In the corporate world it has already become a default setting, that employees have to be proactive. There are hardly any job postings, where you cannot find proactivity in the requirements of an ideal future employee. When being on an interview, the candidates often say this feature as one of the positive things about themselves. But…
Are they really proactive?
What does this expression actually cover?
Why is it worth being proactive and how can we be?
In this article, you can find some answers to all of these questions.
Why is it good to be proactive?
First of all, we all know why it is good for the companies if their employees are proactive.
They do their job on their own, they bring improvement ideas, they can anticipate the work trends, future issues. All through which many pointless hassle, additional meetings, extra invested work and energy-draining workarounds can be avoided. Long story short, it is not just monetary saving for the corporations, but it also means higher effectiveness in the day-to-day work.
Seems fair from their point of view to expect this from the people working there.
But why is it good for you personally to be proactive?
And here comes not just the work relation of this term in the picture, but also the personal one.
The reactive people
Those people, who are more reactive than proactive, tend to believe that they are victims of the circumstances. These people complain more, play the victim and take no significant and/or long-term actions to improve the quality of their life (either in work or in private life). They mainly blame others for their faults and for the unsuccessfulness in their lives and have no objective view of themselves. They might be observed as people who are always waiting for higher forces to make things happen.
Waiting for the signs for you to lean into action can be a good thing in general, but the problem is that reactive people don’t even notice the signs. They don’t feel the need to help themselves, they depend on others to help them.
And because of all these, they are not advancing in their life. Even if they feel that they are stuck in a workplace or in a private life situation, they do not take any actions to change these things.
The proactive people
Being proactive basically means that you own your life. In all areas; work and private life likewise.
Owning your life means that you take the responsibility for your actions, for your emotions, for your own improvement and development. You see clearly, what those things are that you can change in your life (a.k.a that are within your circle of influence) and which are the ones that you cannot. They also accept their own mistakes and wrongdoings, and learn from them quickly – in order to do things in a better way in the future.
The more proactive someone is, the more they feel that they are on top of their lives.
After all these, it seems pretty obvious, that the path to follow is the proactivity. Sure. Thanks a lot. But… Someone, who is not there yet, will still have no idea how to start. I would like to give you some hints and tips that might support you finding the proactivity path for yourself.
So, how can I be more proactive?
#1 Change things
Write a list of all those things in your life, that you are not satisfied with. Also, next to these items, please write what your satisfaction regarding them would be. Then, make a step by step list for all of them (or for the top 1-3 of them), what you can actually do yourself, to move toward that desired outcome.
It doesn’t matter if it will still not be the complete end of the path, don’t worry. Sometimes we only see one or two steps ahead, and the rest will be seen only when we have already started our way. Believe in that whatever comes in your way, whatever task you will need to solve, you can do it!
Take any action, even if you feel it is small. Small is already more than nothing. And lot of small actions will eventually add up to be a big change.
#2 Stop blaming and start owning
Invest time to see objectively what is really your responsibility in your life and what is not. You can even ask for the help of a coach to see it clearly, where you could do more for yourself.
Whenever you would blame someone or something, ask from yourself instead: What could I have done differently? What more I could do?
#3 Your life is your choice
Life is about choices and decisions. If you are one of those people, who are not keen on making choices and decisions, think about the following:
Making no choice, is also a choice. Making no decision, is also a decision.
Given that the above is true and you already make your choice/decision by not doing anything for yourself, why not deciding otherwise? Why not making a different choice in your life, to make it better, happier, more fulfilling? No one ever will make you happy, no one ever will make you better. Only you can do it for yourself.
#4 Attitude matters
Attitude – already at the level of our thoughts – matters. Thoughts can create our reality, and also the words we use. Watch what are those typical sentences you say day by day. Observe yourself. Are your talks more negative than positive? Your life will also be so.
If you change your thoughts/language to something more positive, eventually you will be able to see the result of it on your life as well.
All in all, if you are already a proactive person, continue doing so. You see now how much it can move you forward, how much it can help you to reach your goals in life.
If you consider yourself less proactive at this moment in your life, try one or more of the above hints and tips, and see it for yourself how your perseverance changes many things for the better!
Wishing you the best of luck in owning and improving your life!