Are you waiting for the outside world to change before you are happy or take action? A reactive person focuses on the problem that is “out there”, they work from the outside in. A proactive person focuses on what they can change in themselves and work from the inside out. Check out the website for more content


As we continue through habit 1 of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey today we diver deeper into Habit 1 – Being Proactive. Being a proactive person is all about taking control and responsibility for your actions. Focusing on the things you can influence and control and distinguishing between what they call the haves and the bes. A reactive person thinks the problem is “out there” and that thought alone is part of the problem. They are constantly waiting for the outside world to change before they can “have” something. That can range from anything from happiness, to wealth, to a better relationship with their spouse, etc. It is an outside-in thinking.

A proactive person works on change from the inside-out. How can I be different? How can I be more patient? What new skills can I learn? This shift in thinking is not an easy one to make, but the more you work on it and the more successful you become at applying it the more of a difference you will see. It is empowering to think of the control we have on our lives, our days, our success and not attach it to what someone has already decided for us. The world will always throw obstacles our way, and sometime they will overwhelm us, but as often as possible we want to make sure we are making the choice to be happy and making the choice to take control.

Other items to keep in mind as we build towards becoming a more proactive person are considering the consequences of our decisions, owning up to mistakes, and keeping commitments. We can only control our actions. We cannot control the consequences of them. We can have a good idea what might happen, but we must be willing to accept responsibility for our actions, good and bad, at all times. Owning up to mistakes is part of that. When you make a mistake, own up to it. Trying to cover up the mistake with a lie or something along those lines is only creating a second and potentially larger mistake. Lastly, keep commitments. Not only to others, but more importantly to yourself. The more times you keep you keep commitments you have made to yourself, the deeper the habit becomes, and the more confident and empowered you will feel.

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