How Do I Change the Way I React?

This week's question from my portal “The Neagle Code: Directions for Life” comes from someone who wishes to remain anonymous.

Neagle Code Question

Hi David,

I’ve heard you say, “Training habituates reactions to any circumstance.” When I make a mistake, I find that I tend to have a strong, negative reaction. For example, let’s say I made a typo in a piece of paperwork that I filed. Nobody may notice it, but I notice it when I’m reviewing it. I’m mortified and I’m afraid someone will find out and laugh at me. That’s where my brain usually goes — “I can’t believe I made this stupid mistake.”

How I can habituate a better reaction when I make a mistake?

Neagle Code Answer

First ask yourself: what’s the reaction I want to have?

Most people will answer in the negative, like, “It’s okay, I’m not a bad person, and nothing bad will happen.”

But let’s make it more positive. You could say you want gratitude to be your first reaction.

Why gratitude? Because mistakes teach us the greatest lessons in life. So let’s be grateful for them. Work having on deep, profound gratitude for any mistake you make—as if it’s really important.

In the example you gave with the typo… where is the deep and profound gratitude for the typo?

The answer is: it points out how you view yourself negatively. So now you know what to change.

It has nothing to do with the typo. It’s actually showing you about yourself.

When you start to look at mistakes in this manner, you’ll eventually retrain yourself to have a different reaction every time.

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