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Mouse Traps to Explore Exceptions and Solutions

Mouse Traps break the worry cycle to develop new habits and behaviors

create-learning team building & leadership

Worry is something that we all of have. Worry stops us from;

  • Taking risks
  • Exploring the unknown
  • Gaining new knowledge
  • Changing
  • Listening
  • Making more money
  • Confronting team members who are not doing their work
  • Being happy and doing meaningful work


Worry follows a familiar pattern

Event (internal or external) –> Worry (Thoughts & Feelings) –> Worry—Physical (Stress reactions) –> Worry—Behavior (Checking & Avoiding) –> returning to Worry

This cycle is vicious. 

So how do mouse traps break this? A mouse trap has an external worry attached. Fears from getting injured, to rodent phobia etc…

Attaching and working through a Worry, creating familiarity with the worry, determining the exceptions to the worry and what solutions can happen, and the final step is attaching a solution that the person has to the mouse trap.

Here is how I generally sequence Breaking the Worry Cycle with Mouse traps.

  1. Explain the worry cycle
  2. Explore techniques to reduce worry i.e. behavior replacement, breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation.
  3. Illustrate how mouse traps work
  4. explore worries and individual worry of mouse traps
  5. Practice until familiar and have a working comfort with traps
  6. Explore when people felt comfort with the mouse trap, and how they increased their comfort.
  7. Explain about breaking the worry cycle. Looking for exceptions to the worry and facilitating a discussion about solutions finding. 
  8. Ask people to write a worry they have on the trap
  9. Ask people to write a solution or exception to the worry on a note card 
  10. Guide people though a visualization of worry reduction and techniques.
  11. Guide people through a visualization in feeling, seeing, smelling, hearing, observing when the solution / exception is taking place.
  12. Interaction with mouse traps through Trust:Trap:Sequence
  13. Facilitate a discussion comparing and contrasting comfort levels and worry of mouse traps.
  14. People gain concrete and metaphorical skills in breaking the worry cycle to find solutions and exception with the mouse traps.


Mouse Traps and the Worry Cycle – good stuff. To discuss this further contact me

Michael Cardus is the founder of Create-Learning an experiential based consulting, facilitation, training and coaching organization. Leading to successful results in retention of staff talent, increased satisfaction with work, increased collaboration and information sharing within and between departments, increased accountability of success and failures, increased knowledge transfer, increased trust as well as speed of project completion and decision making of Leaders, Teams and Organizations.