Please be patient. A whole new experience is on the horizon...

Start:Jul 04, 2020

Duration:15 Minute(s)

Goal: this Cognitive Trail will improve the ability to separate fact from fiction. (Perception vs. Reality).

Description: 'Perception vs. Reality' is part of The Next Step navigational series designed as a GPS for transition-age foster youth and other young adul ... Read More


Step 1

Go to the video icon to watch a clip that shows how to land on your feet when life knocks you off balance.

Tell us what you thought about the message when you've finished.

Step 2

The video shows how some situations can 'knock you off your feet' when they first happen. At the same time, what you thought was bad can turn out to be very different.

It's all in your perspective.

Has anything knocked you back recently? If so, what happened?

Step 3

What emotional 'land mine' was triggered and how did that make you react?

Step 4

Do you think you reacted before you had time to think things through?

Step 5

Acting before thinking is a response - an old survival tool - that makes things worse.

Sigh....Been there.

The most effective tool we've learned is to slow things down - pump the brakes - when triggered.

The initial feelings are going to be there going off like alarm bells. You can't help that.

As soon as you feel those feelings, hit the 'pause' button.

Take a moment to slow down your response to those first emotions long enough to find out the truth about what's really unfolding. The situation could turn out to be completely different than what you'd assumed.

Eventually, it will feel natural to take the time to find out what's really going on in situations that make you feel jumpy now.

Are you willing to give this a try?

Step 6

If you said no, then you're welcome to return to these steps when that last nerve of yours has suffered enough.

If you said yes, then revisit the interaction you described above that went sideways.

Do you remember what you were feeling when the thing happened?

Without going into detail, can you connect this feeling to anything negative that happened in your past?

Step 7

In the most recent situation, what did the other person involved say or do to make you feel your initial assumption was accurate? Or was it?

Step 8

Are you willing to try a new go-to response, another set of tools?

Try this when confronted by something that triggers you:

*Slow down your thoughts - pretend your thoughts are running water and you're turning off the faucet
*Count to 10
*Listen to what is said - not the way it's said or who's saying it
*Shoulders back and head up
*Take a long, deep breath
*Look the person in the eye
*Ask clarifying questions (Keep them clean and no attitude)
It could something like, "Hey, I'm not sure what I just heard (or saw)? Can you help me out here? What just happened?"
*Listen carefully to the response
*Think about what was said
*Respond the same way you'd want them to respond to you

You should calm down by the time you get to "listen to the response".

How willing are you to give this a try when you feel triggered again?

Step 9

Role play your new go-to response.

You can do this in front of a mirror, but you'll learn more if you ask a friend, mentor or a trusted relative to be your sparring partner.

If you go this route, ask your role play buddy to come up with a statement or question that's open to interpretation.

For example, they could ask something like, "Hey I'm not sure I heard you right. What did you mean?"

Or it could be something you saw. "I'm not sure I saw what I thought I did? What just went on?" are you going to practice? Mirror or buddy?

Step 10

If you're really uncomfortable with this, try the mirror first and then graduate to a role play buddy.

How does that sound to you?

Step 11

Get going.

We'll check in with you tomorrow.

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