Proactive behaviour refers to self-initiated behaviour that endeavours to solve a problem before it has occurred. Proactive behaviour involves acting in advance of a future situation, rather than reacting. It refers to taking control of a situation and making early changes, rather than adjusting to a situation or waiting for something to happen. (Wikipedia)
In another related meaning, the 1946 book Man’s Search for Meaning brought the word to the wider public domain. The author, Austrian existential neuropsychiatrist Dr. Viktor Frankl, used the word to describe a person who took responsibility for his or her life, rather than looking for causes in outside circumstances or other people.
Being proactive is a very essential and important characteristic to become successful in any dimension of life.
How Proactive Are You
To check your proactive level, you need to do one small exercise. You need to compile all your to do list for last two or three weeks at one place. And then start separating them as your initiatives, other’s initiatives and routine work.
Your initiative means, initiatives which come in in your mind and now you are leading them or you have assigned them that to your subordinate.
Other’s initiative are purely come from somebody else, but as it seem important or urgent and that’s why you are acting on them.
Routine task should also be the part of to-do list.
Now if your initiative consist > 50% in this whole list, you are doing good. You can further improve on this to 70-80 %.
But if your initiative < 50%, you seems a reactive person. To achieve success , you need to improve your initiative level more than 50%.
Let’s understand in more detail like if you are a student, then just realized that how many time you have decided to learn the subject, ask doubts to teacher or your friend. How many time your parents/ your teacher have asked you to study your subjects. Overall are you studying by your own or you need somebody to trigger you to study.
Remember, if you are not initiating your own through process for study your subject, then things will be difficult for you in higher education. In higher education professors generally guide you on subject, but you need to do in-dept detailing and understanding.
Many a time we pass the exam by parroting the subject and doesn’t really understand the subject. And the consequence we face in real life, when we want to implement that knowledge. We hesitate as we our self are not clear on basic background of that subject.
You might have seen class or college topper, who were only academic topper. Other skill like interpersonal behaviour, communication, implementation skill were missing in them. The result, they suffered in starting of their career unless they developed those necessary skills.
In profession life also, if you are mostly doing the work, which is originated in other’s mind, then realise how long will you propel. Those people will dominate the environment and lead.
You can even right now correlated some of your colleague, who have joined along with you but slowly making difference in career growth. They are moving faster than you and their proactiveness is one of the key reason for this.
We can understand this with one example as if one senior ask you to do detailing about new customer. Now after one day, you went to that senior and shared information. You said that customer is based on Delhi, they involved in battery business and planning to launch new product at multiple location near Delhi. Also they are searching for one good advertising agency in their new product launch. Senior say to you as good job done, thank you.
Now one of your colleague was also asked the same question. After doing detailing of that customer, he/she approached to senior and shared his/her findings. This customer is very potential customer to our business. They are basically in battery business and located in Delhi. As electrical vehicle market is going to boom in country as well as in world, so they are launching new product for that segment. Their R&D team had invested 5 years in that project and their initial result seem impressive. They want to make this launching event as a mega event and we can perfectly serve them with our new advertising tool. We must place our strategy in place to grab this opportunity.
Now what you feel, who will get the preference, You or Your colleague? Though you were having good information but your colleague presented that in more business sense.
Moving from Reactive to Proactive Approach
#1 Reactive approach ‘There’s nothing I can do’; Proactive approach ‘Let’s look at other alternative’
Instead of closing options and blocking your mind, just ask alternative options in those situations. Your subconscious power will provide you solution without any doubt. Have faith in it as it’s connected to infinite intelligence.
#2 Reactive approach ‘That’s is just the way I am’; Proactive approach ‘I can choose a different approach’
When somebody give you good suggestion/feedback, which may be helpful to you, then try to adopt them. , Many a time it happen in real life, that one suggestion changes entire life of a person.
#3 Reactive approach ‘He makes me so sad’; Proactive approach ‘I control my own feeling’
Nobody can hurt you emotionally unless you yourself adopt that feeling. Happiness and sadness are the result of your own actions and behaviour.
#4 Reactive approach ‘I have to do this’; Proactive approach ‘I will choose an appropriate approach’
Reactive approach people feel burden while doing things. They do not enjoy the process and never feel happy and satisfied. Instead proactive approach people choose an appropriate approach as most probably they only initiated that action & now they are enjoying the process.
#5 Reactive approach ‘If only…’; Proactive approach ‘I will…’
Reactive approach people conditioned themselves by so many ways, such that they hardly take action. Like if have good job, then I shall have better work life balance. I will spare good time with family once I got my next promotion. They conditioned their mind in EITHER-OR way instead of BOTH.
Proactive people are always committed to carry-out their actions and getting their desired result.
“I believe that everyone chooses how to approach life. If you’re proactive, you focus on preparing. If you’re reactive, you end up focusing on repairing.”- John C. Maxwell