I remember a certain time in my life where people had to say or do certain things to trigger me.
There was also a time where out of anxiety, fear or anger, I’d shoot myself in the foot by sending a dangerous text/epistle or taking certain actions that backfired.
We have a choice on how we respond to situations
When I was younger, I didn’t understand the above quote.
‘What does it even mean?’ I’d ask. I thought people only said that to sound wise.
I couldn’t understand how I could control my reaction to the bad thing someone did to me or to how intense I felt about something.
Things happen in life and some are really horrible. These things justify our behaviors and actions.
Anyone who truly knows your story would justify why you reacted the way you did or made the choices you made because it’s normal, you’re human, you react accordingly, especially when emotions are deeply involved.
As I became older, in fact, not too long ago, I realized that indeed, I have the ability to control how I respond to things.
There will always be things that will rattle you, emotions can be strongly involved, whether it’s fear, excitement, anger, sadness etc, but, inasmuch as we feel these things, we can choose how we react to, and act in stressful and intense situations.
This is not some motivational talk and as cliché as it all sounds, it’s simply one of those clichés that are true.
Someone pisses you off at work and justifiably, you can shout and get back at them, however, you still have a choice to either do just that, or keep your cool and handle them in a more graceful manner.
You’ve worked hard on a product and yet you’re not making sales. It’s justifiable to give up or sulk in that failure, however, you have a choice to do just that or find out how you can improve your chances of making a sale.
A friend hurt you and that thing they did cost you something big in your life. Perhaps, it cost you a great opportunity that would have changed your life. It’s very much justifiable to hate them and not forgive them. It’s also justified to live in pity, thinking about how things could have worked out. However, you have a choice to do just that or actively move on.
I don’t want to make small the experiences of people by making it look like it’s a switch to just react differently, and especially with hurt, it’s not so easy to move on.
Here’s something to think about; you can let that thing that is justifiable limit and control you or you can rise in spite of it.
I don’t want to sound like one of those people but it’s truly a mindset thing. It starts with the mind.
It’s hard, I admit, but it’s possible to control how you react in stressful and painful situations.
I can give some tips/techniques that could help you choose to react better, but I believe the key is in knowing yourself and how you’re triggered. That way, you put measures and help yourself do better in these circumstances.
I’m aware there are situations you are never ready for but I hope you get what I’m trying to say, which is, you can change how you see things and react to them.
One good way to do that is to know and understand who you are and how you function so you respond.
I’ll give you an example. Whenever I’m deeply emotional, whether it’s anger, sadness or fear, I know not to respond immediately to important things or things that can further trigger me.
Because of that, I’ve learned to be quiet and I isolate myself until I’m okay enough (not for long) to handle these things and then I respond.
Reason being, I can react in an unpleasant way or make the wrong choices when emotional and that’s even worse.
Here’s another example. I’m prone to sulking and beating myself up when I fail to do something right and that messes with how I see things.
I tend to lose perspective of things and make it seem like I can’t get things right, which somehow, affects how I handle things of that nature subsequently.
Because I know I’m that way, I constantly remind myself when such things happen that, it’s not as bad as I think and I only have to look at it from a different angle, learn from it and be better.
Sometimes I fall, sometimes I don’t. What matters is that I’m self-aware to know how I react and I look for ways to help me stay calm and grounded.
For you, it could be something else that works and that’s why it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.
You need to know and understand yourself so you create your own systems that will work for you. You can also learn from others and read books on how to remain calm and not react in a self-defeating way.
Don’t let people control you because of your reactions.
Don’t let people know that to get you worked up or shouting, they only need to say or do something.
That’s bad, don’t give them that power over you. Don’t become a slave to your emotions or to people.
At all time, keep your calm, focus on what’s important and try as much as possible to look at things objectively.
Don’t let something that happened to you keep you from growing and being better, no matter how justifiable that thing is.
You have a choice to respond better to situations
If it’s anything, you can also read about people that have thrived in the face of adversity.
You too can.
Feel the emotion but be composed enough to respond differently.
You have a choice on how you respond to situations.