Reaction comes from a scarcity mindset–from a place of survival. It is born in the unconscious part of your mind that only sees a part of the picture. Reaction is a result of judgment—judgment towards yourself and others. We react when we believe we need to do “x-y-z” to be accepted and loved. A reaction HAPPENS because our happiness is dependent on how others think of us. You feel like a victim–at the mercy of circumstances and people. Reaction takes you away from your inner being.
Response comes from a place of love. It comes from the conscious and subconscious parts of the mind, which take account of the bigger picture. A response is free of any judgment of yourself or others. A response is doing what feels right regardless of how will people think. You understand that both happiness and sadness are a part of life, but joy is part of your being. No one can have power over you when you choose to respond. A choice you make will always empower you. Responding moves you towards your inner being.
To shift Reaction to Response:
Pause: The simple act of pausing will create a space to think. It will give you time to choose. A response is always a choice.
Feel: Tune-in to your body and see how it is feeling. With time and practice, you will know what feels good and what doesn’t feel good. A reaction never feels good.
Be Curious: Ask yourself if your thoughts are helping you show up as the best version of yourself. In the beginning, you may ask this question after the reaction, but keep practicing and soon you will do it before the reaction.
Don’t beat yourself up for reacting. It takes time and practice to make the shift. Even after all the work, you may still react. After all, we are only human. Learn from it and move on.