In the previous blog I already wrote that regularly exploring our own thoughts and emotions is not for sissies. Indeed, it takes quite some courage, as well as heaps of empathy … for ourselves to start with. Our emotions and thoughts often seem to swing back and forth because of external events occurring in our lives. We feel and think positively if good things happen to us. On the other hand, a discussion with e.g. our boss or one of our colleagues can easily drag our thoughts and feelings down into a negative spiral. The magic of constructive relationships does not happen above the water surface, where we merely observe (read: often judge) the other person’s behaviour. We need courage to empathically dive into the depth of our own and the other person’s thoughts and feelings where connection and understanding can be found. Have you ever reflected on the idea that it is not “the others” causing you to feel upset, sad or angry, but that in fact they – often unconsciously – activate one of your emotional switches already present within you ? Each time we feel triggered, we get an opportunity for self-growth. The triggered part tells you about old hurt that needs your attention to heal. In that sense people who often trigger us, are valuable mentors on our path of self-growth. Self-development starts with the belief that we can master our own thoughts feelings and therefore also our own behaviour. That we are able to bend our mental automatic pilot patterns, if we are committed to practising this regularly. Taking time for reflection on what is going on inside of you is the first step to increased self-awareness. Understanding how interconnected your thoughts, feelings and behaviour really are, will eventually allow you to turn them around.