TRIGGERED AS HELL: What That Really Means (And Why It’s Actually A GIFT)

By Shelsey Jarvis

Tell me if you know this one: your day is going along fabulously, and then somebody makes an offhand comment--and suddenly that gut-punch hits you and your day goes from flying high to crashing hard.

TRIGGERED AS HELL: What That Really Means (And Why It’s Actually A GIFT)  |  Left-Brained Hippie

It’s that moment when you’re triggered as hell by somebody.

Somebody said or did something, it hit you the wrong way, and just like that you’re a twisted wreck.

Triggers aren’t just limited to “IRL” interactions, either. You’ve probably noticed that social media has gone apeshit these last few years because people are offended by E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Trigger bombs are going off on just about every platform there is.

So triggers have pretty much become an issue of global proportions, right?

But what is the real deal when those triggers happen? Where do they come from, why do they happen, and the big question--can they be stopped?

Here’s what made me think of this…

There’s a student in my Freedom Beyond Money course who recently came to me with a major button-pushing issue--her boss. He’s always picky, never pleased by anything--pretty much gets on her last nerve every damn day.

Sure, having a demanding supervisor is hardly unusual in the world of the J-O-B. But for some reason, this guy was really hitting her stress buttons hard.

But she didn’t bring it up just to vent by the watercooler about it. Her question was deeper. She sincerely asked me “What does this mean? Where is this coming from?”

Basically, she recognized that for whatever reason this “horrible boss” was triggering her. And she wanted to get to the bottom of it.

That’s what inspired me to take on this topic. I mean, we all have people in our lives who annoy the shit out of us. Everybody’s triggered by something at some point.

But the truth is, those triggers are there for a reason--and believe it or not, it’s a good one.

So today, I’m gonna tackle triggers--and show you not only why they happen, but also that like everything else in life, they’re happening FOR you and not TO you.

In other words, triggers are a GIFT.

First off, let’s define what “getting triggered” actually means.

When something or someone triggers you, it means that they’re actually setting off one of your subconscious beliefs.

Something that’s been lurking in your head, maybe hiding for years. And then somebody says something and POW! That thing is your face, wrecking your high-vibe day.

What does it feel like?

It could be that gut-wrenching feeling that ties you in knots. Or tightness in the chest or throat. It might be that thorn that lodged in your brain that you can’t stop thinking about (and you’re not even sure why!)

Maybe you feel like you’re shrinking--you know, that sinking feeling of contraction when someone bursts your bubble?

Really, any negative emotion directed at anybody is a good sign that the old trigger has been tripped.

Now, when somebody annoys the hell out of us, that’s usually exactly how we put it: “they’re annoying me”. We put the burden on them and say that THEY are causing the trouble, being annoying, acting like an asshole--you get the idea.

Usually the conclusion becomes something like, “if ONLY they would stop doing that…..”

But here’s the deal--you might not like to hear it, but here goes….

When someone triggers you, they’re actually not the root of the problem. It’s actually YOU.

When someone triggers you, they’re actually not the root of the problem. It’s actually YOU. Read more here:
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So really, it’s not their “fault” if what they say sends you into a tailspin.

Here’s why: if the other person was entirely to blame, then they would annoy everybody in the entire world equally. Everyone would see them, feel the same way, and nobody would want them around, right?

But that’s rarely the case.

I mean, think of that one person that everyone you know loves--but you can’t stand them. There’s also the flip-side, too--when there’s somebody who drives everybody else bat-shit crazy--but you don’t mind them at all.

But there’s no universal response to this person, right?

So when it comes to it, it’s not the other person making you lose your mind--it’s something that’s been set off inside of you.

So what does being set off by somebody else actually say about us?

Sometimes triggers indicate a secret fear that we have about ourselves.

Let’s say you’re walking down the street and some random person comes up to you and says, “hey, you’ve got blue skin!” Would you take it seriously? I doubt it! There’s there is nothing in you that believes that this is true.

But suppose that you had some sort of skin condition where you really did have a patch of blue skin--and you’ve always been embarrassed and ashamed by it. In that case, you’d probably be totally set off---because you know that there’s some truth in that person’s comment.

Or how about those moments when some random troll shows up your blog or social media? And what if they’re spewing stuff to the tune of “your content is BORING” or “you don’t have any real VALUE”?

If there is any part of you at all that fears that this might actually be true, then guess what happens? BOOM! Trigger-fest. Self-doubt, negative chatter, big-time shrinking--you name it.

What happens next? You focus on THAT. And don’t even notice the 100 other people who are loving the hell out of your content.

So that’s the first step--knowing that it’s not the person or the circumstance that’s setting you off--it’s what you’ve got going on in your head.

So let’s get to the bread-and-butter of it here--what do these nasty triggers actually mean?

Again, put simply, triggers are a mirror of your subconscious beliefs.

