Have you ever had an experience where someone did or said something to you and it really hurt your feelings? Or maybe it made you angry that they would even say something like that, or possibly you felt both anger and hurt? What did you do? Did you react by being mean and saying hurtful things back? Or were you able to stop and think a minute before saying or doing anything that would make the situation worse so that you could respond appropriately? There definitely is a difference between responding and reacting.
Reacting is when your subconscious is in control. It requires no thought on your part. It is instinctual and natural to defend yourself in reaction. It also suggests force and negativity. However, reaction does not take into consideration the effects of what you do or say.
Response, on the other hand, is when you take a minute to stop and think. Then choose what to say or do in the situation, maintaining control and being fully aware of your actions. You decide how to respond with respect and thoughtfulness from a positive standpoint, even if you feel justified in your feelings of hurt.
Choosing to respond rather than react, is being in power of the situation. You may still feel hurt or anger, but you are looking for a way to make it better rather than making it worse with a reaction you will regret later. When you react, you give away your power and the outcome is not going to be what you want. Taking a second to think before you react, in any situation, is when you keep your composure, don’t fly off the handle, and decide what is the best response for me and this situation at this time.
When a situation causes you to feel defensive, hurt, frustration or any other negative emotion, stop and think first. Take even just a few seconds to choose how to respond. By choosing to respond, you leave your mind open to receive ideas that can improve or resolve the situation. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. Just don’t get so far down into your emotions that you can’t see anything else. This is a situation where you want your conscious thinking mind to be engaged. And when it is, you have more control of the outcome, more control of the end results of an emotionally charged situation.
There are many different circumstances which can cause an emotion that will tempt you to react. Realize that often it has nothing to do with you. It may be something going on with the other person and they aren’t thinking clearly, or they are reacting without thinking. Other situations are completely out of your control. It’s a waste of energy when you react with such intensity to something you can’t do anything about.
To help you create the habit of responding rather than reacting, consider doing the following:
If we’re truly thinking, we always have a choice on how we respond to something. When we’re not thinking, we react. Next time something happens to create an emotional trigger, remember to stop and make a conscious choice. Respond or react. Which one will you choose?
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Are you committed to something until it gets difficult or until your attention is drawn to something else? Are you conveniently committed, all in as long as it fits your schedule? Or, are you so committed that no matter what comes up, no matter how busy your day is, no matter who calls and wants your help, that your commitment is a priority and it will get your attention above all else or in spite of all else?
Inconvenience will expose your commitment. When doing the work or setting aside the time becomes inconvenient and your commitment to the goal has not wavered, that’s when you know you are truly committed and are all in. Having a deep conviction, being totally invested in the goal and you KNOW that nothing is going to stop you from achieving what you’re going after NO MATTER WHAT, is when you truly have commitment.
Having commitment doesn’t mean you always know how to get it done. It doesn’t always mean you have the resources you need right now, or that it doesn’t scare you. It does mean you have the grit, the perseverance and determination to see it through. It means you will figure it out and that you are taking the committed action to move toward what you want. Commitment requires action. When no action is taken, there is no commitment. When you take the action, it creates momentum. Once you have momentum, things start to happen, resources will show up, ideas come to you, and what you need shows up when you need it.
Commitment shows up in various ways. It can be manifesting your big goal, serving on a committee, completing a project or coaching your child’s little league team. Whatever the commitment may be, someone else is counting on you. Sometimes the person counting on you will be YOU. It always feels bad to let someone down, even yourself. There’s a tendency to mentally beat yourself up. That serves no purpose. Don’t do it. Never talk to or think bad about yourself. Take the lesson and move on. Get back in the game with a deeper level of commitment.
If you find it difficult to stay committed, look for an accountability partner, someone who will hold your feet to the fire and not let you off the hook. This is someone who is a cheerleader for you and will also hold you accountable and make the tough calls when needed. An accountability partner is a valuable asset. I have had one for several years and can honestly say it has played a significant role in getting me to where I am today.
An accountability partner should be someone who supports what you do, supports your dreams, is willing to take the time to do it and will be honest and tough with you as needed. You will in turn reciprocate and do the same for them. It’s a win-win for both parties.
What are you committed to? What would you like to commit to? A commitment from the heart is so much easier to follow through with, so make it something meaningful for you. When you are emotionally invested you will find that doing what you commit to is so much more enjoyable and the reward is so much bigger. Get in the game. Find your accountability partner and make the commitment to achieve something great in your life.
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