Proactivity or proactive behavior of people refers to anticipatory behavior, oriented to change in situations. Proactive behavior involves acting before a future situation, rather than just reacting. It means taking control and making things happen rather than just adjusting to a situation or waiting for something to happen..
Being proactive doesn't just mean taking initiative, but taking responsibility for making things happen; decide at all times what we want to do and how we are going to do it.
A proactive person is one who assumes his own responsibilities and does not give up under the circumstances. According to Víktor Frankl, he is also the person who has initiative and pursues goals, for the good of himself and others..
When people behave proactively, at the same time they are rejecting reactive attitudes, which are those that imply being affected or even overwhelmed by circumstances, which would make any change become a hindrance to the effort. In addition, a reactive person focuses his effort on worry, on thinking about the many things over which he has no control and they will turn against him. Proactivity arises in opposition to this idea, highlighting the importance of acting taking into account carefully considered values, where the effort is positive in itself..
Many people think reactively. That is, they think at the moment when things happen, they react when they perceive certain situations or eventualities.
And reactive thinking is up to a point good, however it becomes a problem when you do it all the time..
There is an important space between Stimuli and Responses, and within that space, lies the potential that we carry within to respond or react..
An excellent way to become more aware of our own proactiveness is to examine how we invest our time and energy. Each of us has a wide range of concerns: health, children, work problems, public debt, wars ... We can separate them from things with which we have no mental or emotional commitment, creating a “circle of worry".
When we review the things that are within our circle of concern it becomes clear that over some of them we have no real control and, regarding others, we can do something. We can identify the concerns of the latter group by circumscribing them within a smaller “circle of influence”. Proactive people focus their efforts on the circle of influence. They are dedicated to things that they can do something about. Its energy is positive: it expands and increases, which leads to the widening of the circle of influence.
One way to determine our circle of concern is to distinguish "haves" and "bes." The circle of concern is full of "having": "I will be happy when I have my own house"; "If I had a boss who wasn't such a dictator ..."; "If I had a more patient wife ..."; "If I had a more obedient son ...". The circle of influence is full of "being": I can be more patient, I can be sensible, I can be loving. Focus is on character.
Whenever we think that the problem is "out there", this thinking is the problem, because we give something that is outside the power to control us. The paradigm of change is then from the outside in: what is outside has to change before we change..
The proactive approach is about changing from the inside out.
The proactive approach proposes to be different, and in this way cause a positive change in what is outside: I can be more ingenious, more diligent, more creative, more cooperative.
You have the responsibility to act yourself. If you expect others to act on you, they will act on you. And the consequences in terms of development and opportunities depend on which one route or another is followed..
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey.