Everyday in our lives situations happen around us. Some are positive and some are negative. How we respond to those situations will determine if we achieve success and happiness in life. Your response to situations can be classified as either a REACTIVE response or a PROACTIVE responsive and thus will determine what type of person you are.
A reactive person is one who is ruled by emotion. Everything is the fault of others or the environment around him. He is quick with excuses and complaints. A reactive person tends to focus on things that he has little or no control over instead of those which he can influence. A reactive person does not take responsibility for his own failings. A reactive person’s success is limited.
A proactive person keeps his emotions in check because his values and decision to do what is right, is stronger. He is not ruled by his emotions. His behavior is a function of his decisions, not the conditions around him. He has a free will to choose his response to every situation. A proactive person takes initiative to make positive changes in only those areas where he has influence. He does not take on a negative attitude and complain about those things which he can not influence. A proactive person has a more fulfilling and successful life.
How would you respond if someone at work, who was less qualified than you, received the promotion you expected to be awarded to you? Would you be angry toward your boss or toward the person who got the promotion? Would you complain to other co-workers? Would you complain to your spouse? Would you get discouraged? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you are being REACTIVE.
If your response was to say to yourself, I am going to improve my skills; I will educate myself more; I will be better prepared or I am going to double my efforts, then you would be exhibiting a proactive behavior. You are destined to succeed!
What type of person are you? If you’re reactive in nature, you are in the majority. Most of us were raised around reactive people and not guided properly to take responsibility for our own lives. So, where does that leave the majority of people who fall into the reactive category? It leaves them living an average life, most often not achieving the things they once envisioned for themselves.
If you are reactive, have heart because being proactive can be learned. It will take some time un-conditioning yourself from a lifetime of negativity but you can do it. The good news is that you just took a huge step forward in identifying the personality trait that has been holding you back. Now, remember it and start making changes in your daily life. Make being proactive a habit. A good idea that can help would be to post notes everywhere that say, “ Be Proactive” or “ I control my emotions, they don’t control me.”
An average life is OK, and nothing to be ashamed of, but if you want to live an exceptional life, you must to learn to be PROACTIVE!