By Dr. S.D. Shanti, ©2020 Adapted from my book The Time-Starved Woman’s Guide to Emotional Wellbeing: tools and strategies for balance.
When faced with a difficult situation, such as the one we are in at this time, think and act—don’t react. Action backed up by intention, as opposed to a knee-jerk reflex, is what social scientists call “agency.” Action with intention is your way out of helplessness.
Keep in mind that you have the ability to act as an agent for yourself and take many courses of action.
There are three kinds of agency:
- Personal agency, where you take intentional action to help yourself.
- Proxy agency, where another person acts on your behalf. An example of this would be an attorney who represents your interests in a workplace issue.
- Collective agency, where you work with others toward a common goal. For instance, you and your neighbors gather signatures to get a city ordinance passed.
The more you respond with thoughtful actions, rather than just reacting to events around you, the better you will feel about yourself and the world.
For maximum effect, try a “Dual Dose of Antidotes.” Take intentional action and back it up with belief in your ability to manage challenges that come your way. The combination of the two antidotes makes you unstoppable.