What does it mean to be proactive?
To be proactive means to take responsibility for your life. You take the initiative to solve problems and do better. It’s about not letting life’s unpredictability dictate your attitude and behaviour.
You could blame the circumstances, the conditions of your environment, or other people for your problems, but you’re responsible for your own life.
What is reactivity?
When you’re reactive, you let your environment control you.
A common example of reactive behaviour is believing your whole day is ruined because of poor weather. Reactive people tend to overdramatise every uncomfortable event.
How to be more proactive?
- Set goals
Without clear goals, you’re not going to have a direction in life.
Proactive people plan, set short and long-term goals and execute their desires. To do so, they take action, develop new skills and always try to be better.
If you want to accomplish your goals and be more organised, you can use the SMART goals technique.
- Take responsibility
Taking responsibility for your actions is the base of proactive behaviour. But being responsible is not just something you do from time to time. It’s necessary to make it part of your identity and practise responsibility in every part of your life.
When you’re more responsible, you’re not waiting for external factors to validate you and give you opportunities. Being proactive means being responsible for what you do and how you react to life. Don’t just work hard quietly and hope you get noticed, ask for promotion directly; take online courses to build skills and so on.
- Use constructive language
Using strong negative language will make you less likely to take action. Try to use positive and declaring language, which is realistic as part of your internal narrative.
Doing this daily creates an open and positive mindset .which makes it easier for you to take action.
- Be solution-focused
One of the best traits of proactive people is problem-solving skills. Problems and challenges occur almost always in life. How you handle problems and unpleasant situations is what makes you proactive. The most effective way to handle a problem is to focus on finding a solution. Focusing on things that are out of your control is a waste of time, so focus on what you can control and change.
- Make your own luck
Being successful is not about having the right kind of luck. It is about taking steps every day to be better than you were the day before by moving in a positive, forward way. Make a plan and set out milestones for yourself in specific timeframes, or you are not going to hit your goal.
You can’t become successful just because you want to succeed.
- Find the right people
Surrounding yourself with driven, motivated people is one of the best ways to succeed. Proximity can be a great motivator. You get to choose between driven people and people who will drag you down. You cannot have both and expect to succeed.
It’s almost impossible to spend time with unmotivated people all day and also achieve your daily goals. Such people drag you down slowly without you knowing it.
- Be honest
Be humble and take a hard look at what you are doing and how you are doing it. Be completely honest with yourself about what is not working instead of making excuses. It is easy to stay busy and tell yourself you are taking the right steps, but it is harder to be honest if you are not making progress.
When you’re proactive, you make yourself responsible for what happens to you. You look for solutions in hard situations and choose to have a positive attitude.
Work towards making proactivity a part of your core beliefs. We know that it is difficult to change your entire mindset, but the important thing is to make small changes every day.
And remember, adopting a more proactive view increases life satisfaction and pleasure.