The Elements & Result of Upset

Three things create upset: Thwarted intentions, unfulfilled expectations and undelivered communications. All three are almost always present, but one of them is usually senior. When upset is present, the result is a drop in the level of participation and engagement. The drop can range from mild withdrawal to suicide.

Several years ago, I went through certification training to be a coach. Although I’m not a practicing coach, the training changed my inner thinking and my outer interactions with my world.

I also made several friends, including Carmine Leo. Carmine was my mentor coach. As the training progressed, we realized we had a lot in common, so we stayed in touch.

I chose to leave my 21-year marriage at the beginning of 2011 because I didn’t want that extreme upset in my life anymore. After that separation, I spent many, many hours on the phone with Carmine learning, growing, changing, working through things that were going on in my heart and in my head. I learned why I was in the situation to begin with, how to identify and avoid getting in it again, and if I did get upset, how to handle it in a way that wasn’t destructive to me or others in my life.

As part of our work, among other things, we talked many times about the elements and results of upset. I go back to them whenever there’s upset around me. Identifying what’s going on may not solve the issue directly, but understanding what’s triggered the upset gives me clarity. Knowing this is what happens to everyone somehow brings me enough peace so I can step back to examine the parts more logically. Then, I can choose a response instead of reacting from a place of upset.

Carmine said what he taught me about upset isn’t his original work. Perhaps not, but his ability to help me use this knowledge to overcome challenges and upsets was a vital part of being able to identify and understand the triggers for my own upset. It doesn’t mean I don’t get upset. But I am able to step back, understand and release upset more effectively than I ever have been before in my life.

As you can likely imagine, it’s impossible to express how priceless the gift of Carmine in my life is. I’m not trying to market him here; my intention was to share what I’ve learned about upset. But if you’re interested in working with Carmine or learning more, you can reach him at or

I hope me sharing the elements and results of upset resonates with you in a useful, powerful way.

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5 Responses to The Elements & Result of Upset

  1. Rick says:

    Thanks CJ and Carmine.
    Life is just one series of upsets after another. The only variables are the severity and frequency. I appreciate the pain you have both gone through to get where you are, and it’s time I come to grips with the things that upset me.
    Appreciate your honesty always, Rick

    • cjromb says:

      Aww, Rick, I hate hearing that life is one upset after another for you. I’m definitely a supporter of you finding your way to a road that doesn’t feel so much like that. Hugs, my friend.

    • cjromb says:

      I was going to be silly and say “That upsets me” but decided against it. Just wanted you to know that I resisted being silly. Or did I? 🙂

  2. Gail says:

    Elements of upset:
    forgetting your own words from time to time………..

    • cjromb says:

      Haha, Gail…I think that falls into the “undelivered communication” category, or perhaps the unfulfilled expectations. 🙂

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