To Move Forward, Answer This: Are You Taking The Proactive or Reactive Path In Life?

Leadership Lesson: It’s a mistake to only live and work in reactive mode to everything around us, when we should be working to prepare as best as possible to navigate our environments.

Leadership is about taking in and utilizing the resources around you, whether it is for a cause or mission greater than yourself, or for your own development.

The tools you need are there for the taking. It’s a matter of realizing it, identifying them, and reaching out to combine the internal knowledge you hold and carry with those external tools that are at your disposal.

No one can take that first step but you. No one can force you. Being forced into it in one way or another does not create value. True value comes from truly understanding what your skills and value are and executing them in the right way, in order to complement those outside tools and resources.

If we ourselves haven’t made the decision to at least try and step out of ourselves to learn what’s out there for us, there won’t be enough power within us to deliver that of which we are wholly capable.

If you don’t believe it in, the level of commitment, effort, and ability will falter.

Much in the same way companies need to grow by learning, evolving, and avoiding complacency, each of us needs to understand the difference between reacting to what is given to us and being proactive to see, and work toward, what we believe we deserve.

Related Post: Is Your Workplace Busy Being Reactive Or Proactive?

Most often, what sets the successful person apart from those who are not is the determination, drive and focus to influence one’s environment, target the value they know they can provide, and adjust accordingly based on the outcomes. Those who have achieved their own version of success step up for what they believe they deserve. This isn’t meant necessarily in a entitled fashion, although some people might work that way. Knowing what you deserve comes from knowing what you can deliver and not settling for an environment where you’re not receiving value comparable to what you’re delivering.

This Reactive vs. Proactive comparison is about getting to where it is you can and want to be, not just staying where you feel safe and things are predictable.

Get out there!

For each person you come across, that’s an opportunity to learn, whether it is from them or them introducing you to something — not just someone — new.

You have to explore.

Wherever you are right now is fine as long as utilizing 100% of your effort, desire, personal strategy and self-reflection, and drive is what has gotten you to this point. But if you feel like you have much more inside you to tap into to make a difference for either yourself or others, or both, you have more work to do.

The easiest and hardest part of doing this is getting started.

It’s the hardest because we might be fearful of the unknown, but what is fear really? What is at stake? Yes, outcomes and consequences need to be considered and weighed to move forward. But risks should be taken which are calculated. You have to ask yourself about the consequences of taking on certain risks outside of your comfort zone. Are the consequences you fear financial or perceptual?

With regard to the financial, if things don’t work out will you lose financially to a dangerous degree? This must be weighed carefully as this is your life and well-being on the line.

With regard to perceptual, are you afraid of what others might think? Their thoughts? The thoughts that…can’t harm you physically?

In the end, with regard to your reputation, if things don’t work out when you try to make moves, you can’t be ashamed or embarrassed for trying. At least you’re trying. If someone makes you feel bad for falling short of a goal, then it’s not someone you want around you. You need people that allow you to work toward your goals. But if someone makes you feel embarrassed, they don’t belong in the circle of support that you need as they don’t have your best interests at-heart (or common courtesy). They’ve shown their true colors and there are way too many other people out there that would provide both great support and invaluable insight.

The hardest part of something typically is the first step. It will take some steps to gain momentum after that, but everything is a work-in-progress.

Related Post: In Your Journey, How Do You Think About Fear And How It Holds You Back?

But getting started is also the easiest because usually it takes a minimal amount of effort at first by way of asking questions.

Ask yourself what it is you truly want. Ask yourself if the resources (people, funding, network, etc.) are within your reach to start working in that direction. And ask yourself how bad you want it and what regrets you might have if you don’t at least try.

Some points of advice to consider in your journey, in no particular order:

No two people are alike. There are different personalities, desires, and goals. This advice doesn’t need to be a consideration for some.

For the rest of us, reconcile where you stand and then get going!

Yes, it’s not a race, but it is your life.

With some rare exceptions, no one is going to fight for you with the energy, passion, and desire you will to get what you want.

Are you just going to roll with life’s punches or are you going to counter-punch?

So…What About You?

  • What do you tell others who strive to focus their drive to their success? Do you take your own advice?
  • What percentage of your approach is reactive and how much is proactive? Is that the split that you want?
  • What has stopped you from being what and where you want to be?

Podcast – Coach It Out Quickshots, Episode 4 – Covers This Blog Post

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