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Proactive and Reactive Personalities

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When we are told that the situations we find ourselves in and the emotions that we experience are largely because of our own doing, it's difficult to accept. It involves a huge paradigm shift, with us taking responsibility for our current situation and circumstances.

The natural reaction is generally to resist or to argue to prove ourselves right, but eventually we get the realisation that we are in fact in control.

In this situation, we can choose to be reactive and be controlled by the external factors, or we can choose to be proactive and not be affected by the external factors.

We don’t have to be influenced by unpredictable events or the negative emotions of others.

Being Proactive is being responsible for our behaviour, results and growth. It’s about taking responsibility of your life.

Proactive people don't blame genetics, circumstances, and conditions, around them. They know that they choose their own behaviour.

However, Reactive people, on the other hand, are often affected by external factors and their physical environment.

They find external sources to be blamed for their behaviour. If the weather is good, they feel good. If it isn't, it affects their attitude and performance, and they blame the weather. In contrast, Proactive people carry their own weather wherever they go.

People who play the game of “Tit for Tat” in an argument or situation, are being reactive. They are reacting to what the other person is saying rather than being grounded and more rational where they take responsibility for their emotional triggers.

They are generally with the mentality that “I am suffering because of him” or that “She is making me mad” and speak in the Victim Language.

Habits that a person needs to cultivate in order to become proactive are:-

• He should be able to set goals and work towards achieving them.

• He should focus on creating opportunities, instead of waiting for them to come your way

• Taking conscious control of your life

• Understanding the choice that he has in the makeup of his life

• Should be able apply his own personal principles, morals and core values in making decision for himself as well as others.

• Have imagination and creativity to explore possible alternatives

• Realize that he has his independent will to choose his own unique response.

• Make plans and ways to manage his time and not spread himself too thin! Should not get divided by his time, instead he should be able to divide his time.

So, if you find yourself having a hard time to cope up with situations, take control over yourself. As you become stronger about your own sense of empowerment, you will find yourself growing leaps and bounds.

It is not always possible for us to always directly correct how someone else behaves or talks to us. We have no control over the weather and so many more of such external factors, but we can choose our thought processes and our responses.

Being proactive is not becoming emotionless. Rather, it’s having complete control over your emotions. It’s making the transition — from other people and circumstances dictating your emotions and life to, to being in complete charge of yourself.

Instead of shifting the blame elsewhere, you can begin to carry the responsibility. Stop thinking that the external circumstances need to change, and realise that you can instead change yourself internally. The proactive approach is one that deals with things from the within-out.

And it applies to all sorts of situations. In relationships; where you work on your own behaviour and focus on being a loving person, rather than worrying about the faults of your partner. In business; where you work to your strengths and contribute as much as you can to the company rather than letting your belittling boss bring you down.

It even applies to healthcare. For example, the traditional medical model often treats people in quite a reactive way. When there is a problem, they try to respond to it, often by treating the patient’s symptoms… This is an outside-in approach. Whereas in a holistic approach, after the in-depth analysis of the person, the diseases which he may be more prone to in future are all well tackled by altering his diet and lifestyle through healthy modifications.

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