How do you respond in times of crisis?

As humans, we have this fight or flight response. We do it because it’s how we survive in the world. 

Now a lot of people tend to react – instead of respond – to challenging situations because it has worked for them at some point and it’s how they’ve been conditioned over the years.

However, part of self-mastery is learning how to respond to situations, and not react.

Seek to Respond, and Not to React

Have you ever been in a conversation with somebody where you may have felt yourself preparing for how you’re going to respond to what they’re saying while they’re still saying it? This means you’ve already stopped listening because you’re formulating what you’re going to tell them. 

When you do this, you’re actually just reacting, not responding. Especially, when talking to your spouse or a co-worker, or leading a conversation with an audience, it is very important to be able to respond, not react. 

The Danger of Being Reactive

If someone tells you something that triggers your insecurity, you initially get flooded with emotions – anger, sadness, shame, etc. 

So your initial response is to get out of this state by reacting. 

And when you’re reacting, there’s a tendency to make decisions that are not as conscious because you’re no longer thinking clearly. 

Whenever you choose to react each time you’re faced with uncomfortable situations, you can emotionally shut down. You become stoic and dissociative. You won’t be able to sleep or eat well. You’re basically shutting down the “feeling” part of you. 

And when you choose to live a life that way, it can take a toll on your body over time. You could get stressed and this could manifest physically through body aches and diseases because you’re carrying all that stress and anxiety. 

The Power of a Pause

Therefore, the next time you find yourself in any stressful situation, it’s important to take a step back, just breathe, and listen. And only when you’re able to take that pause that you begin to respond better and more clearly.

If you want to learn more about how to respond well to challenging times, check out the Diary of a Doer Podcast on