I thought I would share this little story around emotional triggers and the subjective nature of reality. Why? Because it’s a wonderful example of an old pattern almost hijacking an incredible experience. This is a slippery little pattern that hides out in many of us as imposter syndrome, misplaced humility, poor self esteem, fear of success, fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of acceptance… ring any bells? It also can sit solidly in the dreaded drama triangle.

My experience was around my art. I decided this year (2022) to be more visible in my art practice (hence publishing my ‘Gay Landeta Art’ Facebook page). Being more visible became less daunting (as patterns do when they are challenged) and I felt very supported universally after a few wins at the local show.

But becoming comfortable as we expand doesn’t mean those old emotional triggers aren’t waiting! No matter how much work we do triggers will hang about because they are trying to protect us. And their gift is one of growth.


What is an emotional trigger?

It is that awful feeling of shutting down or needing to run away and is related to the fright/flight/freeze response that mammals are hard-wired for to protect them when they are mortally threatened.

It also manifests as distortions of reality as we gain more control over our logical mind. Aside from being confronted with a true threat, it can happen when we get close to an ‘edge’ – when we are getting ready to step outside our comfort zone. The brain whispers untruths and we are too emotionally engaged to logically step away.


Mine started when I decided to enter a local Art Prize. I thought I was feeling pretty confident about my art and loved my piece, even though it was simple. I framed it up and that little devil of an emotional trigger came along and took over my brain, settling on the actual reality that my artist friends would be entering with beautifully executed pieces and the paranoid personal story that it would look like kindergarten work beside them.

My ego was terrified and the anxiety was crippling! Fortunately I mentioned this to my partner who gently responded with ‘OK, don’t back yourself then’, which brought me to my senses enough to remember that I had decided that it was worth entering and so it must be. And that while an art prize is competitive, art is a subjective experience. (Which was both comforting and terrifying – if only I knew the bar I had to jump I would know if I could or couldn’t do it!)

So I entered with the thought, ‘OK, either my art friends will look askance at my new direction or I will win something’. And guess what. I came first. I cannot tell you how exciting and surprising that was – but it also reminded me that when I am stressed I cannot trust my inner voices. This is a key learning for us all when we are triggered. A true inner voice is only supportive, never a devil!

I also reflected on my erroneous thoughts about how I could deal with the competition if I knew what the bar was going to be. That too was just a red herring my ego was using to undermine me and keep me safe. Brain Gym® modelling shows that when we are in stress we move into a competitive state of mind, that was just my cortisol working over time.

My learnings were around the non-negotiable nature of the practices I use to keep me in my best self and right mind. And how missing a few days of these might not matter in the day to day but matters incredibly when the sh*t hits the fan or old patterns are triggered.

The latest brain research shows that everyday practices that return us to a calm and centred state, ie our best self and right mind, are essential to support the production of Serotonin – our natural mood stabiliser and protector of our health and wellness. So if an emotional trigger is hijacking your wellbeing the questions you could  ask yourself to start to future proof yourself are :

  • What daily practices can I do to keep myself in my best self?

  • How do I know when I am triggered and that little devil is trying to divert me?

  • And what can I do to bring me back to my own centred state when it happens? 

And if you need help uncovering what that looks like for you I would love to help you figure it out!


Emotional Triggers


BTW, want to read more on this subject? Have a look this article – Overcoming Fears And Being The Light That You Are!


******* This was written with the intention of helping you to live your best life, I would love to hear your thoughts on this, And if you think someone else would enjoy it please feel free to share it around. And check out my free stuff on my membership site here! *********

********* if you want to know more about how I can help you Create The Life You Want To Live please do get in touch! ********

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