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You just had an emotional outburst at home or at work and you're feeling guilty or embarrassed. Maybe you've been snapping at people a lot lately and you aren't proud of your behavior.

If you're starting to notice a pattern, it might be time to stop and ask yourself - what is it that I really want in this situation?

Often, when you find yourself behaving in a way that you don’t like, you have a positive intention that is being expressed inappropriately. You just need to find an alternative way to achieve it; for example:

  • You yell at your kids for making a mess. The real issue might be that you’re trying to provide a nice home for your kids or teach them good habits. When they make a mess, you feel as though you’ve failed. Instead of yelling, you could talk to them about the way you feel and how their behavior impacts the whole family.

  • You say something hurtful to your spouse/partner about their unhealthy eating habits. Maybe they've been gaining weight and you feel helpless when they choose to be unhealthy. Instead of criticizing, you might express your love and concern and ask how you can be supportive.

  • You're impatient with your parent who offers unsolicited advice. It's possible that you want your parents to be proud of you and you interpret advice as criticism. You feel as though you’re "not good enough." Instead of being impatient, one option is to acknowledge that they're just trying to be helpful because they love you. You could let them know how you feel.

  • You have an angry outburst when your boss gives you more work. The real issue might be that you want to excel at your job and be appreciated for what you do, but you feel overwhelmed when your boss keeps piling on more work. Instead of getting angry, you could discuss how important it is to you to do a good job and be honest about what you're encountering.

These are all just examples and your own situation might be very different. The point is that you have a positive intention that is coming across in a negative way. The first step is to be aware of your reaction and what is happening in your mind and body. Just noticing your physical and emotional state is a big step.

Next , you can ask yourself what it is that you are trying to achieve. Once you are able to identify your positive intention, you can come up with alternative ways of behaving so that you can reframe the situation and satisfy your ultimate goal.

There's so much in life that's beyond your control, including what other people say or do. There is one thing that you can control and that's your mindset. You have the power to determine your own behavior and attitude. You just need to look inward and find the answers.

Need help identifying your positive intention or changing an unwanted behavior or habit? Let’s talk! Contact me.

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