Have you ever walked away from a situation/interaction and thought, “I should have done this or that differently”, “I wish I had thought about that situation more before I reacted to it”, or, “I really made that situation worse by reacting before I thought about it”?
Often our pre-programmed responsive attitudes push us to react immediately to any given interaction or event; when we do so, we ARE IN REACTION in that particular situation. When we are in reaction, we usually say and do things we later regret.
Merriam-Webster defines reactive: 1) readily responsive to a stimulus, 2) occurring as a result of stress or emotional upset.
When we react immediately we often do not give ourselves ample time to process the information/situation or think about the potential impacts that our reactions may have (We often react to our immediate emotions at any given moment).
Being “PROACTIVE” allows us to consider different situational outcomes based on different ways of responding to that situation.
Merriam-Webster defines proactive: 1) acting in anticipation of future problems, needs or changes.
Being proactive is the same thing as being reactive; the only difference is, you’re not reacting but responding to the stimulus.
1. Think about a time when you were in a situation when you found yourself upset beyond what most would expect in such a situation.
2. Ask yourself, “Was or Am I in Reaction? Yes? No?”
3. If Yes, what happened……
4. How did I get triggered?
5. Had I taken time to think about the situation, would I have reacted differently? If yes, what would have I said or done differently?