Hot Button Mastery, part 1: Introduction

Dear friends,

My apologies if you recently tried to go on my website and couldn’t access the page. My website was infected by a virus and has been periodically down ever since. I don’t know if it is a lesson from the universe about boundaries, or about impermanence, or simply a good excuse not to blog! I have had zero time to write in the last seven weeks anyway. But now I’m back! I’m still having technical issues and time shortage, but I’m determined to create space for blogging. I’m launching a new series on Hot Button Mastery. Stay tuned and please indulge me in my inconsistent rhythm. I look forward to hearing from you again soon.









What if we could evolve enough to catch our ineffective reactions, laugh at them, clean them up and move on? What if we could avoid our ineffective reactions altogether?

Transforming our hot buttons is an indispensable skill to being a leader the XXI century*.

*To learn about another skill to be a leader in the XXI century, read Asking for help in the XXI century

In my blog Don’t push my unsusbcribe blog button, I described thoroughly my hot button as related to feeling like rejected and not good enough. However, I didn’t say a word about getting rid of hot buttons. This will be the subject of my upcoming series.

Definitions and samples

A hot button is a point of sensitivity that represents a threat to our self-worth. It’s the top of the iceberg of our ego*. When a hot button is triggered, our perception of reality is distorted. We react ineffectively with a fight or flight response**. Our options are limited. In other words, we “retract in our box”.







*The Ego: the constant preoccupation with one’s self-worth. At Learning as Leadership (LAL), we refer to a Pinch® as the reactive mechanism when a hot button is triggered.




Hot buttons are like mine fields, dangerous whether active or inactive. But contrary to mine fields – which are mean and ignoble- hot buttons can be our allies and contribute to our growth. Recognizing that there is a field -and naming it- is a first step toward solution.


I’m sharing my personal list of hot buttons, in case it can help you identify your own. Feel free to copy my list since this is an area of my life where I am not competitive or territorial at all. Feel free to send me a version of your hot buttons. Together, we can create an amazing collective repertory of fears and irrational believes that will help us feel joined in our flaw, as well as alleviate the misunderstandings and false conclusions that pervade human relationships. I can’t wait to be part of this neurotic community!










My hot button field, organized in three categories:

Please, highlight the ones you relate to and add yours!

I-About my intrinsic worth

Being less than

Being a disappointment

Being weak and vulnerable

Not being a good human being

Being selfish

Being greedy

Being self-centered

Being arrogant

Being ignorant

Not being loveable

Not being desirable

Being self-righteous

Being wrong

II- About my competency

Being incompetent

Not being good enough

Being a failure as a mother

Being unprofessional

Being incapable

Being a failure as a spouse

Being confused and inarticulate

Being a fraud

Being out of my league

Being a failure as a consultant

Being irresponsible with money

 III- About how others treat me (a consequence of my lack of intrinsic worth or lack of performance)

Being unfairly treated

Not being heard

Not being respected

Being rejected

Being excluded

Being challenged in my leadership

Being taken advantage of

Being let down

Being disregarded

Being judged

Being dismissed

Being controlled and limited

Being over-powered

Being told what to do

Being made fun of

Being criticized

Being victimized

Not being taken cared of

Being ignored

Being invisible


Hot Button Mastery, part 1: Introduction

8 Responses

  1. I get incensed when you assume I have Hot Buttons! LOL

    AB May 1, 2015 at 4:40 am #
    • LOL too! I’m sorry to answer so late. My emails doesn’t deliver comments anymore.

      Carole Lévy May 21, 2015 at 2:14 pm #
  1. H.B.M. part 4: Short term costs and long-long-long term benefits | Carole Lévy - May 26, 2015

    […] Why is self-awareness so important in this Hot Button Mastery series? […]

  2. H.B.M., part 5: Does your time management system support your self-awareness? | Carole Lévy - June 17, 2015

    […] to the hot button mastery series after the celebration of my 100th blog! Here is the conclusion of my extended elaboration of […]

  3. H.B.M., part 6: Choose the path with cheese! | Carole Lévy - June 23, 2015

    […] step is SELF-AWARENESS. I think I largely covered this step in my last… FIVE posts! Did I indulge myself too much in a comfortable subject and avoid the more challenging steps toward […]

  4. Maxi-intentions for mini-actions! | Carole Lévy - August 25, 2015

    […] it is always important to learn to transform our hot buttons. Stay tuned: the third part of the Hot Button Mastery series is coming […]

  5. Who wants to be the elephant in the room? | Carole Lévy - November 2, 2016

    […] wants to be the elephant in the room and it is certainly a hot button for me. If we want to minimize the possibility of it happening, here is (very broadly) what we can […]

  6. A challenge for Thanksgiving: Overcoming our tribal instincts | Carole Lévy - November 20, 2016

    […] Perhaps because over the last three years, I’ve been personally training myself to cool down my hot buttons, with a recent special focus on my anger diet, smiling at my fears, stepping out of my comfort […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.