What words really get to you? We all have emotional relationships with certain words – I call these words – “Buttons” by Malti Bhojwani – Professional Certified Life Coach & Author

July 4, 2013  |  Uncategorized

As we have all heard, life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to what happens to us.

We have emotional relationships with certain words. This is also true of many other things, gestures – someone pointing a finger at you, a particular tone of voice or sound.
I call these “triggers” or “buttons”

One of the greatest blocks to communication is that some words are emotionally charged. They are words that trigger an automatic emotional reaction within us. To use a trigger word in an argument – a word such as controlling or manipulative – can turn a discussion into a battle instantly.

Words like never and ever also do the same.
We have an emotional charge attached to certain words because of our life experience.
When someone flings a trigger word at us, or we at them, it is like we have shot or hosed them down. It usually causes them to go on the defensive and start flinging some back at us – or perhaps go into some other defensive mode, many women would panic or cry and create waves, and often men would hibernate and go into their caves. (Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus – John Gray)

As long as we are not willing to look for the cause behind our emotional relationship with a word we are still giving power to our past and whatever circumstance caused our emotional wound.

These words bring about our UACs /Gremlins/Underlying Fears.
In my coach training at ICA (International Coach Academy) we called these Underlying Fears/Gremlins – UACs – Underlying Automatic Commitments.
In simple terms, they are the things that you believe to be true about yourself and they then determine the basis for how you operate. It doesn’t matter whether they’re true or not, you believe they’re true and so you make them your truth.

We call them commitments, because a part us is habitually committed to reacting certain rehearsed and familiar way, that does not serve you anymore.

Examples of some common ones are:

– I am not good enough
– Noone loves me
– Will I ever be loved for who I am
– Am I a bad person?

How to break the pattern of reacting to triggers that activate our UACs instead of from our authentic self and our true desires?
First things first. In order to respond from the ‘our authentic self’, first we have to decide who that is.

Who am I?
Malti – no – that is just my name
Drishti’s mother – no that is who I am to her.
A life coach – that is my vocation.
A woman – my gender

So, who am I?

“Aham Brahmasmi” is how I discovered – “I am”

You can find definitions of this in Hindu scriptures.

I personally resonated very well with Deepak Chopra’s definition in the first of his seven sutra statements described in his book, Synchrodestiny.

Aham Brahmasmi:
THE CORE OF MY BEING IS THE ULTIMATE REALITY, THE ROOT AND GROUND OF THE UNIVERSE, THE SOURCE OF ALL THAT EXISITS.

See http://www.hinduwebsite.com/hinduism/essays/mahavakyas2.asp

You could also try this:
Inner Being 20 minute meditation:
Free download from here:
http://www.quantumcreations.com.au/the-path-of-dzar/

Increasing your self-awareness is about living authentically and overcoming your fears. These fears include the ones we are consciously aware of like the fear of spiders for example, and some that we are not aware of, but these are the fears that cause us to react and feel a certain way about any given circumstance.
The circumstance may be a problem or it may be an opportunity, our underlying fears will determine which.

Increasing your self-awareness is a journey full of steps forward and regression. Searching for your identity is a process with no real destination. You’ll never be “done” because you’re always growing and changing.
Living authentically and finding your identity involves dealing with your past and forgiving others.

Noticing how we react to situations and the emotions that come up will help give you the key to what your underlying fears are. After the reaction, stop and look at the feelings and doubts that come up in your mind.

When you find yourself afraid, panicking and resisting whatever is going on.
When you find yourself willing and praying for a certain outcome, you will be face to face with your deep-rooted underlying fear, which in my experience boils down to “I am not good enough” for many of us.

To help you discover these underlying fears think of what the trigger was?

We all have some triggers that would fire off the process of negative emotions.
I have some trigger words that get me going, I am sure you do too. It is that word or that assumption that often *somebody else uses on you that sets you off – and often to an uncontrollable downward spiral where you are reacting and reacting.

Not realising that you are not reacting to just the current situation but you are reacting to the primary situation. The first time you experienced these feelings and associated them with these triggers.

*Tat Svam Asi
The second of Deepak’s Sutra Statements in the Synchrodestiny:

THROUGH THE MIRROR OF RELATIONSHIPS I DISCOVER MY NONLOCAL SELF
I SEE OTHERS IN MYSELF AND MYSELF IN OTHERS.

So it is only in relationships that we get to see ourselves truly and how we react and behave, eventually through this “relating” we get to peel the layers and discover our real selves.

So, what to do?
The next time someone you are in any kind of relationship with pushes one of these buttons that triggers a negative emotion, stop, breathe and wait. Take time to respond rather than react automatically.

When that trigger is fired, ask yourself, what behavior do you want to do instead?

This can only be answered when we know who we are and who we want to be. Then ask yourself, if I have already been through my journey and have already discovered this self, this beautiful self, how would he/she react in this situation? What outcome do I want here?
What am I committed to creating here?
To fulfill and give more supporting evidence to my old negative beliefs?
Let this be another time I get to prove that –

“All women are users”
“All men are bustards”
“There are no free rides”
“People are always out to get me”

Or….. do you want to create an outcome where you get to break the old patterns and reaffirm how you can live the life you desire and that you deserve to be happy?

When we react based on our commitments (underlying or conscious),
We will create an outcome.
The key is to react based on the desired outcome rather than the limiting negative old belief.
Practice makes perfect.

Whenever we learn a new response to a predictable old pattern, we have to practice doing it deliberately. The difference is, when you do it on purpose, you can accelerate the learning. Otherwise, you are left to the slow learning that comes from repeating undesired behaviors over and over.

In the movie Yes Man, Jim Carrey’s character Carl starts out as an extreme example of someone who has an Underlying Automatic Commitment (UAC) to “No”. No matter what opportunities come his way, no matter what someone may offer him or ask of him, Carl is pre-programmed and ready with an excuse as to why he can’t do it. Later in the movie, he is hypnotized into saying “Yes” to everything.

In the end, Carl finally learns how to say “Yes” or “No” authentically and with equal conviction, based on what he truly wants rather than an old negative belief that rendered him a prisoner of his own pre-programming.

The old habit of living in the Underlying commitment only serves to give us a way to automatically come up with excuses and it prevents us from fully living and experiencing life itself. While when we start to create a new habit of responding to the situations based on our truths, not the bullshit we made up as we were growing up, we are present, aware, receptive, vulnerable and open to the uncertainty of the very next moment in time, being authentically who we are.

Aham Brahmasmi.
Malti Bhojwani


1 Comment


  1. Pooja Sharma Marwah pl cld u define in detail what u mean when u use the phrase “living authentically”..?thnks

    Malti Bhojwani – Professional Certified Life Coach & Author: Hi Pooja,

    Living authentically means living a life that is true to yourself and others. It means living congruently with your nature and being at peace with yourself by accepting who you are independent of what others say or do.

    Reshma Ramchandani Love to read yr Quotes touches my heart

    What are some of your “buttons” or trigger words, do share….I am sure we all have some similar ones….

    *stupid…

    Anisha Butaney What a great article! Thanks M

    Nimrita Bhojwani Good article malti. Very true what u said abt trigger words Will try and do what u suggested

    Joanne Tisdale AWESOME WAS TRYING TO PRINT THIS!!!!!!!

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