Would you like to become more proactive? First, let’s start with why you aren’t.


Photo Credit: Aron Visuals on Unsplash

Most people would likely agree that being proactive is a beneficial skill to have. It helps us complete tasks in a timely manner and allows us the flexibility to stay calm and organized while we’re getting things done. Some people seem to naturally have this skill, yet other people do not.  Many people have tried to become proactive, yet they can’t seem to sustain it for any length of time.  Why is this? Why are some people proactive and other people, no matter how hard they try, simply NOT?

For most of us, it’s not that we don’t want to be proactive, it just seems that we lack that skill for no apparent reason. Even when we try, it seems like something always comes up that prevents us from doing proactive things. It can feel like even the universe is conspiring against us in our attempts to get things done in a timely manner and deal with challenging situations before they worsen.

There is a reason for this conundrum.  We are a product of our programming, and most of us have no clue what our programming is or what caused it. Most of us are operating in life with outdated thoughts, beliefs, habits and patterns that we are unaware of. This hidden programming keeps us stuck and struggling to make the lasting changes we would like to make in our lives. Whenever we try to bring in something new, the old patterns and ways find a way to take over our best efforts.

As an example, imagine having a beautiful bouquet of flowers and an equally beautiful vase to place them in. The only issue is that you can’t put the flowers into the vase… because you haven’t removed the old, withered flowers that have been in your vase for a very long time. First, you try to add the new to the old, but the old takes away from the beauty and impact of the new. You then realize that the only way to truly embrace the new is to remove the old.

The same rule applies to our programming. It is ineffective to bring in new ways of being before you have removed the old. It is so much easier to naturally be, do and have what we desire… when we release the old and then bring in the new. Wouldn’t it be nice to STOP TRYING to be a certain way and just BE IT???

The secret to removing our detrimental programming is to learn what has caused it and LET IT GO. Any time you are not naturally something that you would like to be, like proactive for example, the FIRST STEP is to realize what you currently are (always late, always putting out fires, always stressed about deadlines etc).  

The SECOND STEP is to ask yourself how you became this way (use your imagination and allow the all the reasons to come to you).

The following are examples of possible causes of your proactive blocks:

  • Family – your family was not proactive when you were growing up and you weren’t able to learn this skill from them
  • Experiences – you had a negative experience at some point in your life (that you may not even remember) relating to being proactive and decided it was bad or painful to be that way
  • Beliefs – you believe that you perform better last-minute, under pressure and at crunch time

The THIRD STEP is to give yourself permission to let go of these outdated patterns, programs and behaviours of non-proactiveness that are no longer serving you.  Imagine you are releasing them and continue to use these steps to release any other non-proactive patterns that may surface in the future. The ego is the part of the mind that will try to protect and preserve the past and old, familiar patterns. It is the part of your mind that you will have to remind to ‘let go’ of these old ways of being if more patterns of non-proactiveness surface.  

The FINAL STEP is to visualize bringing in what you ACTUALLY DESIRE to be, do and have – like the skills and natural abilities of being proactive.

  • What does being proactive look like?
  • What does it feel like?
  • How do you conduct yourself now that you are proactive?
  • How do people around you respond to you being proactive?

The issue with changing patterns and habits is that so many people are only doing it at a surface level… because “change making” is only being taught at a surface level. Surface change is very laborious, slow, and you always have to think about the words and actions that are required to be the way you want to be.

The surface efforts do NOT become your natural way of being, and they do NOT become automatic. Unfortunately, these surface efforts do not last.

The best way to change ANYTHING in life is to get to your core where everything stems from, release the old, bring in the new and BECOME THAT WHICH YOU DESIRE.

Written by Shannon Russell. For more personal growth insights, visit her Facebook Page.