Action vs Reaction

I write a lot about taking action. If you’ve read my book, you know that after each motivational post there is an Action Step, encouraging all who are reading it to take the next step. Today, I am going to talk about the opposite of action, which is reaction, but not in the way you might expect.

Reaction is our response to some action. By definition, it isn’t necessarily something that is well thought out. A “re-action” is to act again, presumably based on how we have acted before; what we do mentally after an action is we tap into our memory for a similar action and then we act the way we did before. A reaction isn’t necessarily our best action, but it’s how our mind works. Our memory banks are like the library, you can’t check out a book if the library doesn’t have it—you have to choose another book—one that’s already there.

The only way to have a different reaction is to put new memories in your memory bank. They don’t even have to be your memories, they can be someone elses! You just need a new and genuine thought to create a better reaction and the key is to take the time and the conscious thought to find a better action to take than the one that’s in your memory bank. It’s simple, but it’s not easy.


Beth Fitzgerald

P.S. Speaking of curating better reactions, on Tuesday, June 21st, I am hosting a free, one-hour Woman and Leadership call. More details to follow, but if you are interested, please email me at so I can send you the information as it becomes available.

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