Hello mi familia! Welcome Back! I hope all of y’all had a pleasant Halloween and Day of the Dead. I know with the year ending soon things can get kind of stressful so in lieu of that I wrote this nice little guide to shift your mindset. Lets get started on How to Be Proactive vs. Reactionary
It’s easy to lose control in stressful and difficult situations. In fact, such circumstances can sometimes reduce us to our lowest versions, prompting unpleasant emotions such as anxiety, anger, depression and fear. One great way to turn such circumstances around is the simple idea that it’s better to be proactive than reactionary. However, being proactive takes time as you have to make your own decisions, weigh alternatives, and consider your options to achieve your goals. Following are some guidelines that will help you in this regard:
Understand the Difference
There is a night and day difference between being proactive and being reactionary. Being proactive is about owning your own actions, decisions, and life no matter what others do. This means you commit to following the path that you have chosen, instead of responding to the actions and ideas of others. When you are proactive, you feel in control of your own life regardless of the fact that not everything is up to you. Being reactionary is different in this regard as in that scenario, you let someone else call the shots.
Proactive individuals commit to controlling their own behaviors and feelings as much as they possibly can. On the other hand, people who are reactionary figuratively throw their hands in the air and respond to the actions and moods of others.
Take Your Time Before Responding to a Situation
Being proactive vs. reactionary is not always easy, particularly when you face a situation that gets you all worked up in one way or another. Even if you are just looking for your reaction and you are well-aware of that fact, it’s still very difficult not to play into the situation.
For instance, let’s say you are dealing with a negative colleague who always complains. How can you be proactive with this person instead of being reactionary? Well, the first step is to take your time before responding. The next time this individual begins counting all of their gripes, you should try to refrain from reacting immediately. In other words, avoid the knee-jerk reaction. Instead, take a deep breath and think about the situation before responding.
Don’t Let Your Personal Attachment Interfere
The next thing you should do is cut off your personal attachment to a situation or, if possible, let go of the issue altogether. Keep in mind that the ego is there to protect us, but more often than not it can actually do just the opposite. So, make an effort to transcend all of that. Ask yourself, will this really matter to me few months or years from now? Or, am I taking this matter more personally than I should? By letting go of the issue, you will gain some good distance, which will help you see the whole situation more clearly.
Realize that you can only control your own feelings and actions. You cannot control others. So, in a challenging situation, it is recommended that you stay calm. Once you have calmed down, you will be much more capable of being proactive. They trick here is to be sensible, so you can respond properly when you are your best self again.
Find a Way to Positively Move Things Forward
Once you are calm and feeling good, you can then reengage. Think about how you could contribute to the challenging situation in a way to ensure that it positively moves forward. Instead of reproaching, try to focus on encouraging. Keep in mind that you are not solving the issue for the other individual; that would be reactionary. You are simply finding a way to contribute something encouraging and empowering before removing yourself again.
Learn a Lesson on How to Be Proactive vs. Reactionary
Finding a way to learn from the challenges you went through is an excellent step toward living in a proactive way. By thinking about what you have learned from your past mistakes, you shift the focus away from the problem and place it on your own personal development and growth. This will certainly help you feel more in control of your emotions and actions.
Walking around the world simply being reactionary to everything tough that happens to you is no way to live. To be honest, there will be moments where all of us fail. We are human. It’s ok. Move on. Try to be proactive instead so you can direct your own course as much as possible. Learn from the challenging situations you encounter as well as from your mistakes. Soon, you will feel more positive and empowered. Eventually, being proactive will become a more pleasant and natural response to the difficulties that life throws your way. Till Next Time! – The Black Sheep