In that short little gap between the event (stimulus) and your reaction, you have the ability to choose. Choose the way you will respond to the event.
The gap. That little millisecond where you decide subconsciously how you will react.
Trouble is, our reaction is based on our history, culture, past perceptions, hurts, grievances or wins. And often it’s an emotional reaction which we feel we have no control over.
We base our reaction on our own unique view of the world. And that’s based on our relationships, current dilemmas, excitements. And to make it harder again so does everyone else!! Everyone has their own history they are basing their reactions on.
Ever use the phrase ‘it pushed my button’ to justify your explosive reaction to someone or something? Well, it did stick it’s finger in your sensitive spot didn’t it?
And here is the challenge. Because we are emotional about what ever just caused our reaction we don’t make a good decision 9 times out of 10.
I’m going to suggest that if you find yourself reacting to certain things, take time to breathe and choose your reaction. Choose it based on the actual circumstances rather than an emotional response. Accept responsibility for your reaction. Don’t assume they were out to hurt you.
My ex step-son used to provoke the highest emotional reactions in me. If I change that way of thinking and turn it around to accept responsibility, it sounds more like this. I was continually challenged by my stepson. I chose to react explosively. Now, the little voice in my head wants to blame him, but I know deep down my reaction was an accumulation of events and challenges which stopped me from seeing the situation with clarity. One step outside and we can see it in more focus. Just like when we hear other people’s challenges. It seems so simple to us.
Easier when you’re not in it. Yes?
Here is a great video about how blind we are to our own circumstances. Enjoy 🙂
What do you need to do to be capable of choosing your reaction?
Photo by Rae 🙂