How to Be More Proactive
Proactivity is not a habit that is good to have to be more productive and effective at work. Proactivity can help us to build better relationships with our closest ones and with a wider community, too. Proactivity helps us not only to organize ourselves better but to feel better about ourselves. Many people tend to think that we are proactive when taking an action and have initiative. However, according to experts, proactivity means take full responsibility for our lives and have the ability to choose what to do in every situation.
It can be hard to establish a habit of proactivity because it requires a deep change in our mindsets. People, who are caught up in a victim mindset cannot establish the habit of proactivity, no matter how hard they try. Before they even start to think about proactivity, they need to overcome a habit of blaming others for their failures. People with the victim mindset tend to believe that other people, circumstances, or economic conditions are responsible for their situation. In this way, they give their power to some other source and feel like a victim. From this state of consciousness emerge many other issues such as stress, anxiety, depression. In the following excerpt from the article “Be Proactive”, Steve Covey, an author of the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” explains what proactivity is and how to be more proactive.
How to Be More Proactive
Steve Covey points out that there’s a gap between stimulus and response, and within that gap lies the potential for us to choose our response. Four special human endowments give us this power:
1. Self-awareness – the understanding that you do have a choice between stimulus and response. If someone insults you, you can choose not to become angry. If
you are offered a donut, you can choose not to eat it.
2. Conscience – the ability to consult your inner compass to decide what is right for you. You can make decisions based on unchanging principles, regardless of
what is socially favored at the moment.
3. Creative Imagination – the ability to visualize alternative responses. By using your imagination, you can mentally generate and evaluate different options.
4. Independent Will – You have the freedom to choose your own unique response. You aren’t forced to conform to what others expect from you.
The core issue of proactivity is learning to focus on a choice, rather than on some predetermined outcome. Focusing on a choice, helps us understand that we have the ability to choose our actions. Many people are not aware that there is always a choice. Instead to consciously choose the action they wish to take, they react compulsively. They do not even pause to think what they are about to do. Their reactions are subject to unconscious automatics. In this way, they continuously repeat certain behavioral patterns and are trapped in the same circle throughout their lives. To overcome the automatic response, they just need to silence their minds, pause and think what the next step is. This practice will help them to learn that there is a choice. Having that in mind, we can lay a foundation stone and become proactive persons.