by Suzie Doscher, Life and Executive Coach - The Coaching Group of Switzerland
Learning how to respond to a situation rather than reacting brings huge rewards. Needless to say, it is one of those behaviour changes that are easier said than done. However it can be achieved.
Being able to respond to /act upon means you are in a mindful place - a place where you are aware of your thoughts and feelings. This means you have considered the situation and the response that best suits you.
'Responding' rather than 'reacting' means you are choosing your behaviour. To 'react' indicates that a button has been pushed – something triggered you not to take the time to think and consider your response. This can often leave you in a position at the mercy of others.
Some of the benefits by stopping the knee-jerk type reactions are:
Time and patience will be necessary and understanding that making mistakes is normal during this 'reprogramming.'
Different kinds of 'reactions'
Many reactions come from your upbringing, experiences, assumptions and beliefs that are limiting. One of the responsibilities of being an adult is to recognize that you have the power to change. Introspection, personal growth and personal development work will help give you a better understanding of where triggers might come from and specifically what might set them off.
With the support and encouragement of a coach or other professional to decondition yourself from habitual reactions to people and situations. 'Debugging and reprogramming our software' is a wonderful gift to yourself.
8 Suggestions to help you learn how to stop reacting and start responding / acting: