How Negative Impulse Triggers Positive Response

By Dan Rockwell

Redirect negative impulses toward positive actions.

Great achievements emerge when negative impulses trigger positive responses.

#1. Anger – Openness:

Stop resisting anger. Use it for good.

Angry people think they’re right. You know the embarrassment of being angry and discovering you’re wrong.

Redirect anger to openness.

Redirect anger from your mouth to your ears. What do you need to hear, not what do you need to say.

Angry people have caveman IQs. Curiosity, openness, and creativity sit on the sidelines until you chill out.

Use anger as a trigger to take a fifteen minute walk around the block.

Angry people want others to change. Use anger to explore how you might change.

Angry people want something to stop. What should YOU start?

Angry people know what they don’t like. What do you want and why does it matter?

Angry people want control. What might you let go?

#2. Bragging – Honoring:

Take all the credit if your goal is to deflate and de-energize.

Every time you feel like bragging, honor someone.

Instead of taking all the credit, give all the credit.

Never bask. Always reflect.

Would you give your best energy to a leader who takes credit or gives credit?

#3. Complaining – Responsibility.

Complainers are good at three things.

  1. Explaining what they don’t like.
  2. Describing what others should do. “You should.”
  3. Avoiding personal responsibility. “It’s not my fault.” Complainers never complain about the stupid things they do.

The difference between complaining and responsibility is solution.

Redirect complaint-making to solution-finding.

#4. Isolation – Courage.

Use isolation as a trigger for courage. Step toward things you want to avoid.

The difference between isolation and courage is purpose.

Isolation is self-serving. Purpose provides a reason to step out.

What negative temptation might become a trigger that produces positive results?

Bonus redirections:

  1. Worry – Preparation.
  2. Nitpicking last time – Reaching higher next time.
  3. Isolation – Connection.
  4. Solving FOR – Solving WITH.

Bonus material:

How Negative Leaders Become Positive Today (Leadership Freak)

What are Negative Emotions and How to Control Them? (PPP)

Why Negative Emotions Aren’t That Bad (And How to Handle Them) (Life Hack)

This post was previously published on Leadership Freak and is republished here with a Creative Commons license.

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Photo credit: iStock

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