Are You Holding A Grudge?

blowoffDon’t be an angry bird. If you’re the sort who believes that anger is just part of your DNA– I was born this way, you say– you might want to rethink your claim. Holding a grudge and holding onto anger is not just who you are.  None of us are hardwired to get angry. That’s just a bird-brained notion.

If you feel your blood boiling at the suggestion that anger issues are not innate, take a minute to read the below where Bob Burg, author of ADVERSARIES INTO ALLIES: Win People Over Without Manipulation or Coercion shares his 7 steps to overcoming anger. They might just help you blow-off some steam.

1) Become aware. Without awareness that there is a problem, we won’t do what we need to do in order to overcome it. If you’ve recognized anger as a problem in your life and a hindrance to your personal and professional effectiveness, congratulations!

2) Desire. Truly desire to lose anger as a character trait. This is key. Without the desire to change and a commitment to see it through, utilizing these methods will be no more effective for the long term than trying to cover an already infected injury with a band aid.

3) Imagine. Picture situations and scenarios that could happen (perhaps based on past experience) that would elicit anger and see yourself handling them in a calm, constructive, and positive manner.

4) Play. That is, play a mind game. Pretend you are in the midst of an outburst of anger. Then imagine that a seven-foot-tall, 450-pound, ferocious looking man wielding a machine gun enters the room, looks at you, and says, “If you don’t stop your anger right now, you’re in trouble.” Would you be able to calm down and immediately end your angry outburst?

5) Recognize. If you could do it in that situation, then you’ve just proved to yourself that you are capable of not becoming angry whenever you are motivated enough not to be. And if you can do it once, you can do it whenever you choose.

6) Apply. Next time you find yourself in a situation where anger is welling up and you feel as though you’re going to explode, first become conscious of the situation. If you begin to rationalize (rational lies) that you cant’ stop yourself , imagine the very large machine-gun-wielding man threatening you.  Remember that you could (and would!) calm yourself if you found yourself in that circumstance. And if you could do it then, you can do it now — your desire to lose the trait of anger will have to be stronger than the immediate gratification of letting yourself erupt into the familiar angry rage.

7) Build on your small success. You don’t have to be 100 percent successful in order to take pleasure in your progress. Maybe the first few times you simply don’t get as angry as usual. Or you handle it well a couple of times and then slip up. Then you do it well again. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be perfect. Just do your best. You’re well on your way.