Think Before You Act: The Pause Moment

Think Before You Act: The Pause Moment provides strategies to realign your thoughts before responding to a situation. You will read practical steps to adopt this strategy daily in at least 4 seconds.

Have you ever regretted an action? Wished you had said something differently or perhaps not said anything at all? Perhaps you have had a hard time controlling your temper after a confrontation? Maybe even promised yourself you would make a better judgment next time? If any of these scenarios have been a reality for you, this post is for you.

A study found that it takes only 4 seconds to make decisions such as what to eat, what to wear, or which direction to take when driving and 60 seconds to make a lifetime decision.

think before you act: the pause moment
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At some point, you will find yourself needing to make tough decisions in life about relationships, career, or even health. Without taking a moment to reevaluate, you may end up in a state that cannot be remedied.

We’ve all been there, I personally have. That is why I put these practical steps together to help you align your thoughts and actions. You can think before you act, and achieve this in your daily life!

You have 4 – 60 seconds to think of a suitable response to every situation. In that pause moment – before you press play – you have the opportunity to stop and think through. Assessing every option before making a decision will help you to think before you act.

THINK – The Pause Moment.

By using the acronym PAUSE, you can choose to Process, Access, Understand, Stay Silent or Express Yourself.


Close your eyes for a second. Use the voice in your head to play out what you are about to say or do. Whether you are responding to a compliment or confrontation, don’t be too quick to react harshly. Reflect on what you have to say/do and ask yourself if it is a true reflection of who you are.


Access the situation before deciding a course of action. Every time you wait a few seconds to process things, it gives you time to de-stress. It also helps to train your brain to delay a reaction, allowing an alternative course of action to develop.


Try to understand the ‘why’ to which a circumstance came to be. Pay attention to people and events around you. Words and actions can be understood better if you can recognize what formed them; and it is okay if you can not immediately discern this. Understanding why something happened will guide how to confront it. Don’t make assumptions without first trying to know the facts.


Most people are often likely going to say/do something that they might regret when emotions are heightened. If you have to say / do something, make sure it is both constructive and productive. If it is neither of these, the best option is to do/say nothing. To help keep you on track, always ask yourself “what would happen if I choose not to say/do anything“?


Only if it’s necessary to speak up should you do so. If what you are thinking of doing or saying is hurtful, then choose not to respond at all. However, sometimes it may be best to express your feelings to be heard. Still, before you express yourself, use the process step above. Every time you delay action, the way you convey your feelings will be more subtle and objective.

Using the PAUSE method can be very helpful in dealing with any aspect of life. I will admit it may take longer than 4 seconds to fully use PAUSE; however, by using just one or two steps, you can achieve the same result. Not to forget that by constantly and consciously doing this, it will become a habit that you would be glad you formed!

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