Are you someone who makes things happen instead of waiting for them to happen? If that sounds like you, you are a proactive person. Being active means “to do something” while the prefix “pro” means “before”. Hence, that is the definition of proactive. If you want to live life to the fullest, being proactive is the smartest path toward success, happiness and fulfillment. Let’s take a deeper look into proactivity and how you can make the switch from being reactive to proactive.
What Does It Mean to Be Proactive?
Being proactive is best summarized as taking the bull by the horns. Do not just think about what you want your future to look like. Instead, make it happen. At the end of the day, the proactive behavior may very well be the difference between someone who gets promoted and someone who doesn’t. A proactive person will work harder and go the extra mile.
Let’s look at it another way. Your alarm goes off in the morning. What do you do? There is a good chance you turn it off or hit the snooze button. Eventually, you will get out of the bed and start your day. This is reactive behavior. You responded to the alarm. Now, think about what happened before the alarm went off in the morning. You are now remembering that you set it the night before. A decision was made the night prior that you would wake up at a certain time the next morning, and you set an alarm to make sure that happened. That’s being proactive.
What Is Proactive Behavior?
In a perfect world, you would be able to look into the future and see what happens if you take a proactive step or make a proactive decision. Unfortunately, that’s not possible. Instead, deciding to institute proactive behavior requires something akin to a leap of faith, just not the religious kind. Psychologist Sharon K Parker helps guide you on what some of the key features of proactivity look like.
1. The first is that being proactive requires you to be anticipatory. Exactly like the definition of the word, being proactive will require you to act in advance of a future situation, no matter what kind of situation it is. This ensures that you will not be reactive.
2. The second feature is that you are change-oriented. Be someone who takes control and goes out and makes change happen. Do not be someone who just sits around and waits for something to happen.
3. Proactive behavior is something that is self-initiated. Said another way, this step is for someone who does not wait to be asked to take action. This is also for someone who doesn’t require or wait around for detailed instructions.
Undertaking any of these steps should be relatively easy, provided you have the confidence level to put yourself out there. If you do, then switching your mindset to being proactive will be something you can do without much guidance. On the other hand, if you are concerned that you cannot just flip a switch, try thinking more about the following ways you can be more proactive.
How to Become More Proactive
First and foremost, becoming a proactive person is not an overnight change, no matter how easy the mindset flip is for you. It will take time for everyonek, but each of the following steps can help you along the journey.
You are responsible for all of your own actions and each of those actions requires a choice. Are you at a job you dislike, or do you need more money? These are moments that separate the proactive people from those who are not proactive. Take control and be the change.
Locate Proactive People
Locate other proactive people in your life. They do exist. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people will allow that mentality to rub off to your own belief system. If you are surrounded by negative and lazy people, there is a good chance you exhibit some of those same behaviors. Instead, surround yourself with people who can help you make more out of your life.
Be comfortable with the idea that you will make mistakes. Nobody is perfect; it’s okay to make mistakes. No matter how hard you try, they will continue to be inevitable. How you react is the important thing. Do mistakes knock you down, or do you get back up and press on? Proactive people are the latter.
Stop Worrying t
Stop worrying about things that are out of your control. There are going to be times at work or in your personal life you get overwhelmed. There are always going to be things in your life you cannot control. Stop stressing over it. Think about the things you can control and how you can do it better.
Celebrate every success and reward yourself. Rewards can come in various shapes and sizes. A reward might be a day off, a vacation or maybe a night out on the town. Whatever you do, make sure you take the time to celebrate the big wins in your life. You will learn to love the euphoria that comes with success, and it will drive the proactive side of you to want to achieve and accomplish more. As you take control of being more proactive, enjoy it!
At the end of the day, only you have the power to become a more proactive person. Everyone in your life can provide you with guidance, advice and help, but it’s up to you to change. Becoming a proactive person will help you feel more accomplished, more successful and ultimately, happier. Are you ready to live a more proactive life?