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5 Things to Do to Increase Your Response-Ability

5 Things to Do to Increase Your Response-Ability

Life is tough and it is intended to be that way. Just like the opposing force of weights train muscles to develop and gain strength, no one develops sufficient strength and capacity to progress without working against the winds of adversity. The ability to respond to things that happen in life is a vital necessity. It is a skill that can be developed.

When the ability to respond—“response-ability”—is equal to the level of the difficulty or challenge, that is a success. You can then prepare for even greater challenges that will require a higher level of response-ability and greater growth.

When the response-ability is weak and insufficient to meet the difficulties and challenges life imposes, that’s when various coping strategies are employed, many of which are unproductive and emotionally paralyzing, further reducing the ability to respond.

Here are five ways to increase your response-ability when hard things happen:

  1. Step back. Identify what you are feeling. What thoughts and beliefs are behind those feelings? Ask, “How is my emotional reaction helping or hurting in this situation?”
  2. Put the problem into proper perspective. What is really the problem? Often when our ability to respond is inadequate, our tendency is to exaggerate what is actually happening, to make “mountains out of molehills.”
  3. Get sufficient information—facts. Feelings are not facts. Breathe, suck it up, and take ownership. Life goes on whether you respond effectively or not. Life may have thrown a curveball, but life will go on. Life doesn’t have a problem. You do. Take ownership by gathering sufficient information.
  4. Analyze the options. We have a tendency to be blind to the options available when we freeze in the face of a big difficulty. We may devolve into all or nothing thinking, failing to consider other options available besides the one that might be our knee- jerk reaction to the problem. Solicit the view of others whom you trust and have your best interest in mind. They might have some good ideas.
  5. Evaluate and decide. Be creative, not reactive. Those words are spelled with the exact same letters, anagrams of each other. The difference is shifting the “c.” Put the “c” first. See first, then decide. Then take action. Then evaluate the level of success in meeting the challenge. That is good response-ability.

By increasing your response-ability you will grow the muscles to deal with whatever life throws your way.

— Jesse L. Dunn (adapted from the GO Broken to Beautiful/Badass™ Manuals)

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