LIAM 017 – E+R=O: You Control Your Outcomes Because You Control Your Responses to Events

In this episode, I talk about how we control the outcomes in our lives by controlling our responses to events. The formula E+R=O shows us that, if we don’t like the way a certain event has affected us (the outcome), we can change that by changing the way we respond that event.

Show outline:

  1. Most people believe their lives are controlled by the events that happen in their lives, or, at least, they let their lives be directed by the events.
  2. It is easier to blame external forces than to claim responsibility
    1. Traffic made me late
    2. My boss/spouse/parent makes me so mad
    3. It’s all the government’s fault
    4. The economy is bad
  3. This type of thinking leaves us as the victim of circumstances
  4. You cannot change the event, but you can change the outcome by changing your response
    1. E+R=O – I learned it from Jack Canfield, but he got it from W. Clement Stone
    2. It’s simple math. The Event is Constant. Your Response is the Variable that determines the answer (Outcome)
    3. Some examples:
      1. Event = Heavy Traffic. Outcome = Late for work, Anxious, Angry, Why Me?, need to make excuse to boss
        1. Alt 1: Response = My fault, I did leave on time. The world didn’t end. Apologize, but take ownership
        2. Alt 2: There was a bad accident. Response = those poor people. So thankful that wasn’t me. Apologize to boss, but keep those people in your thoughts/prayers, be thankful throughout day it wasn’t you.
      2. Event = Someone runs a red light, nearly hits you. Outcome = Anger/Hatred toward person, victim
        1. Alt: Response = Person may have had a good reason to be in such a hurry. Hope all is OK. Compassion instead of rage.
      3. Just simply “Sorry, I’m late. I got held up in traffic” is better than “Oh, sorry I’m late. Can you believe that traffic out there. I was sitting there barely crawling…” The drama simply increases the stress and reinforces victim-thinking.
        1. Ownership / Responsibility always makes you feel better about yourself.
    4. Choose a response that is useful, leaves you in control of your feelings, and serves to build your self-esteem.
      1. It’s all about the story you tell yourself about the event, how it fits with your self-image and world-view.
      2. It’s not what other people say or do to you, it’s about what you say or do to yourself afterwards
        1. Story of insulting an audience member
      3. Yourresponseshould be based on reality, not a lie–that won’t help your self-esteem
        1. It’s about framing the event in a way that is useful and helpful to you.
      4. Your ability to craft a differentstoryquicklyis based on your self-esteem/self-image, which is why it is so important to work on building these up.
        1. A high self-esteem makes you stronger, more resilient to negative events
        2. Listen to Episodes 14 & 15
      5. Very often the best response is no response at all
        1. The event happened. Period. No response, no story, no drama. Let it go.
    5. A catastrophic event is painful, true,butmay be an opportunity for rebirth
      1. Andy Andrews’ Gulf oil spill story
      2. There are many stories of people who turned catastrophe in to triumph
  5. You can use the E+R=O method to change how you feel about the past
    1. Nikki Schmutz decided to tell herself a different story, to choose a different response to the abuse she suffered as a child.
    2. If someone hurt you in the past, you continue to hurt yourself by replaying it as a victim. You continue to give that person or event power over your life.
      1. You can choose rewrite the story in the present
        1. This happened, but it is no longer happening. I can live victoriously. I can take control and have power over my present and future.
      2. This takes daily practice, but it can be liberating!
      3. You are only in control of YOUR response to an event, not anyone else’s response.
        1. When you don’t like how someone responds to an event, that is a new event for you and you must decide how to respond, if at all.
        2. Fear of how we think someone will respond often paralyzes us
          1. Public speaking, asking someone for a date, having a hard conversation
          2. Assume a favorable response, or don’t presume any response at all.
  6. Kent Julian has a wrist band you can wear to remind you of the formula and your responsibility to choose!

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