“If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.” Nora Roberts makes it sound simple enough, but for most of us, taking the initiative is a matter of going into battle with ourselves – almost every cell in our body resists the decision. But being proactive cannot be simpler than how Roberts puts it, as hers is the most straightforward way to tackle ‘non-proactivity’. But we’ve broken down the simple into simpler for you – small steps that you can take instead of a giant leap.
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You become proactive…
When you take responsibility for your goals/ future
You’re the only person that really knows what’s good for you. So who better to bear the responsibility of your future? Sometimes we know the theory of it all, of what needs to be done get somewhere. But we don’t do it either out of laziness or fear. But when you truly realise the gravity of your goals and the reality of how difficult it is to achieve them, you automatically become responsible for them. Responsibility comes only with a feeling possession, when something is yours. When you begin to take your goals seriously, you will begin to nurture them – and it is only when you feel responsible for them that you take action.
When you associate with the right people
Being around people who are proactive can initially be intimidating, and can give you a serious inferiority complex. But there’s an advantage to this – being challenged is a healthy way to grow. Being around people who do things differently than you gives you a sense of where you stand and how you can improve. Moreover, their proactivity will rub off on you. You will understand their mind-set and what it means to take control of situations and your life. Slowly, what seemed forced before will become more natural, and more a part of your personality.
When you’re on the lookout for opportunities
When you actively look for opportunities, you’ll find more ways to act. This gives you a say in the turns your life should take. We tend to leave many things to chance but it’s hard to ignore an opportunity when we find it, right? Chase opportunities like you would temptations, which as you already know, are just as hard to ignore. Looking for opportunities can be cumbersome and your stock of enthusiasm might dwindle in the beginning but soon, you’ll start seeing the result of proactivity and this will get you (and keep you) in the groove.
When you develop foresight
When you look for prospects, you put your problem solving skills to use. How? Think of yourself as a computer: opportunities are flowing in, in the form of raw data and you have to analyse them, and see how useful or relevant they are to you. In this process, you begin to apply foresight – “If this is the prospect, then this will be the result.” When you develop this ability to predict the outcomes of your decisions, you will be better equipped to act appropriately. This highlights an important aspect of proactivity – it’s not simply about acting, it’s about acting smartly. This is one of the reasons why proactive people are always prepared and rarely hesitate before taking a step forward.
Let’s face it; being proactive is saying a teary goodbye to your comfort zone. But it is only when you do, that you begin to experience life – in a way that you want to.