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The Only Thing We Control Is Our Reaction

https://medium.com/@krisgage/the-only-thing-we-control-is-our-reaction-f1cf20cba6ee

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The Only Thing We Control Is Our Reaction
It may sound counterintuitive - "of course external events can harm us!" we might protest, "I can get hit by a bus, or my partner might leave me!" But the reality is that the story doesn't actually end with the external occurrence, even though so many people think it does.

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Eleanor Roosevelt
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

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External events don't harm us

Even if this sounds counterintuitive, only our responses to them can have this effect.

These events only have the power that we choose to give them. They only destroy us because we think they are destructive, and allow them to run our lives.

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Maintaining control over our lives

The occurrence of a bad event does not necessarily have to result in sadness.

If we take away the power of external events and reclaim our internal power to decide, gage, and assign value, we maintain control of our lives.

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Cicero
“When misfortunes appear on the horizon, we exaggerate then once more, because of the pain they are causing us. These feelings compel us to put blame on the circumstances when what we ought to be blaming is a deficiency in our own character.”

Cicero

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We're not immune to loss

We are going to experience negative emotions in life (anger, sadness, heartbreak, etc.) 

And recognizing that our mindset is not at the mercy of external events, but rather something that is under our own control can go a long way in fostering a healthier, happier outlook.

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Motivation is a complex process

Motivation is a complex process

Motivation is a complex process to explain or to realize fully.

Motives are internal experiences that can be categorized into needs, cognitions, and emotions that are influenced by envi...

Motivational strategies that show success

  • Teachers that plan lessons to be interesting, curiosity-provoking, and personally inspiring have better success in motivating their students to read.
  • Leaders have better success in motivating their employees when they take the employees' perspective and invite them to create their own self-endorsed work goals.
  • Parents are more successful when they try to truly understand why their children don't want to do something and then take the time to explain to them the benefits of the activity.

Most successful interventions do not try to change another person's motivation or emotion directly. Instead, they make changes to the person's environmental conditions and the quality of his or her relationships to encourage them to leave behind neglectful or abusive ones.

The basic psychological needs

According to Self-Determination Theory, there are three basic psychological needs which we want to satisfy:

  • Autonomy (self-determination). We are motivated when we have a choice in terms of tasks, time, team, and technique.
  • Competence (capability and effectiveness). Mastery is a mindset. When we strive toward something greater than ourselves, it demands effort.
  • Affiliation needs (association and belonging). We are motivated to form long-lasting positive relationships with others.

External rewards do not work because we don't do rule-based routine tasks. Instead, we need to create environments where intrinsic motivation thrives, where we can gain satisfaction from the activities themselves.

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Suppressing Emotions

We usually adopt cold and technical solutions to the problems being faced by the world, with little regard to 'unstable' feelings like passion and emotion. As a species, we have always s...

Emotionally Healthy

Emotions can help us handle complex issues, and are an essential part of rational thinking; they are helping us envision future scenarios and this is called pragmatic prospection.

An 'emotionally healthy' mindset can be developed by the self-transcendent emotions like empathy, gratitude and wonder, which are focused on others.

Emotional Rescue

The world's problems like global warming, air and plastic pollution, and terrorism cannot be solved without empathy. A lack of empathy makes us focus on short-term goals, and our greed, ignoring the larger, more difficult problems that need to be tackled

Even if someone does have empathy, it is limited to one's inner circle, and not towards humanity in general. Our empathy needs to be towards the entire planet and its inhabitants. The current age should harness humanity's emotional side if our future generations want to remember us as 'good' ancestors.

Diffuse the fear of being rejected

... by acknowledging and expecting it can and will hurt.

To overcome the sting of rejection, stop trying to avoid feeling that stings. Stop pretending your unaffect...

Interrupting rumination

Make a contract with your partner, family, and friends allowing them to catch you in the throes of verbal diarrhea when you were unfairly treated.

Work out three or four different activities that will distract you and turn your attention to something productive. 

Regulate the number of rejection opportunities

 ... you expose yourself to.

We all have a different threshold of the amount of rejection we can handle. Wisely considering how much more you can handle is essential. 

Before you take another step forward, ask yourself if you have the right resources and support in place to catch you.