I Choose to Control the Way I Respond


In any given situation we can react or we can respond.  It took me a long time to recognize the difference.  But I’m finally mastering it.  Whew!  Nevertheless, I have discover the power is in the pause.  Taking just that one moment to pause and think can make the difference between reacting versus responding.

When we react to adverse situations/outcomes, it typically comes from our insecurities or emotional wounds.  More than times than not, at least in my case, when choose to react things do not end favorably for all parties involved.  We either leave ourselves at a disadvantage and/or others.  When we react, it is an automatic kneejerk way of handling things.  I guess that’s why it’s call REact because we tend to do it over and over again until we choose a different way to respond.

I think most of us will agree that life events that leave us feeling like we have no control and/or is causing us to spiral out of control can be the most unsettling.  So how do we challenge ourselves to in controlling the way we respond when face with situations, people, outcomes beyond our control?  I thought you would never asked.

We can do one or more of the following.  By the way this is far from being an exhaustive list so feel free to drop your favorite way you challenge yourself in the comments because I’m all for learning more ways to practice control.  Here’s my short list:

  1. Wake up each day with the determination no matter what happens your number one priority is to feel good no matter what happens in your day.
  2. Reframe the situation in your mind by looking for the seed of benefit.  No matter what situation we are face with there is at least one positive aspect we can cling to and it’s our job to find it and keep giving thanks for it until the positive aspects begin to multiply and they will.
  3. Count our blessings.  Maybe it’s too difficult to find a positive aspect in whatever it is that’s beyond our control.  That’s when we have to count our blessings in  other areas of our lives.  We can give thanks for life itself, our limbs, our organs, our senses, our minds, our family, etc.  I think you get the picture.
  4. On a daily basis catch yourself in the act.  What are you thinking by default?  What are your pet peeves?  What are your do or die rules?  Where are you guilty of black and white thinking? Do you blame others constantly or do you take responsibility for what happens in your life and your outcomes? Are you in control of yourself? do you practice putting yourself in the other fella’s shoes to see how things look from their perspective?  Look for the breadcrumbs to figure out what causes your automatic reactions so that you can start to detect when the triggers are activated and press pause to figure out the best way to respond.
  5. Reflect on the ways you’ve been tripped up in the past and research and discover more win-win ways to handle it in the future.
  6. Learn the art of forgetting.  Sometimes we react because we have rehearsed stories from similar situations from our past which causes us to have extreme reactions whenever we feel we aren’t in control of something.
  7. Learn to let go of a need to control it.  Many times  wanting to be in control is resistance.  Learning to let go means we learn to surrender and understand that whatever is happening will somehow someway lead to our higher good and that it’s just a golden link in our chain.
  8. Imagine things working out in your favor by keeping a positive mindset and affirming a positive outcome and trust that Universe is always orchestrating on your behalf.
  9. Change your focus from what you cannot control to what you can either control or influence.


At the end of the day, it is most certain there will be times when things are out of our control, that’s the time to challenge ourselves on how we will choose to respond.  We always have control over how we choose to  respond.  Pause for the cause and choose to respond.   Remember to share your tips in the comments.  Thanks!

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