The Importance of Being Proactive (& Why Being Reactive Isn't for You)

In my time as a high performance coach, I’ve seen traits that high performers possess that set them apart. One of the most important qualities of someone who continually finds success has got to be this: they are proactive, not reactive.


What’s the difference? 


A proactive person is one who plans. They plan their day, their week, their month, and even their year! (Yes, I just made a FRIENDS reference).  High performers foresee challenges and eliminate the problems before they have a chance to come to fruition. And they have a clear direction for where they want to go so they don’t get sidetracked by distractions or the need to put out fires (that may not be fires at all). 


The opposite of a proactive person is a reactive person, who waits for an issue to arise and then starts to problem solve. Reactive people don’t have a clear picture so they get tossed around reacting to whatever comes their way and often not progressing much at all. Living in a constant state of reaction is stressful, exhausting and is not sustainable when it comes to becoming a high performer!


Why are high performers proactive and how does it help?


To start, embracing the act of being proactive sets them up for success! They are prepared, knowing what’s going to happen. They don’t wait for things to happen to them––they make things work for them.


High performers have a strong morning routine and are diligent planners. They have their day, week, month, quarter and even their year planned out! 


Does that mean that they foresee the future and that everything will work out? Of course not. But high performers use their plans as a way to make room for flexibility, and they know things always won’t go their way.


High performers are great at setting boundaries, and that especially shows through when it comes to taking on projects or in a group dynamic.


For example, a high performer reacts differently to a scenario when a coworker might ask for help. Instead of immediately jumping in to help, they take time to weigh the importance of helping their teammate right then and there and how it impacts the overall big picture. 


What might be important for a team member does not mean it’s the right choice for a high performer to drop everything they’re doing in that moment.


A reactive person can tend to react to every little incident that arises, and lack a clear focus on what the big picture even is.


Does that mean high performers are not team players? On the contrary! They make great teammates who help drive clarity and success! Embracing high performance makes you a desirable colleague and someone who reaches your own success.


When it comes to the proactive and reactive scenario, where do you find yourself? Do you fall in the stressful, frantic position of having to constantly fix problems that suddenly sprout up? Or do you navigate your day easily, knowing you have contingency plans in place?


If you need help moving from being a reactive to a proactive person, I’m here to help! Many times, becoming proactive starts with establishing good habits. Not sure where to start? Be sure to download this free "How To Start A New Habit" guide here and check out the Highest Potential Planner to start your journey to planning a proactive life.


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