Being proactive can help you achieve your goals and become more productive.
It’s life-affirming to live up to your fullest potential. For that, you need to examine whether you’re using the best approach that leverages your capabilities, time, and resources.
Reaching your potential is not a neat linear path. Life will always hand you challenges. The way you handle them the degree of life satisfaction you experience. Proactivity is a critical life skill that helps you get the best out of every situation.
What does it mean to be proactive?
Proactivity is a personal outlook where you 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 behavior.
Being proactive affects your personal and professional life. It even affects how you manage your business. When you’re proactive, you take the initiative to start a website. As a proactive person, you don’t wait for things to happen to you. You make the decision to start a business, look for a new job or develop a new skill.
It helps to understand the opposite of proactivity, reactivity. A reactive person is someone who has an instant reaction to external events without a pause.
What is reactivity?
When you’re reactive you let your environment control you. You don’t see a gap between an event and response – a pause where you evaluate your choices.
A common example of reactive behavior is believing your whole day is ruined because of poor weather. If you own a website, you may believe you’ve lost if you’re struggling to get email subscribers. Reactive people tend to catastrophize every uncomfortable event.
How to be more proactive?
It’s common sense that having a proactive attitude is better than being reactive. Studies also confirm that proactivity leads to better outcomes.
- People who are proactive experience greater career success
- Proactive persons enjoy greater life satisfaction towards the end of their career
Let’s take look at five ways you can become more proactive.
Set goals: Without firm written goals, you’re not going to have a direction in life. A proactive person does not wait for a skillset or a job promotion to conveniently appear when needed. They take action and join a membership site to build a new skill. Or they learn how to negotiate.
Someone who is proactive plans and executes their desires. You can create long-term and short-term goals.
Get organized: Once you have your goals down, it’s important to get organized. Getting organized helps you break down your goals into small actionable activities.
Use a digital or paper organizer or an app to track what you’re doing every day. Create estimated dates for when you want to finish certain tasks. You can make your personal and professional life more organized.
Organizing everyday things such as bills, social events, and even laundry removes a lot of decision-making. This keeps you from feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
Take responsibility: You can replace proactivity with one word – responsibility. Taking responsibility is the cornerstone of proactive behavior.
Being responsible for your actions is not just something you do from time to time. It’s necessary to make it part of your identity i.e. who you are as a person.
When you’re more responsible, you’re not waiting for external factors to validate you and give you opportunities. Don’t just work hard quietly and hope you get noticed, ask for promotion directly. Take online courses to build skills. Make yourself accountable and practice a musical instrument three times a week. Being proactive means being responsible for what you do and how you react to life.
Prioritize what you can control: An important part of being proactive is realizing that you can’t control everything. This frees you up to focus on things that you can manage. As a proactive person, you draw your attention to small activities that you can do consistently.
Small and incremental changes compound over time and give big results.
Use constructive language: Using strong negative language will make you less likely to take action. Use positive and affirming language that is realistic as part of your internal narrative.
It’s not about creating rosy pictures that aren’t there, but rather, being open to positive experiences that are possible. Using constructive language creates a mindset to take action.
Create more life satisfaction by being proactive
When you’re proactive you make yourself responsible. You look for solutions in difficult situations and choose to have a positive attitude.
Work towards making proactivity a part of your core beliefs. While it is difficult to change your entire way of looking at life, making small changes every day will compound.
Even when life short changes you, you can work within the scope of what’s given to you. It’s important to adopt a more proactive view towards life, you’re more likely to look back with satisfaction and pleasure.