Inspirational Thoughts motivation responses

Managing Our Responses

A good guide to live by

An Overreaction can be described as an irrational, emotional reaction to some situation, leading to a response that is more forceful than is justified or can be considered reasonable.

When faced with an undesirable situation, our immediate instinct is typically to switch to self-preservation mode. In the absence of information we try to fill the gap with what often turns out to be the ‘worst case scenario’. The problem is that sometimes we end up doing more harm than good.

The impact of overreacting not only affects us, but potentially anyone else involved in the situation we are responding to. In fact, it can make the situation worse.

Interestingly, when we respond without the benefit of information, our response typically betrays our deep rooted fears, or even stereotypes, that might have shaped our expectations.

When we expect bad to happen – especially as a result of past experiences – the slightest resemblance can lead us to conclude that this IS in fact the reality. Put another way, our perception of a situation is often shaped by our expectations.

The bottom line: An overreaction is like using a sledge hammer to drive in a thumb tack. It will get the job done, but the damage can be devastating!

O. N. Rowe

We can learn to minimize overreactions by pausing before we respond; by considering the possibility that we could be wrong; and by taking steps to gather as much information as we can, or as we need, to help with applying an objective response.

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” – Charles R. Swindoll


Life = Perspective

If you feel you can’t overcome your current situation, or that you can’t change your circumstances, try changing your perspective.

Life is like the filter feature in a photo App. Your underlying situation may remain the same, but you can do various things to change your view of it, things that might make all the difference in the world!

To a great extent the perspective through which you view your life often shapes your reality. That is because your expectations impact your actions, which in turn determine outcomes. If you believe you can do something and work towards it, very little can prevent you from achieving it.

On the other hand, if you do not believe something is possible, you are defeated from the outset because your level of conviction will again determine your level of effort, which in turn affect your chances of success.

The optimism inherent in a ‘can-do’ attitude energizes someone and fuels their passion to succeed. Often times, it is this passion that ultimately changes what could have been a disastrous failure, to a resounding victory.

O. N. Rowe

Success in life requires a certain level of faith. Sometimes this faith is based on observation of cause and effect over time, which helps to shape our expectations and the relationship between actions and outcome. For example, someone who does well in school is more likely to get into a better college, education, job, etc., than someone who does not get similarly good results. There is no guarantee that the outcome will end being what you expect, but still you proceed with the expectation of similar, or better, outcome.

In the same way, a significant contributor to our success or failure to overcome our challenges rests with our perception of our ability to overcome. It is not necessarily the situation itself, which sometimes might be bad, but other times will not be as bad as they would seem at first.

As we look back at our past experiences we can often conclude that the most significant observation would have been that our experiences in life, and how we respond to them, are significantly impacted by the lens through which we view them.