Are You Responding or Reacting to Life?

It is such an empowering feeling when you feel like you can do something about situations in your life or the world. Or, is that only me – the controller of the Universe?

March Blog

There are many places in our world today where people are frightened, hurting, and concerned for their safety, their children and their future.

In the midst of these unsettling times such as economic downturns or disasters, people have the right to feel unsettled. Just like with the terrorist acts in Belgium and Paris, and oh, how close to home with 9/11 or the Oklahoma City bombing.

But, an important thing to remember is that when you feel empowered or like you can do something, it will help you feel better You will not feel like a victim or out of control. You will return to a calmer and more peaceful place more quickly when you take charge of what you can do.

Stephen Covey talks about your circle of concern and your circle of influence. There are situations out of your control and when you get worked up over things you can’t do anything about, you are giving your power and health away. When I was a principal, there were laws, rules and regulations the federal government, state government or the district gave us. If I didn’t agree with them, I could have worked with the legislators or policy committees to voice my concerns before they happened or offer new solutions to help make the situation better. That was my circle of influence or concern.

Otherwise, it did me no good to be in angst over them because the only person it was hurting was me. I could choose peace or frustration.

My choice.

Do what you can, where you can rather than allow the situation (s) to rule, ruin or destroy your life.

When uncertain, horrific things happen in life, you need to decide personally what you can do about it. Watching fearful images shown over and over again, keeps the situation repeating in your life. Your nerves, emotions become unsettled. You are staying stuck in fear.

This is your life, take charge of it in your circle of influence. You can’t change that the bombings happened or the oil prices went down. You can stay away from the media. You know it happened, you don’t need to feed that anymore. Get the information you need, and move on. Make choices that make you feel safer, in the direction you want for your life. For me, that is more love, joy and peace. I make decisions to add more of that to my life, and an even greater effort when things go array. I need to get balanced again, feel safe and secure. I find situations that show me where people are doing great things in the world, helping others rather than destroying. I reach out in my coaching because I want to teach people how to take charge of their lives so they feel more in control, especially during these scary, painful and hurtful situations.

Find strength and courage to look at the reality without staying in the fear. Is it easy, not at times. Especially if the situation is close to home, like a loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness, or lost a job, or the disaster hits your home or neighborhood.

But you have choices. You must know what restores you back to a peaceful, loving place when you are derailed. Yes, life does that to you and me. Do you need more faith and trust rather than living in the fear? What rituals can you do that help you? Put structures in place that can guide you back to serenity. Find support and resources that can help you change the direction of your thoughts.

Tips for taking charge of your life for a more peaceful life:

1. Who or what are you listening to?

A way to know how this is impacting your life is to ask the question, “How do I feel during it or after seeing or hearing this?”

    1. If you feel good, calm and peaceful then you have made a choice in alignment with your heart and soul. If you feel anger, hurt or discouragement, limit the amount of time you spend in these situations. They are not healthy for your well-being. Work toward eliminating them from your life.
    2. You are letting fear guide you if you choose to continue behavior that is not in the best interest of your well-being. You are being a victim rather than being in charge of your life.
    3. For example, tornado season is about to happen in Oklahoma. Rather than spending hours of worry listening to or wondering if one might come near you.
  • Make your surroundings safer for you ahead of this season. Yes, they do happen.Have your plan of what everyone in your household will do when the alarms go off.
  • Follow through on the plans.

2. Take some action to make the situation better. Be part of the solution.
Keeping with the tornado theme.

  • If you know of some area that was hurt from the destructive action, donate. Donate your time, money or supplies they need. Take some kind of action. Action is empowering.
  • Do one thing to make your home or area safer in case one comes near your home.


Remind yourself, you have a choice – are you responding to life or are you reacting? Yes, “stuff” happens, but it is whether you are playing victim or victor over your life.