Be “Response-able”, Not Reactive

Do you feel you are in complete control of your life, truly happy and fulfilled?  Or, like so many people today, are you unhappy and unfulfilled about substantial parts of your life?

Susan_Karim-150x150You are in control of your circumstances and how you feel and act in response to your surroundings.

In his best-selling book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, Stephen R. Covey makes it one of his key points to state that you are “response-able”. You are not like a moth flying into a candle flame because it cannot change the way it responds to the stimulus of the light from the candle.

You are a human bestowed with the capability to choose how you respond to your surroundings, to other humans, and to your circumstances. There is a lapse of time in between the stimulus you receive from your senses and your response to that particular stimulus. It is in that small lapse of time where you make a crucial choice – your response!

For many individuals, this realization is very powerful and liberating and helps them overcome difficult life circumstances such as the loss of a job, the death of a close relative, a terminal illness, etc.  Knowing that you have the freedom to choose how you respond to your circumstances can change the choices you make in your life.

A Reactive Response Empowers The Negative Circumstances In Your World To Control You

“Response-ability” goes much further than that.  Each of us is responsible for exercising choice – being proactive.

People who let go of this choice and let their physical surroundings, the opinions of others, or their current circumstances control their responses are living in a purely re-active mode.

To break out of this vicious cycle, you have to rein in your impulse to respond, as they say, from the hip. Examine your personal values and what it is that you consider to be important prior to choosing your response.

Proactivity Is Not Denial

Being proactive shouldn’t be confused with the type of positive thinking when you tell yourself that everything is okay even when it really isn’t. Being proactive is definitely not the same as being pushy or obnoxious.

When you are proactive, you are not letting you circumstances control you. You are completely free to choose how you react. You can decide to go with the flow and let your circumstances control your response if that is what you feel is the best thing to do OR you can choose to stand up, make a difference, and look for the win-win result.

Make The Right Decision Today

How do you respond to your surroundings, to other people, to your circumstances? Are there times when you know you give in and fail to overcome your impulses? Is there someone who always makes you angry? How about that last piece of cake that you can’t resist eating? Are you feeling overwhelmed by your finances?  Stop for a moment and resist responding reactively! Ask yourself, “How do I need to respond in order to experience the most positive outcome?”  Once you take that brief moment to assess your thoughts, you can more clearly see the situation and choose the best – the more positive – way to respond.

Change your decision making process and start living a proactive life today!

Susan Karim

Time Management and Personal Effectiveness Coach

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