“React vs Respond”, it is a strange battle of the inner self, but interestingly, both give us the same feeling when we hear the words, but the truth is quite different. These words carry different emotions and produce completely separate results. This is why it is important that we figure out the basic emotions behind these two human activities.
What is Reaction?
A Reaction is something we tend to produce to counter an action. Newton’s law– “Every Action has an equal and opposite Reaction” is a good indication, what reaction actually means.
Reaction is totally dominated by the action and its purpose. When a reaction is performed, it will most likely be suppressed under the strength of the action that created it. In most cases, our reactions are cultivated with nervous actions. The reason behind this is the “at a loss” moment we face after an action is made.
Reactions are usually hard to control. If you recall your reactions, you will observe that most of the times the sudden emotions got the better of you. You were not able to keep things comfortable and the reaction didn’t help you much. This is probably because of the lack of conscious effort behind what you are doing.
What is Response?
On the other hand, a response is something that is performed using a very conscious effort. It always has some sort of thought behind it. People who respond to a situation always have a legitimate base to the response that they are exercising.
If a reaction is a sudden action, then the response can be termed as a conscience action. Response is also a sign of mental toughness and inner strength. People who are responding to situations can become good leaders.
There is a famous quote Bob Proctor uses that simplifies the difference between reacting and responding:
When you are reacting to something, you are giving away your power. When you are responding, you are staying in control of yourself
How to respond rather than react
After understanding the difference between reacting and responding, the question is- is it possible to turn yourself into a more responsive person? Thankfully the answer is- yes. Through my work as a life coach and my regular interaction with different people, I’m positive that a human being can respond more to situations rather than reacting to them.
From my experience, the biggest barrier that people have in this matter is mainly confidence. Our lack of confidence makes us react to the situations or life conditions we face, rather than responding to them. We feel uncertain of ourselves and the uncertainty makes us act rashly when we are facing any new development. Thus, the first step in the process to become responsive is to be self-confident.
How to turn a reaction into response
Fear is a reaction; courage is a decision- Winston Churchill. The path of overcoming the
fear and turn it into a decision is very much hidden in our body. According to ancient Chinese martial arts, we need to have control of our inner self in order to be in control
what is happening around us. This control of our inner self in a particular moment in time has a lot to do with our breathing and how we control our body.
Below are some easy steps to be in control of yourself in that split second when you decide whether to react or respond:
1. Control your breathing and body
Breathing has a significant impact on our thoughts and actions at a specific moment, thus control over our breathing helps us to respond accurately. This is something you can practice anytime, anywhere. Most of us are not aware of how we breathe, but this has a lot of impact on how we do in different situations. Whenever you face a sudden incident, try to have control of your breathing and it will automatically restore control over your body.
2. Your attitude speaks about you
Bob Proctor has always mentioned that our attitude holds the key. A positive attitude will always give you the vibe to handle situations with confidence. This will help you get rid of reactions that you were used to having. A positive attitude also helps in having control of ourselves which is very important when we are reacting or responding.
3. Always Project Your View
Most of the time we get overshadowed by an action or incident and this only makes us react in a nervous way. The best thing you can do in such situations is to come up with your own point of view. In other words, try to give the circumstances a shape that you want. This mindset will help you stay on your feet and it will slowly develop mindfulness. This mindfulness will help you respond to different situations with the courage required to dominate them
Consider having help
When reviewing your thoughts regarding the subject It’s always a good idea to discuss them with other people and get help from other sources. This approach will create positive thoughts on the subject. You will be able to analyze your actions as a “reaction” or “response”. As soon as you start doing that, you will feel that you are growing in confidence and responding rather than reacting will become much easier.