Proactive Vs Reactive: 8 Best Ways to Stay Proactive

The Proactive VS Reactive approach has juggled our minds. We all grew up learning how to react, and reactions are bound to flow from either righteously or unpleasantly.

We all have been highly reactive, sometimes reactions pour out without our will. The reactive way transforms into a proactive way of responding 1with just a slight alteration in your perspective.

How to be proactive and garner its benefits is something we all must learn.

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Reactive Behavior

Let’s take some examples and your car was glitching for a couple of months. It halted in the middle of the way to an important meeting. You blamed the car and thought you would lose the deal, and your day is spoiled.

In another situation, you wake up in the morning from your window; you notice heavy rainfall. At that moment, you decide to skip your class because of water-logging.

All these situations depict reactive behavior. A reactive person always acts after something has happened and is composed of its circumstances and emotions. Reactive persons blame other people and things and play the role of a sufferer.

Reactive people are also reluctant as they resist situations unless forced to participate. The main difference between proactive vs reactive2 is that a proactive person never fixes his next move based on his control.

We see the world, not as it is, but as we are -or, as we are conditioned to see it.”

– Stephen R. Covey.

Reactive people see difficult situations as hurdles and not as opportunities. In proactive vs reactive, reactive people are often played by situations, circumstances, and even people.

They rest their key to happiness in someone else’s hands, and their life decisions take turns due to weather, people, emotions drive their flight.

Proactive vs Reactive | Be Proactive

Proactive Behavior

In the book “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People” written by Stephen R.Covey, the author has laid the foundation of success on ‘BE PROACTIVE.’ He has mentioned how the success ladder mounted with just being proactive in your life.

Proactive are those who try to act before any difficulty sprouts. They use their apprehension to decode problems at the root level even before somebody could see them. 

Let’s say being a manager; your boss asks you to recruit 110 employees. You used your insight and onboarded 120 employees. Your boss accuses you of over-staffing, but within a week, six employees quit, your work is not hampered because of a Proactive move.

Proactive people are planners who prepare themselves and plan to avoid future problems. They use their insight to get the first-mover advantage of a situation and recognize perils ahead of time. They plan, prepare and perform with the harmony of circumstances.

Proactive people are never bothered by situations, mold them favorably, and are self-believers.

” Build inner character first private victory before the public victory.”

– Stephen R. Covey.

Proactive people learn and always welcome changes. They are good leaders as they keep their team in high spirits. They are the gamer and consider problems as challenges to the next level.

They are poised and control their reactions, come out with great solutions, carry a more optimistic approach, and always think about what they can make out of a situation.

Why Swap Reactive with Proactive Behavior?

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by mindscanner / unlimphotos

A proactive approach is more practical in today’s world. Proactive people tend to be happier as they are not affected by others and are always busy achieving goals.

So if it proactive vs reactive approach, choose to be a proactive person, whether making plans for the next venture or a big move in life, a proactive approach is a premier. Proactive people keep hurdles at bay by identifying them on time.

In the proactive vs reactive people, proactive people are composed and poised because of great planning skills as they can anticipate the future and remain prepared. They bring out something gratifying even in not-so-good conditions.

A manager with proactive sight will distribute work according to capabilities and review their performances in an ideal situation. He will take responsibility for the results.

How to Stay Proactive In Reactive Situations

There are eight steps to how to be proactive instead of reactive:

1. Focus on Things You Can Control

Spend your energy on the circle under your control. You can speed up your work to meet deadlines on time can prepare small assignments daily to end your project fast. You cannot control the weather and political turmoil in your state. So focus on your area of control.

2. Planning is Essential

Make time for planning, wars are won in the general’s tent.”

-Stephen R.Covey.

Planning is done to achieve end goals. It brings out deficiencies in present efforts and allows you to fix them at the root level. Start planning for daily work and then move to big plans. Be handy with plans to execute with backups. It will save you from future shockers. 

3. Bring Flexibility as Required.

Stick to plans you made but bring in flexibility as per requirement. Accept changes and try to have a flexible outlook towards situations. 

4. Itemize Your Work Accordingly

Organize and prioritize your work based on its importance. Work on points with high value first and deal with inconsequential things later. After selling any product, the manager’s job is to get feedback before going for further production.

5. Take Responsibility

Feel responsible for outcomes and take responsibility. It will help you to achieve end goals. You will work harder considering yourself accountable for the result. 

6. Check Your Tone

Replace “I will try” with “I will achieve; “Can I do this” with “I can do this.” Manifest your dreams, not fears. Don’t start your day with thoughts like “I can’t do this more” or “I want to elope somewhere.” Change those thoughts with sentences like “I will make big today,’ or ‘I will make it work.”

7. Behave Proactively

Act by evaluating the present scenario and its short-term and long-term impacts. Act in the present while thinking of the future, between reactive vs proactive choose proactive. 

8. Don’t React Immediately.

Situations will force you to act immediately but be patient while replying and mince your words. If you land in any heated argument or before taking up any task with a quick yes, give yourself some time to respond.

8 Proactive Affirmations To Start Your Day With:

  1. I choose to Be Proactive.
  2. I am the decision-maker.
  3. I will make it happen.
  4. I observe, plan, and act.
  5. I will achieve my goals.
  6. I believe in myself.
  7. I am not affected by situations.
  8. I chose to be optimistic.

Proactive VS Reactive Behavior- Bottomline

If you like any sport, you can learn how to be proactive from players. A chess player always plans their moves; even after losing a move, they never lose their calm.

In Proactive VS Reactive behavior, the only difference is you choose to react subtly and not under the influence of circumstances. Choose to be Proactive when you want to be reactive.

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Infographic That Explains 8 Reasons To Understand The Importance of Planning
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  1. Fay, Doris, and Sabine Sonnentag. “A look back to move ahead: New directions for research on proactive performance and other discretionary work behaviours.” Applied Psychology 59.1 (2010): 1-20. ↩︎
  2. Chen, Yu‐Shan, Ching‐Hsun Chang, and Feng‐Shang Wu. “Origins of green innovations: the differences between proactive and reactive green innovations.” Management Decision 50.3 (2012): 368-398. ↩︎

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