So today I thought that we would talk about being proactive. What does this mean I here you asking?
DEFINE BEING PROACTIVE
To start this discussion off we are going to take a look at a what the Oxford Dictionary says. They define proactive as ‘creating or controlling a situation rather than just responding to it after it has happened’. So………….. being proactive is where you go out and create or control the situation that you want to be in. Like the quote from Cathy Hopkins, points out, it is about doing. You can either take action or react to the events that occur in your life. Being in control or be the one being controlled. Awesome…………….. what type of person are you. One who takes action or one who reacts to what is happening. I think at one time or another we can be either one. I know there are times when I go out and get what I want. There are also times, usually when I am less sure of myself, where I tend to sit back and wait for things to play out.
When you are acting proactively your vision is future focused. Your actions are about creating a situation where you move forward, but with a purpose in mind.
Thinking about the definition we talked about above……….When you think about being proactive what comes to mind for you? Write down in your journal some of the times that you have been proactive. What situations in particular? What were you thinking and feeling? How did the situation play out? How did you feel afterward?
HOW TO KEEP MOVING FORWARD IN LIFE.
Moving forward in life with purpose is what we are going to look at next. It is basically the process of creation as our definition points out. We are active in creating the situations and opportunities that will get us where we want to be.
To some of us this may seem a bit daunting. Getting out there and making things happen for ourselves. Confidence is what we will need. Certainty that what we are doing is going to be good for us. If you are like me, not such an easy thing to do. I am usually plagued with doubt about what I am doing. Never certain about what the outcome of any venture will be. Doubting that I even have what it takes to get things done. STOP RIGHT THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! …… I remind myself. If you believe nothing else about yourself, believe this. YOU ARE ENOUGH. YOU HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED WITHIN YOU TO GET WHERE YOU WANT TO GO.
Moving forward in life is what you do every day in one way or another.
Proactive people are future focused and change oriented and they;
- Think ahead – actively focusing on what you want in the future. Reiterating these goals on a daily or weekly basis to maintain momentum.
- Find ways to create change – You are watching or conscious of how things are playing out. Be aware of and ready for situations that inform change.
- Take action – Know that you are in control. Every choice that you make matters. Be willing to take the opportunities that come up. Plans should be organic and you should adapt if it will get you where you are going faster.
- Choose how to respond to situations – Realising that you are in control is only part of the job. When you are in control, you get to decide how things look. Be aware of your perspective and how it affects your decision making.
- Work out what you want to change and when – You have to be aware that you can change anything. Recognising what you can change and how it influences the outcome is critical. Your job then is to be mindful of what is most important.
Proactive people are mentally strong, they –
- Pay attention – They are actively aware and take notice of what is happening. They know all of the outcomes and options available to them.
- Reflect – They are willing to think carefully and in-depth about the ideas and their perceptions. They are willing and able to approach an ideas from many different angles
- Make conscious choices – They also accept that all their actions and behaviours are preceded by a decision they have made. Every action is the result of a conscious choice that they are making.
The following questions are starters when you are trying to work in a more proactive way:
How can I …… ?
I want to ….. ?
What is 1 small step that I can take?
What can I ….. ?
What is important right now ……. ?
Try using some of these questions to keep what you are doing ‘fresh and exciting’. I hope you will find them useful. I find that everytime I use these starters the exercise takes and new direction. I use these in my journal to help me stay focused. What I have also found is that they also enable me to redefine what I am thinking and add lots of different perspectives. Every writing is different and every outcome open to new interpretation.