responding vs reacting



Responding vs. Reacting & How to Strengthen Your Self-Discipline Through Resilience

Ready for an “Ah-ha” moment? We can promise you; we’ve got one in store for you! So many of us are pushed and pulled and when we hit our limit, we simply react. We don’t stop to think about the fact that our reaction doesn’t have to be a reaction, but instead can be a response. Wondering how you too can hone in on a better version of yourself?

responding vs reacting

Before we dive right in, let us introduce ourselves in case this is your first visit. Welcome to the Sell or Die Podcast. We’re your hosts, Jeffrey & Jen Gitomer. Between the two of us, we’ve written the books The Little Red Book of Selling, Sales in a New York Minute, plus 15 other best-selling books. We’ve also created the 7 Figure Sales Formula Program and the Breakthrough Business Babe Community. 

Sell or Die is for sales professionals, sales managers, entrepreneurs, and business owners who want to sell more at full price, earn loyalty, and have an unlimited stream of referrals. Every single episode will give you real-world, easy-to-implement solutions so that you can get your calls returned, your proposals read and acted on while creating relationships that you can take to the bank. 

It’s time to sell or die…

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Responding vs Reacting: Jeff’s Perspective

Recently, Jen challenged me to take a breathing lesson.

Which is kind of “woo-woo” when you think about it—how do you breathe??—because you do it involuntarily your whole life!

But I want to tell you it matters! Jen has a whole discipline around breathing, and she told me I needed to meet this guy she knew and that he will teach me how to breathe. The outcome of that is you’ll be a calmer, more gentle person. I said okay because frankly, I don’t want to be known as someone who is not nice. On the other hand, I am from New Jersey!

While on this call, I learned something I got very excited about. He said, “Let’s look at it as a response rather than a reaction.” I asked him what he meant and he explained it this way—

If you’re an EMT you don’t react to a situation, you respond. You’re called a responder.

We spent the morning talking about response instead of reaction and through the science of breathing, and I’ll tell you what—I can see it in my mind, the visualization process was there if I simply am willing to take a deeper breath or a different kind of breath…It just works!

This is a simple self-discipline practice that I believe will lead everyone to success.

responding vs reacting

The Discipline of Resilience

We have a lot of stuff going on personally and when you’re going through something with your family or loved ones, it tends to create a lot of stress and tension in your body. If you look back to times when you’ve been the sickest in your life, I almost guarantee there was an event prior that didn’t necessarily cause the sickness, but created a situation where a lot of it came out.

When you create a breathing practice, you create intention with breath, and it changes everything.

When you’re in fight or flight, your breath is caught up in the clouds, so you’re going to get your breath low and slow. When you do that, and when you’re able to do that, you’re not only going to be able to react differently, but also respond differently.

It really gives you a new awareness and this is necessary in any situation, especially with family. Your family knows you well and intimately and they can trip your trigger on the drop of a dime. It can automatically set you off and when you’re set off you tend to lose your discipline.

I have to learn how to not be set off, how to re-discipline my soul through meditation or breathing to allow me to be more of a person that responds in the positive rather than triggers the negative.” -Jeffrey

Change Your Triggers: Business and Sales

If you’ve been triggered you’re going to go off—but if you come at it from the standpoint of you get to control the trigger, it’s a whole different story and mindset.

Same with sales and business.

If you go into a meeting feeling stressed, then you’re not thinking clearly. When you’re calm you can be more creative, think more clearly, and offer better suggestions, thoughts, and ideas.

It’s not just something that impacts your life, but your business and your life.

If you’re on a sales call or going into a sales meeting and you’re nervous, then you’re not prepared, or prepared enough, to transfer the message. This happens in life too if you’re not prepared for those triggers.

Someone is more capable of tripping my trigger as a result of being unprepared—me being unprepared. I intend to become a more prepared person so that I can gain more self-discipline in the way in which I respond to other people, in a way that may be more pleasing to them. -Jeff

Before you can even prepare in terms of yourself, you have to prepare yourself for them. When you realize it affects your life in a negative way, the first thing you have to do is change it. If you don’t change it, you’re going to lose it.

Self Discipline Challenge

Diehards, in the midst of this responding vs reacting discussion, we’ve given you a lot to think about.

I challenge you to become a bit more self-disciplined and maybe take a breathing lesson, or at least try to understand what breathing is about and try to put yourself in a greater state of calm, a greater state of understanding, so that when you respond to somebody, you are a first responder, not a first reactor.

If you’re interested in a breathing video let me know, as it’s something I’m considering. It’s something we already put together for our mastermind clients, but if there is more desire to set your foundation I’d love to hear from you!

As we sign off, we’re reminding you to respond in a way that others will take as positive, not reactionary, not negative.


Be sure to listen to all of episode 579 for more details on how to respond, not just react to stressful situations.

Thank you so much for listening to Sell or Die! We hope that this episode helped you learn new methods of self-discipline and remaining calm.

If you enjoyed this episode please take a second to rate & review. Each review helps us help more people just like you make a difference in this world! Don’t forget to take a screenshot, share it in your Instagram stories, and tag us @jeffreygitomer and @jengitomer. See you next week!



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About your hosts

Known as the King of Sales, Jeffrey Gitomer is the Author of 16 best-selling books including the Little Red Book of Selling, the Sales Bible, and his newest book Get Sh*t Done. In 2008, he was inducted in the Speakers Hall of Fame – the highest award in the speaking industry. His world-class list of clients include companies from  Fortune 500 companies around the world. His digital Learning academy and signature course, The Seven-Figure Sales Formula, offers individuals and teams real-world sales strategies they can implement immediately.

Jen Gitomer gained her prowess in NYC as both a salesperson and award-winning sales leader for a Fortune 500 company. She is the best-selling Author of Sales in a New York Minute, CEO and Founder of Breakthrough Business Babe and a master business growth coach.

Jeffrey and Jen thank you, Diehard, for helping Sell Or Die achieve more than 2 million downloads!

Thanks for Listening!