- Very few are proactive and if you are, you will stand out.
- Any task can be done proactively, it doesn't always have to be the big ones
- Through proactivity, you can strengthen your social relationships and develop your career
Proactivity is a concept that everyone has heard of and many appreciate. But also looking at my own experience and behavior, people normally find it very hard to adapt this skill. This disconnect alone makes it worthwhile to take a closer look at this personality trait.
"Taking action to make changes oneself rather than reacting to things that happen." - Cambridge Dictionary
The above definition accurately describes the concept. Proactive people take action and thus cause reactions themselves rather than waiting for ones. Since this is still very abstract, let us make it more concrete. Imagine you buy a new phone. Would you just sit around and wait for another person to transmit the first message? Probably not - you would text your friends and family about the new phone. You would do the first step - even if it is a small one. And this can make all the difference.
"Most people never pick up the phone and that’s what separate’s sometimes the people who do things from the people that just dream about them." - Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs accurately describes the importance of doing the first step in his quote. If you do not ask proactively for help or support by reaching out to people, nobody can help you. And proactivity has been found to have an impact on the life of every individual. In concrete terms, scientific work has indicated that proactive people are more likely to:
- Set high standards and use all resources to achieve these
- More likely to have a successful career
- Have good social relationships
The important question now is, how to start concretely. The beauty of proactivity is that any action can be done proactively - so start small:
- Just call a good friend with whom you haven't been in contact for a while
- Bring your colleague a coffee when you get one for yourself
- Think about logical follow up tasks when you are done with one and suggest your favorite one to your chef
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