Pause. Breathe. Choose.
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. A profound statement written by Viktor Frankl in “Man’s Search for Meaning.” In the pause and breath, we can choose to respond from our higher nature. We can choose to create our future instead of repeating our past.
I hope this blog continues to find you and yours healthy. These are intense times. Emotions are high, nerves frayed. There has been a 30% rise in mental illness. As world changers and leaders, we need to remember we are not our emotions. Emotions can be changed. I am practicing mindfulness to keep my emotions and brand intact. When I feel triggered by an event or person, I “Pause. Breathe. Choose.”
“Pause. Breathe. Choose.” allows us the freedom to respond not react by challenging the thoughts behind the emotions. The following practices help keep emotions and brands on track while navigating these spectacular times of growth.
One. Does this particular event or person warrant this strong reaction? If yes, how do I proceed constructively? If my reaction is not warranted, I choose to change my reaction to keep my brand whole. I later question what thoughts or history were underneath the intense visceral reaction that needs to be explored and resolved.
Discernment creates wisdom while judgment creates suffering for everyone, including me.
Two. During the pause, I avoid going off on someone by not jumping to conclusions by seeking clarification. I listen to their frame of reference and then choose my response. A personal story might help. Early in my speaking career, it took all the courage and faith I could muster to go on stage. I wanted to be a Zig Ziglar whose every word was deliberate and rehearsed. During this one keynote, I mentioned that when my alien is about to jump out of my chest and destroy, I pat my chest and say, “not now” – a reference to the movie The Alien – and seek clarification.
Immediately after the keynote, a lady bolts down the aisle to see me. I’m thinking, “yeah, me.” Then I heard, “You are the most unrehearsed speaker I have ever heard.” My alien was about to devour her – my greatest fear exposed: being perceived as unrehearsed and not good enough – but thought it best to seek clarification to align with my message. “Hmm, tell me more.” She responded, “You spoke from your heart and you have changed my life forever.” Happy tears poured down my face. I gave her a huge heartfelt hug.
Bottomline, don’t let your fears and emotions run amuck. Assume good intent until proven otherwise.
Three. I ask myself, “Would I’d rather be right or be happy? Is this a battle worth taking?” If it is, I proceed breathing deeply to have the needed conversation. If it’s simply my ego, I let it go and smile.
The last of human freedoms – the ability to choose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstances. Viktor Frankl
While we are pausing, breathing and choosing, let’s choose to take our happiness off hold. Happier people create happier tomorrows for everyone.
Need an emotional tune-up? Count me in. We’re in this together. Email me to schedule a complimentary 15-minute call to de-stress and smile. Virtual hugs! Ellen
May the Lord bless you and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you His favor and give you peace.