If you can physically protect your family, rebuild the house after a storm or build a successful business amidst global uncertainty. But you can't stop yelling, you blame others. And you allow external forces to dictate your mood and actions. You're only halfway there man. True masculinity and mature fatherhood requires both of these skills. So next time you're triggered, give thanks. You've been given a guide to help you heal, grow and improve, and then get to work.

A couple of ways to continue doing this work to get more comfortable with being triggered include meditation, I like to use the waking up app, I have used the headspace app, I have done all sorts of meditation, eco meditation, simply following my breath. clearing my mind, I have done a lot of different ones on Insight Timer, which is an app that has free meditations, I've actually recorded some meditations on Insight Timer. Another resource is journaling. Make a list of all the times you're triggered, simply free association, write whatever you feel like write whatever comes up for you. Start asking yourself why on a regular basis do some intentional introspection. Who are you really? What do you know about yourself? What about your history, your childhood look in the places that you keep dark, do breath work to move some of this energy, a lot of this energy is caught in the body and needs to get expressed breathwork is one of the best ways to do that. And finally, consider hiring a coach a therapist a counselor, join a men's group, get amongst other people and share more openly. Because this is one of the best ways whether or not the other person can help you see things that you didn't see before simply opening up is actually quite healing and is a huge part of the process. So find someone else with whom to do this work. That is it for today. Thank you very much for listening to the Dad.Work podcast. You can find show notes and everything else needed the dad dot work slash pod that's da d w o RK slash pod. Make sure to please leave a review if you're listening on Apple. If you're listening on Spotify, hit that follow button if you're listening anywhere else, make sure you're following leave a review where available and please share this if this was impactful for you. Would you share this to your Facebook friends to your Instagram? Would you let another father in your life know about the Dad.Work podcast? If you have any questions, please make sure to get in touch on Instagram. That's Dad.Work dot Curt on Instagram or send me an email Curt C u RT at Dad Dad.Work I hope this has been helpful. Have an excellent weekend with your families. Make sure to do something intentional. Make sure to find some time for yourself as well. Because when we fill up our own cups we are more able to fill up the cups of our family. We are a couple of weeks out from Christmas I know things are getting hectic you guys got this will talk to you on Monday with the next episode of the Dad.Work podcast

that's it for this episode. Thank you so much for listening. It means the world to find out more about everything that we talked about in the episode today including Show Notes resources and links to subscribe leave review work with us go to dad dot work slash pod that's di d dot w o RK slash pod. type that into your browser just like a normal URL, Dad dot work slash pod to find everything there you need to become a better man, a better partner and a better father. Thanks again for listening and we'll see you next time.

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