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Can You Choose How to React to a Situation?

One of the most important self-love and self-growth practices we can engage in is elevating our consciousness enough to be proactive instead of reactive. Things happen every day, every hour, every minute, that we have to react to—whether it’s a physical, mental, or emotional reaction. Over time, most of us become so disconnected from our consciousness, which is our true selves, that these reactions become immediate reflexes that we seemingly have no control over. They happen so frequently and so unconsciously that, for the most part, we aren’t aware they are occurring, let alone how they are impacting our lives. 

Choosing how you react to a situation, from the big to the small, is important not only because it gives you the inherent POWER to actively decide who to be in this world and how to show up each and every day, but because it also determines how much negativity vs. positivity there is in your life. Whether a situation is positive or negative is determined entirely by you, your heart, your soul, your mind, and your beautiful consciousness. You are the sole being in charge of how something in your life is perceived, understood, and reacted to

A nonfavorable situation happens, your years of reactivity kick in, and immediately all the dread, fear, hopelessness, and anger sink in. That’s option 1. Option 2 gives you the distinct right to look at an unfavorable situation and shift the perspective to see the positive: maybe this happened in order for me to slow down, to see other opportunities in my life, to create the space for me to grow as a being.

This practice requires us to be mindful in every scenario, to be proactive about our emotional response rather than resort back to our reactive selves.

Sometimes it’s hard to receive the truth because we interpret it as criticism, knowing that truth makes us responsible for either making changes or accepting reality. Stepping back and looking at the negativity we have chosen to bring into our lives makes us, not our spouses, not our jobs, not the universe, responsible for it. Although that can feel like an overwhelming burden—I AM WHOLLY RESPONSIBLE FOR MY HAPPINESS???—we urge you to see it as a tremendous gift.

This week, we want to challenge you to notice your reactions to everything, from waiting in an elevator to walking into the office late, to dinner with loved ones. What is your normal response to stressful situations? Can you try reacting in the opposite way? If you usually get frustrated, can you take a moment, notice that reactivity, and change it from frustration to love? The proactive approach is to do the opposite of what comes naturally. If you get super stressed out about being ten minutes late to a big meeting because of traffic, can you try staying calm and being grateful for those extra quiet minutes to yourself?

Do something every day that scares you. Taking responsibility for your own actions and asking how you can improve can be scary. But it can also be freeing. We cannot wait for you to feel that air beneath your wings!