Less stress and increased power comes from increased control. Increased control comes from increased choice.
The good thing about choice is that you always have one. Even though it often doesn’t feel like it.
We always notice when events, situations or external influences are beyond our control; when we feel powerless to do anything. But we can make a simple mental switch to increase our control over them. We can see these external influences as stimuli. Stimuli to which we react.
This simple change means that you’re in control. Seeing the external world as a stimuli rather than a definite reality gives you the choice of how you react to them. Your choice of reaction gives you control.
Whether it’s a bad day of board gaming or simply the weather, you can choose how you react to these stimuli.
Your reaction, your choice, your control, your power.
You can apply this concept in lots of different scenarios to increase your control in all of them.
In my post Managing Negativity I explain that you can’t choose your feelings. But you can use the concept above as part of the way you react to the world and manage your emotional state. The tools in Managing Negativity help with your emotions while the approach above can help empower you with the choice of your reaction, regardless of your emotions.
If someone sends you some negativity with a word or an action that causes you to have an emotional reaction, that’s fine. You have the power and ability to apply one of the tools in Managing Negativity to manage how you’re feeling. If even after having applied a tool you still feel strongly about the situation, you can still 100% control how you behave. Just because you feel an emotion it doesn’t mean that you have to be driven by it.
Making a Change
In Mastering Change I talk about creating a change in the world around you, through cause and effect, by changing your own behaviour.
This process begins by realising that the world is a stimuli and your behaviour or your reaction to it is your choice. You control your behaviour and therefore you control your influence on the world. If you find the right behaviour, you can drive the right change in the world.
Archimedes: Give me a lever and a place to stand and I will move the earth.
The reframing approach in Managing Negativity can also help with this approach; to see new opportunities and possibilities in the world.
The Potential in Difference and Diversity
Choosing to use the Reframing approach can be especially useful in allowing you to see the power in differences. In the same way that you can choose to look at the world through the eyes of someone who has behaved incorrectly towards you, you can choose to look at the world through the eyes of someone who you respect but who sees the world differently to you.
If a person you respect disagrees with you, then for the respect that you have for them, it is worth taking the time to understand why. Choosing to use the reframing approach can help you take this step to understanding their perspective.
- You’re a thinking human being rather than an instinct reacting animal
- You can behave, react and act upon the world in any way that you choose
- You have control and influence wherever you have a choice
- Therefore you have the power to create change in yourself and the world around you