When an unexpected situation happens, there are two ways to act – blaming the circumstances and waiting desperately for someone to do something or analyzing it properly and respond in a timely and reasonable manner. The second type of thinking is what we call proactivity. Being proactive means relying on your own choices instead of luck and circumstances. It’s about controlling the situation rather than simply waiting for the outcomes. A proactive person is a good problem-solver, even when not asked for it. It’s all about the mindset you possess. But fortunately, it is also a skill that can be developed and trained. Uncover your proactivity capabilities, even if they are hidden deep inside you. All it takes are these steps to follow.
How to Be More Proactive: A Step-By-Step Guide
Stay Focused on a Solution, Not on a Problem
Solving any problem becomes practically impossible if this problem easily makes you depressed and focused on all the negative outcomes it brings. Stop blaming yourself or blaming others – look for the ways this problem can be solved. Don’t focus on things that you cannot control, it will only make you run into a more severe depression. You should accept the fact that everyone faces obstacles, challenges or problems. But only successful and proactive people handle them effectively due to their problem-solving skills.
Rely on Yourself
Do you think someone else would be willing to do things for you, achieve something for you or fix your problems? Of course, your family and friends will support you but you have to be the one responsible for your own success. Take the initiative in your hands and start acting. Remember that the fastest and most effective way to get something is by working on it yourself, even if it involves other people who might help or support you along the way. Stop relying on your luck or strong willpower. Don’t expect the right time to come. Success comes to those who move forward, regardless of hardships. The fact that you desperately want something is not enough. You have to work hard for it.
Analyze Your Steps in Advance
Spontaneous actions may do more harm than good while well-considered and well-planned ones will clarify the situation and bring you closer to the solution. Before you decide to act, think of any consequences it might bring. Use your analytical skills or work on developing them. You will need a lot of it, if you wish to become proactive. Want to fix the problem quickly? The more serious your problem is, the deeper you need to analyze it. A proactive person needs to be able to predict the results and take the behavior of others into account. You’d better take small steps that you are more capable to control. This way, it will be easier for you to go back and change the plan if something goes wrong. What you have to understand also is that failure will undoubtedly happen, even if you plan everything in advance, so be prepared to change course when it happens.
Set Realistic Goals
There is nothing bad in dreaming, but does it make sense to dream if you can’t do anything to make it come true? Your dreams can be lofty, but then you should choose goals that have at least the smallest chance of being realized. Life is too short to dream without acting. If you want something – get it. How? Create the smaller goals that will need to be achieved on your path to reaching your dream, like a puzzle. Make the puzzle pieces small and achievable. Psychologists agree that unrealistic goals lead to disappointment and unwillingness to set new ones. Meanwhile, realistic goals add confidence and motivation to work on anything you are up to. Remember your excitement when you’ve managed to achieve something and you enthusiastically said to yourself: ‘I did it!’. You realize that it wasn’t that difficult and you truly believe that you are capable of achieving more.
Consistency in Anything You Do or Say
If your words and actions are not consistent, people will stop relying on you. What is even more dissatisfying is that you will not be able to rely on yourself. If you learn to do as you say, your time management skills will improve, you will be able to get more things done faster and you will always take your own promises seriously. Consistency is crucial if you want to be proactive, no matter whether you made promises to others or to yourself. Take it, as a rule, to stop saying things you are not certain you will want to do. Set realistic deadlines to avoid over promising and don’t change the plans if they have already been confirmed by others.
Proactive mindset will only streamline your leadership capabilities. Depending on how you participate in conversations with your team, you can influence the outcomes. Instead of solely reacting to the solutions suggested by others, make sure you suggest your own. A proactive person will never be indifferent to anything that needs to be solved in a team, he/she will always play an active role in finding a solution. Even if you see the areas in a company that need to be addressed, don’t be shy or afraid to share your observations, ideas or predictions with your supervisors or colleagues.
Having proactive mindset will influence different areas of your life. Increased consistency will boost your motivation to do sports on a regular basis and keep promises that you’ve made to your friends, while self-reliance will help you find the way out of different situations in your life. Active participation, for example, can help you become a better parent to your kids. Just remember that proactivity is something you can acquire and train. Each step towards proactivity that I described above will bring you closer to the mindset that you need to live the life of your dreams.
Are there any other ways that helped either you or your friends to become proactive? I would be delighted if you share.