How you react is how you feel

Have you ever reacted in a way that you regretted in hindsight? Was an angry reaction that you had, on later reflection, perhaps a little unnecessary?

It may be an obvious statement but our reactions to things around us (circumstances) are heavily influenced and guided by our thoughts and feelings. Our triggers. These triggers are a product of personal events, environmental factors, spoken words or gestures, personal history or health.

There are certain truths in the Universe that we cannot ignore. One is that the past cannot be changed. It’s already happened so you definitely can’’t change it. Another is that we cannot control other people. You may command an influence over other people, but you do not control them. There are plenty of other universal facts, but for the sake of this blog we’ll expand on these two.

There is a strong theory that demonstrates that results we achieve in our lives can be controlled through understanding the facets of a reaction. Under this theory, we can all achieve extraordinary things in our life, by controlling those things over which we have control and accepting things that we cannot control. The latter can just be accepted with a feeling of neutrality.

This idea can be summarised as:

A Circumstance or event will trigger a Thought.
The Thought will cause you to have a particular Feeling
Feeling(s) will drive your Actions
Actions will produce your Results

Using this model, any result in your life can be traced back to an action, that came from a feeling, that was the result of a thought. So by controlling our thoughts, logically, we can control results in our own lives. This is what leads to personal growth and achievement.

Whoa… really? Let’s look a little deeper and break that down.

Circumstances are those things in your life that you cannot control. The facts. Provable. These are neutral and remain so until we apply value to them through our thoughts.

A thought is, put simply, one sentence that you have in your mind that is generated by the circumstance. The thought is NOT fact – however real and tangible the thought feels to you.

From the thought, you will have a feeling or emotion.

A feeling is one simple word describing how you FEEL – created by the thought that you just had about the circumstance. A vibration in your body …. Sad, mad, glad, happy etc. An emotion. The emotion or feeling is what will drive your action. The result is what that action created in your life.

Here is a simple example of how this may show up in our lives:

The Circumstance – Doing a daily exercise routine in the morning
Your Thought – It won’t help anyway
Your Feeling – Apathetic
Your Action – Turn off early alarm and go back to sleep
Result – Weight and fitness remain the same

Try changing the thoughts and therefore the feelings:

The Circumstance – Doing a daily exercise routine in the morning
Your Thought – It will help me lose 5kg for my wedding
Your Feeling – Motivated
Your Action – Get up with early alarm and do exercise routine
Result – On the way to losing 5kg!

Recall some reactions that, on reflection, could have been handled differently in your past. Try putting this theory in motion for yourself. You can put virtually any circumstance or situation into the top line (e.g. relationship, activity, work).
Change the thought of a circumstance or situation to produces a different feeling, and therefore a different action, so you get a different result. This time a better one. This really works!