Being proactive is the first step to gaining self-control. I think we all like to be in charge of other people, but how often are we really controlling ourselves? I used to go through life responding in a reactive way to my environment and the circumstances around me. I used to think that life just happened, and we had to adapt to what it brought us. 

Then there was that whole thing with the Secret. I thought, Wow! I can just visualize what I want, and it will show up. Has that worked for anyone? I tell you what, I can picture piles of money in my bank account, but everytime I go there to see it in real life, the money still hasn't arrived.

There is more to it than just visualization. It's being proactive. It's one thing to visualize what you want and another to get it to show up in your life. First, you have to know what it is you want. Then you have to believe you can have it. Then you have to take action. You have to take responsibility. You have to go get it.

It's almost like we have to  prove that we really want it and deserve it. It's not always easy, but with practice, it's not that difficult. Today's post wil help you to learn to become more proactive so you can see that you are in control of your life and that you have the power to design it.

What is proactive

  1. creating your life

  2. deciding to be in control

  3. the Habit of Personal Vision

What does it really mean to be proactive? Being proactive is when you create and control your life by causing what you want to happen to happen, rather than resoponding to it after it has happened, or responding to circumstances.

That's quite a mouthful. Essentially, it's you deciding to be in control of your life. You decide how you feel. You decide how you respond. You decide what you do. You decide what you want your future to be like.

Stephen Covey calls his Habit 1, Be Proactive, the Habit of Personal Vision. You think about your life and you decide what you want it to be like, and then you have the desire to create that life.

Being proactive involves action. You have to know what you want and be willing to go get it.

Proactive responsibility

  1. you are the programmer

  2. choose response

  3. choose attitude

In his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey talks about how you are the programmer. There are lots of things that need a program to run smoothly. You are one of them. But you have to write your own program. Only you know what you want and need. It's your responsibility to get those things in your life.

Being proactive means choosing your response to things instead of reacting to them. He says your life is a product of your decisions, not your conditions. You have to take the time to be response-able.

When you are proactive you get to choose your attitude. Stephen encourages us to decide to do whatever it takes to make good things happen. We get to create our own growth and happiness.

Proactive awareness

  1. listen to yourself

  2. understand your values

  3. commit to yourself

Listen to your thoughts. Your brain chatter. What are you saying? What are you thinking? You need to become aware of yourself before you can change yourself. What decisions are you making? Are you happy with them? Be still and listen.

Being proactive is understanding your values. He goes on to say that your life is a product of your values, not your feelings. Your gut instinct will often override your brain. Be aware of those. They are your values.

If you are going to be proactive, you must commit to yourself. It is the first step to gain self control. It is being aware of your thoughts and decisions. It is committing to you, not to your friend or your mentor or your mom. It's knowing that you are unique and that you have to control your own life so you can feel fulfilled.

Make being proactive a habit

In a recent post I talked about the three things you need to make a habit stick. Knowledge, skill, and desire. Try putting those into practice with being proactive. Because we are individual, this could look different for each one of us. 

What do you know about being proactive?

How are you proactive?

Why do you want to be proactive?

Answering those questions will help you begin to be more proactive, more aware. The more you know and understand your nature, the easier it is to change or to get what you want.