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Creation vs. Reaction

Aug 16, 2020

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see" 

                                                                                          - Henry David Thoreau


It feels to me that we are currently living in a very reactive world. 


In our technological age, information comes to us at warp speed and it seems that many times our reactions, both verbally and physically, happen so fast that we are not even conscious of how we are responding. 


One may look no further than our current political environment to see this each and every day.  Regardless of what side of the spectrum you find yourself on, reaction, often of the inflamed sort, seems to be the order of the day. 


I believe most of you would agree that we are a much better representation of our best selves when we refrain from unconscious reaction and move into mindful creation



What this means to me is before we speak or take action regarding any situation that causes us to feel anger, fear or resentment, we take the time to access the situation before we respond 


Although it may seem like the right thing to do in the moment, reacting with unconscious words and/or actions of anger or attack usually brings additional discord to the situation and causes us to regret our actions later.


In working with my coaching clients (as well as myself) and speaking event audiences, I often take them through a process I call Forward Focus Discussion


This is a process that allows us to assess any challenging situation so it may be dealt with a mindful and solution-based response.  This exercise can be done with a partner who asks you the questions and just listens as you respond or done in solitude with your journal. 


It goes something like this.


  • Describe a challenge you are currently facing.- Describe it in detail using as much emotion as necessary to communicate your anger, fear or frustration.  As I tell audiences who are doing this process during my talks, hold nothing back.  This is your time to channel your inner Tom Hanks or Meryl Streep and be as dramatic as possible in your sharing of events and happenstance for how you've been wronged or challenged.


  • Describe what  REALLY happened. - Slow down and describe what is happening without the drama and/or story.  Just the fact, ma'am.  If your boss, significant other or child has upset you, detail only the events; free from your judgment of the other person or their perceived pattern of insensitive behavior.


  • What are the positives of this situation?- Name at least one positive aspect of this situation - I guarantee there is one.  It might even be that that this situation serves as a means of you no longer putting up with something and making a healthy and empowered choice to do something different, but it is there.


  • What is a solution to this circumstance?- I have come to believe that there are no challenges we may face that do not have a solution.  They may be difficult to see or may take courage to act upon, but a solution to a challenge does exist.  When you change your thinking from "problem-oriented" to "solution-oriented" you create the environment for ideas to flow.  Opportunities you may never have thought of before now have the space to become alive in your consciousness.


  • What can YOU do to make it happen?  This is probably the most important question of all.  When we ask ourselves this type of question, we begin to make the journey from victim to creator in any circumstance.  Even if our first idea of action may not be the best, just getting ourselves in motion creates the space for other ideas, solutions and actions to be born and acted upon.


Creation vs Reaction.  Interestingly, these words are only distinguished (when written) by the position of the letter "C". 


Allow yourself to be controlled or influenced by what you see/"C" as unfair, overwhelming or worrisome and you will find yourself in reaCtion


Mindfully look at the challenge and consciously see/"C" the situation for what it truly is and what you can do about it and move yourself into Creation


The choice is yours.


Chris Natzke

Black Belt Leadership Speaking & Coaching

PS:  If you have finally decided to get moving and experience a BREAKTHROUGH in your life, check out my new program, the Mind of a Champion Breakthroughs Mini-Course.  


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