It’s Easy To get Hijacked

It happened midway through the second of three sessions in our new Next Steps Personal Reflection workshop. I got hijacked.

Getting hijacked is easy stuff. One minute everything is moving along smoothly, and then suddenly – wham! – the ground slips beneath our feet. The sad thing is that we often don’t even notice when our emotions have been taken over by events.

I get hijacked a lot. Seriously. A lot.

My wife, my daughter, my coworkers and my clients – yes, all of you over the course of a normal day trigger an unanticipated, and usually unpro ductive, emotion or reaction in me. It can happen in seconds, and be over just as fast.

It’s the times when it doesn’t end quickly that concern me. Paying attention to serious hijacking – and trying to address it proactively, and productively, is hard work!

It happened to be during a recent workshop. In the span of several minutes, I moved from engaged to disillusioned – for no discernable reason. As the participants in the session leaned into small group discussions about their personal values, I allowed something far deeper – my fears, anxiety and ego – derail me.

I spent the remainder of the session questioning my abilities, and judging my effectiveness – not in a positive way. A moment of doubt turned into a running negative inner dialogue.

And then something happened. As the session wrapped, and participants wandered into the night, someone lingered.

“I just wanted to tell you that this workshop has been hugely valuable to me,” she said. And as simple as that, the hijacking ended.

We spend a lot of time in our Insights workshops talking about the Ladder of Perception, and the ways we can experience events and quickly twist them out of proportion. It’s natural to walk away from an experience with our own interpretation – and for that interpretation to be limited.

Racing up the ladder – through assumptions, interpretations, judgments and conclusions – is usually a very subconscious act. Having the ability to hit the reset button is hugely helpful. Just as helpful? Having someone else walk up and hit the reset button for you.