When someone bugs the shit out of you, it’s not ALWAYS just “their issues”. Sometimes it IS about you. Read more here:
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Here’s the top 3 ways ways that triggers might bring out those all-important beliefs:
  • Someone challenges one of your subconscious beliefs

  • You perceive someone as a threat to one of your subconscious beliefs

  • Someone shows you “proof” of a subconscious belief as actually being true

Here’s a few examples to put that all into context…..

Scenario #1:

Let’s say you have the subconscious belief that money has to be hard work. Maybe you grew up watching your parents bust their asses for their salaries and yet barely scraping by. So in your world, getting money has to be back-breaking labor or you didn’t really “earn” it.

But then lo and behold, you find out one of your “competitors” just made a killing sending out a mere few emails to her list--and in the blink of an eye she sold 10K worth of her programs. Easy peasy. (And with about 30 minutes of work!)

Naturally that makes YOU go apeshit, right? But why?

She’s actually challenging your belief that money has to be hard work. You might find yourself saying, “No, that’s not possible! That’s not fair! Money should come from hard work!”

And so the internal explosion goes, right?

Scenario #2:

Let’s stick with that same competitor and look at it another way. Suppose you believe your niche is small and the clients are few and far between. In this case, you might go off because you believe that she’s taking too big of a slice of a limited pie.

In other words, you see her as a threat because she’s taking all the clients--and there won’t be enough left for you. Which means you’re a failure. And it’s all her fault.

AND finally….

Scenario #3:

Do you believe that rich people are assholes? Let’s say that this a “tape” that’s been on a repeating loop in your subconscious for years.

So one day you’re waiting in line at Starbucks when some lady with a fancy haircut, a Gucci bag and a fur coat cuts in front of you. And before you know what hit you, you think, “how fucking rude, you rich bitch!”

What happened? She’s proving your age-old belief that rich people are assholes because she confirmed it--and you can’t stand her for it.

See how that all works?

So now that the reasons for triggers are less of a mystery, the next question is what do you DO about them?

After all, if you keep ignoring them, they won’t get better. And they might morph into something that really gets big and out of control.

Here’s what I suggest: Start by seeing triggers for what they really are--A GIFT.

Start by seeing triggers for what they really are--A GIFT. Read more here:

They’re actually showing you that there’s something your subconscious is holding onto--something that needs to be examined and released.

And seriously--when you can render powerless the things that up until now stopped you cold, it works wonders for your growth and expansion--and your vibe!

So how do you see triggers for what they are and clear them with a lot more ease?

Next time a pesky trigger shows up, ask yourself these four questions and watch what happens. You’ll get to the heart of the matter fast--and then kick it to the curb even faster.

Question #1:

What Am I Making This Mean About Myself? Looking back at the scenario about that competitor “stealing” all the clients--ask yourself this: what are you making that mean about YOU? Maybe you believe that it means you’re doomed to failure, maybe you believe it means that you could never make it anyway, the list could be endless.

When you ask yourself what you’re making those triggered feelings mean, you might uncover some underlying beliefs that might’ve been sabotaging you for a long time--and without your knowledge.

Question #2:

What belief is this triggering? Let’s take the rich-person scenario. Now, if some rich lady cuts in front of you in line, ask yourself this: are you thinking that she’s an asshole because she has money---OR is it because she’s just rude in general?

In other words--clarify that belief that’s popping up. Be as specific as you can. You might find that the belief you had isn’t what you thought it was after all.

Question #3:

Am I afraid on some level that this is TRUE about me? So what about that social media troll? You know, that random person who shows up and trashes your work, calls you a fraud, or whatever the haters are saying these days?

Do you have a secret fear that they’re right? Is there a part of you that thinks “OMG, what if that’s true? AM I a fraud?”

If you find that you DO fear that the haters are right, that’s definitely worth exploring. And as soon as you can.

Question #4:

What does this person make me FEAR? Let’s take your “competitor” again. So she’s supposedly taking all the clients. Now, what does that make you fear?

It might be that you fear that you’re missing out--on the clients, the money, the prestige--everything. You know, good ol’ FOMO kicks in, right? That feeling that no matter what you do, you’re always gonna miss the bus?

Puts everything in a whole new perspective, right?

See, when people seriously trigger you, it’s actually a GIFT. It’s an opportunity to free yourself from something that doesn’t serve you--and get rid of it for good.

In the end, you might actually want to thank the people who trigger you! After all, if they never triggered you in the first place, that crappy belief might’ve continued to cause trouble behind your back for years to come.

Take on triggers like this from now on, and I promise that your personal growth is gonna skyrocket in ways that you are going to love. Because when you nix the hotspots, your personal landscape will be a lot less of a minefield.

So what do you think? Do triggers make more sense now--and do you have a better idea of how they can be your ally instead of your enemy? Tell me how this all sits with you--and share any “a-ha” moments that you had! Hit me up in the comments below!


About the Author

Hey, I'm Shelsey, and I help female online entrepreneurs clear the mindset gremlins that are sabotaging you from the inner corners of your brain. Join me in the Left-Brained Hippies Facebook community!

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