You Can Not Control What Happens To You, But You Can Control Your Reaction

    Things happen. Many times it is beyond our control. However, even if you can not control what happens to you, you can control how you respond.

    Typical Responses

    Initially the response is probably surprise and/or shock. Of course, it depends on what it is that happens to you. If it is a positive thing then the response will be a positive one after the initial reaction. If it is not, then other less positive reactions are more likely.

    When it is a positive surprise, people are usually happy and move on in a positive way. Even if it is unexpected, responses are much more likely to be one of positivity in these cases.

    When the event is not a positive one, people can respond in many different ways. Recently, at 2:30 AM we got a call from my sister’s family that she had probably had a heart attack and was on her way via ambulance to the hospital. Soon after this we got another message that we were not expecting. The message was that she needed open-heart surgery. We were shocked. She had never had any heart problems before. Probably the reaction we all had at this point was fear and anxiety. None of us knew what to say or do.

    This is a reaction that most of us have when something like this happens. It certainly was not expected and definitely out of our control. Only God had control over what was going to happen to her. If any of you have ever been in a situation where you have no control you know what it is like and what you go through. It is a horrible feeling to not be able to control what happens. Fear and anxiety is definitely a real reaction. You simply go through the motions and hope for the best.

    Another response to all of this is anger. Why did this happen? It is a time of great stress. Sometimes we strike out at each other when we should be supporting each other. Anger is all pervasive. We are angry at everyone and everything. It certainly doesn’t help, but it is beyond our control.

    Sometimes we become depressed and withdrawn. We feel hopeless. We feel like there is nothing we can do and truthfully in many cases there is nothing we can do. Again it is out of our control.


    What does being in control mean? Many, many people have control issues. If they are not in control there is an issue. They can make another person’s life miserable if they are not the person in control and sometimes even when they are in control they are almost impossible to deal with. Have you ever known a person that is always right? How does that make you feel? Put down? Do you feel like no matter what you do or how you do it, you are not right? Not a good feeling, right?

    Why is control so important? Well, someone has to be in control in order for things to function. Otherwise, there would be chaos. However, it can not be taken too far and it should be shared and not in just one person’s hands in order for things to be efficient.

    Regaining Control Or Dealing With Things When Things Are Out Of Your Control

    The first thing you need to do is to accept the fact that you can’t do anything about it. As stated at the beginning, sometimes some things are beyond your control. There is nothing you can do about the situation so all you can do is accept it. The example I gave is a good one. There was nothing we could do to change it. You need to just accept it and do what you can do to deal with it. You do not have the control and that is scary. It is time to recite the Serenity Prayer—-Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to accept the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

    You probably need to find a quiet place and try to sort out what you’ve been told and think about what the possibilities are and how you can handle it. Regain your composure and think positively. Try to sort it out with others if available. It is important to try to regain some semblance of order as soon as you can for your own well-being. The stress can totally exhaust you and cause you to continue to react instead of responding rationally.

    Issues In Business That Can Be Devastating

    Often in business decisions are made that you have no control over.  Many of them may not affect you personally, but there are some that are and that can be difficult to hear.  One example might be that promotion that you have been waiting for.  If it is announced that it was given to someone else, it can be pretty upsetting and it is out of your control.  Management made the decision and it is not negotiable.  Of course, the most devestating example would be that you are being let go or fired or that the business is closing.  Both of these decisions were made by management and is beyond your control.

    Your reaction and response if probably same as the example I gave about my sister.  In these cases perhaps there is more anger involved.  It still can evoke many of the other responses mentioned above.  In some ways, you have more options than you have when you have been told that a person is critically ill.  You at least have a little control regarding the outcome.  It probably does not change your initial reaction, but it does effect your possible behaviors.

    You regain control sooner and you do not have to rely on a power higher than you to do so.  You can look for a new job or career in all of these business situations.  You just need to regain your composure and explore your options and then act on them.  Your control returns faster which of course reduces the stress and effects of this.  

    It might be a good time to consider becoming your own boss so that you don’t have to be exposed to a similiar situation in the future.  You might consider starting your own on-line business.  A good source to help you do this if you have no idea how to go about it is a company called Wealthy Affiliate.  They teach you all you need to know to start your website and then how to market it.  They, also, have a great support system to answer any questions you might have as you go along.

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    It is always difficult to be in the position of being told something where you absolutely have no control.  Initially you may feel like you have no control over how you respond to this, but you do.  Take a deep breath and try to regain this portion of control and try to move on.  It is possible.


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