They say we make our own luck, and I wholeheartedly believe this. You see, we have to be in it to win it. And the way we create our own luck is by being proactive. When we put ourselves out there and use our initiative, we open ourselves up to opportunity.
We can all get stuck in a rut once in a while. But did you know all too often, we endure an unsatisfying life due to our reluctance to be proactive and set about making our lives great? We need more confidence to initiate change.
This article will discuss how to be more proactive and how being proactive enhances our lives. It will also provide five tips for how you can be more proactive.
What does it mean to be proactive?
Proactive people are leaders of change. The Cambridge Dictionary defines proactive as “taking action by causing change and not only reacting to change when it happens.”
Proactive people create their own opportunities instead of waiting for life to happen. They see something that needs doing, and they do it.
For several months I spoke of a business idea. I knew this business had the potential to be my ikigai. But it wasn’t until I proactively took steps to create this business that the sense of purpose and fulfillment seeped through my veins.
Turn your thoughts into action and watch how this proactivity shapes your life.
How proactivity can boost our lives
The obvious benefit of being proactive is learning to take control of our lives and direct them in the direction that brings us happiness.
An interesting study from 2019 explored the effect of proactive decision-making on life satisfaction. With a participant pool of 1300, they found that “proactive decision-making fosters a greater belief in one’s abilities and increases satisfaction with one’s decision and with life more generally.”
When we are proactive, we gain a heightened sense of control of our life which helps reduce feelings of learned helplessness or low mood.
When we are proactive, we open up a world of opportunity and possibility.
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5 ways to be more proactive
We have a saying in Scotland, “Shy bairns (children) get nay sweets.” It translates to the adage that if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
So it’s time to learn how to exert ourselves and ourselves in a position where we are comfortable asking for what we want.
Here are five tips for how you can be more proactive.
Proactive people make their life happen, which includes orchestrating their social lives.
In life, some initiate, and some only respond. But relationships need reciprocity to thrive. If you never initiate, you will soon find that people may disappear.
If you want to deepen your connections or build new connections with others, it’s time to initiate social contact or engagements.
- Text or call someone you have spoken to in a while.
- Take the lead and invite someone you recently met for a coffee date.
- Host a dinner party and introduce friends who may get along.
- Invite a friend to join you to see a movie.
It isn’t just romantic relationships that benefit from proactivity. Our social life thrives when we take the initiative.
2. See what needs doing, and do it
From a managerial perspective, there is nothing better than having a proactive team who uses its initiative.
When you are proactive in the workplace, you earn yourself a reputation for being a hard worker with a finely-tuned awareness of the needs of the business. These traits will hold you in good stead for promotions.
Before working on a new project, you may still need approval from your manager. But instead of going to your manager with a “What project do you want me to work on now,” consider taking a more proactive approach. First, find a problem and then provide a suggestion for a solution. “I’ve noticed the client database is out of date and causing administration issues; I can dedicate a few hours to this tomorrow morning to fix the issue if you want.”
3. Put your learnings in place
It’s all good and well reading a self-help book or an interesting article providing actionable insights, but it is almost pointless if we don’t apply our learnings to our lives.
Proactive people apply any newfound knowledge to life. This application means they are constantly evolving and updating their skill set. It also means they don’t get stuck in their ways or caught up in old habits for too long.
Proactive people are most likely to be at the top of their game. Consider the athlete who is striving to improve. Proactive athletes will read up on how they can get fitter, faster, and stronger and put their learnings into practice.
Proactive people stay curious and are always learning.
4. Fill the gaps
Not many of us have all areas in our lives exactly as we would want them. What can you do about this? Whether it is feeling the need for education, human connection, improved health, or something else, there are endless opportunities to fill these gaps in your life by being proactive.
People often settle for an unsatisfactory life because they don’t have it in them to be proactive in building an incredible life. Well, buckle up; it’s time to build your dream life.
Who do you want to be in five years? It’s time to start your journey toward that person.
- Learn a new skill.
- Sign up for a gym or some fitness groups.
- Start a book club.
- Spend more time with people who encourage positive habits.
- Spend less time with people who are a bad influence or leave you drained.
5. Excel at time management
I used to fit more into a day than most people fit in a week. Seriously, at my most productive, I was also my most proactive. I was unstoppable. I followed every line of possible inquiry in my life. I left no stone unturned while seeking a deeper connection with myself.
Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today.Benjamin Franklin
To be super proactive, we must learn to manage our time. We can do this in several ways.
- Keep an up-to-date diary.
- Manage our “to-do” and “accomplished” lists.
- Learn to prioritize our tasks.
- Schedule in downtime; otherwise, you may burn out.
- Write down specific goals to keep ourselves accountable.
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To lead a fulfilling and happy life, you must cultivate it yourself. Creating this type of life for yourself requires proactivity.
Here are our top 5 tips for how you can be more proactive.
- Initiate socials.
- See what needs to be done and do it.
- Put your learnings in place.
- Fill the gaps.
- Excel at time management.
Do you consider yourself a proactive person? What's your favorite tip to share with others? I would love to hear your suggestions on being more proactive in the comments below!