01/17/2012 12:35 pm ET | Updated Mar 18, 2012

Learn How to Not Jump the Gun

Do you let your blood boil? Do you respond to a provocation without thinking? Do you sometimes answer before truly thinking about the question? Do you jump to conclusions? Do you act on things only to regret a moment later? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you suffer from "jumpenites of the gun."

But don't feel bad. You are not alone -- I ought to know, being a Sagittarian (fire sign) and Latin (fire birthright).

But here is the good news: There is a remedy for jumping the gun. It's called taking one's time.
Now don't confuse being spontaneous with jumping the gun.

Being spontaneous means you have a strong feeling within and you follow through. An example is when one is overcome with a sense of love and acts on it by telling a person how much they care about them or give them a hug or a kiss. That's usually a good thing unless the recipient doesn't know the giver or the spontaneity is out of place.

Jumping the gun is when we are reacting to something rather than initiating. In these situations, stopping to take time will either allow us to see the light or allow for a greater sense of certainty once we decide on a course of action.

I often think we jump the gun because we want to show others how valid and right our feelings and opinions are. Jumping the gun then becomes an ego matter. Simply put, the thought of not sharing or validating what we think or feel -- read, "show" -- is more troublesome than letting the heat of the moment pass so we can give a more appropriate response.

But as we evolve, we realize the short lived feeling of having "shown" them is not worth the often disastrous results of having jumped the gun. We come to understand that our ego will survive and actually do better if we have a moment's time to decide truthfully how we feel and how we want to be seen.

So how do we take our time before reacting? We articulate how we feel -- not to others -- but to ourselves. We make our thoughts clear to us. Then we let them simmer. It is only after living with our thoughts or feelings for a period of time that we make a final decision.

Taking our time is a muscle that needs to be exercised. Don't get frustrated if it requires some training to get there because once you learn the method you will never go back and you'll be fully cured of "jumpenites."

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