Was it the Event, or My Reaction to it?

How often do you react to a perceived negative event, blaming that moment for ‘stressing’ you out, ruining your life…? Then catch yourself mumbling… WHY DOES THIS ALWAYS HAPPEN TO ME?

So you’re running late, and the lights all seem to be turning RED. Damn these lights, all out to get me! Every car user, every vehicle in front of you is… so slow today… why today? Sound familiar? I know I’ve been there!


Are the lights really conspiring? ‘Here he comes, get ready… ha… got him!


Really? What if you were enjoying a nice leisurely drive, perhaps because you had allowed plenty of time, would those lights turning red still be conspiring? It really is a reaction to wanting things to be different because things are not how you want or ‘need’ them to be, your expectations are unmet!


If you left for the meeting late, can you reasonably expect the world, going about ‘its’ business, to make allowances for you? To even ‘know’ what your urgency is? Heck, I charged around (skilfully, of course!) for almost two decades as an emergency response unit, and others often didn’t make way. What chance have you got without ‘blues ‘n twos’? Ask yourself if your expectations are reasonable.


So, was it the event that stressed you… or your reaction to it? This is an important question, it’s a game-changer!

Stop ‘case building’!

We all have days where things appear to go awry – all day! If we choose to bring awareness to each event, dealing rationally with each setback, we can deal effectively with them in that moment, before moving on. Then, each event is managed based on its own merits and the importance we place upon it. Therefore, can have more resilience to the next event, and so on. No more is the world conspiring; this is life, one moment at a time, and anyway… what if most of these events had a positive side, what if there was a ‘flip-side’?

Positivity – it’s not all “its okay, it didn’t matter”!

It really is so common, once we have learned greater awareness for each moment, to reflect and see for ourselves how apparently negative and destructive moments turned out to be a great thing, and positive. Give this some thought and tell me I’m wrong!


There are so many examples to draw on in your life, but here are a couple of mine.


Before I was to prematurely retire from my beloved career, I went into self-preservation mode; trying to find an alternative job/career. I put all my stock into getting ‘that’ job, just at a time when the ‘credit-crunch’ began. Thank goodness I didn’t get those positions I was invited to interview for! Had I have got any of them, I would not be in business, happier and healthier than in more than 20 years! But at that time, I was devastated that I wasn’t chosen! What did I know?

Similarly, things we desire to be different… pass! Putting all our energy into each thing that appears to be outside of what we wish in that moment is rarely productive. Often, to achieve the objective we need to do the opposite and let go; having taken the actions to prepare, put in place the foundations required to allow something we wish for to happen, and then… let go!


So, I didn’t get those what I thought were precious positions – great! My career was lost due to physical conditions – great!


Otherwise I would still be in such distress, failing to ‘listen’ to my body and mind screaming at me to stop. There is life outside of this… and it’s good! Health over wealth has brought me riches beyond my wildest imagination, but I needed to taste the privilege and the pain, to see it.

It is often a gift, things that appear to go wrong, things that are outside of our expectations but because we are so fired up and conditioned to ‘react’, we do so based on false representations from our past. It really doesn’t have to be this way; we can choose an appropriate response if we just give ourselves a little time and awareness – and place things into perspective based on the information available… in this moment!

So next time you get frustrated or upset and feel your body out of alignment, ask yourself if THAT served you and helped you overcome the obstacle, or, could you have thought about the reality and observed for any positive possibilities… then choose your own healthy response.


About the author
Managing Director / Counsellor at Anglia Counselling Ltd | 07747042899 | [email protected] | Business Website

Bob Brotchie is a counsellor, mindset consultant and creator of "Conscious Living by Design"™. He writes for Anglia Counselling, is featured on various other websites and introduces us to many guest writers all covering topics related to mental health and wellbeing.

Bob provides bespoke counselling services to individuals and couples in the privacy and comfort of a truly welcoming environment at his Anglia Counselling company office, located near Newmarket in Suffolk, England. Bob also provides professional online counselling, for local, national, and international clients. The therapeutic models offered are bespoke to the client’s needs, especially those in receipt of 'childhood emotional neglect' (CEN), whilst integrating a mindful approach to psychotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) principles. For clients experiencing trauma and/or phobia, Bob offers EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing).