What Proactivity Means To Me

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Photo by Anna Sullivan on Unsplash

Happy Easter Everyone! Here in Australia Good Friday and Easter Monday are considered public holidays, so it’s a long weekend for us! I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter today and may you receive a lot of chocolates from the Easter Bunny!

As Easter was originally a celebration of renewal and rebirth, to me that includes looking inward, examining ourselves and making changes to be one step closer to our best selves. There are always parts of us that we can improve on (and if you don’t have any room for improvement anymore, lucky you 😀 !) and Easter is a great time to do just that! If you’ve lost track with your New Year’s resolutions, now is the time to pick back up again!

To celebrate Easter and inviting in positive change, I’d like to talk about proactivity, what it means to me and why my blog is called Becoming Proactive.

In my teens, I felt that there was always something missing in my life. I was unhappy and, my parents used to point out on multiple occasions, angry at the world. No matter how much I denied it, this was heavily reflected in my actions.

I was so reactive. I would blame everyone and everything else whenever things didn’t go my way, I would complain a lot whenever my mom told me to do something for her and I always felt that maybe if I fixed my attitude, more people would like me.

After graduating high school and moving to Queensland, I felt that I achieved nothing in the past five years. I felt empty.  I was scared that I would remain the same and repeat the same mistakes for the rest of my life.

One day, while cleaning up my room, I found a book that I bought during my past holidays to the Philippines. This book would be The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

My personal copy of The Seven Habits. It’s been through a lot with me!

Back in 2014, I got it for the sake of pleasing my parents (even though they didn’t really need me to buy it). Back then I’d spent most of my shopping money on anime merchandise and fiction books, so I thought that having this would make me seem like a sensible teen and be taken seriously by the adults (I was 16 at the time).

I never opened the book until 2016. I found it lying under my bed, covered in dust. After finally deciding to read it and try the book, the moment I opened that book, I slowly felt something inside me change.

I realised that the reason why my life was the way it is, was not because the world was out to get me and people wanted to see me fail. The reason why I felt unhappy was that of how I responded poorly to everything around me. I felt helpless, and that there was nothing I could do about it.

This book was cathartic for me. I became aware of the way I treated the people around me and the way I treated myself. I felt that for once in my life, I was fully in control of my life. As I started to take responsibility for myself, I felt the personal power within me grow and started to believe in myself, that I could achieve whatever I wish.

The reason why my blog is called Becoming Proactive is that out of the seven, my most favourite habit is Habit One: Be Proactive. It is my favourite as I feel that it’s the habit that start’s everything, not only in the book but also in life. Whenever I see the blog’s title, I am always reminded of the things I want to achieve and to share with others the things I learn throughout my journey.

So, what is proactivity? We hear it all the time, but we’re unsure of what it actually means. According to Covey, proactivity means that ‘we are responsible for our own lives’ and that ‘we have the initiative and the responsibility to make things happen’.

While I agree with that definition, I feel that proactivity is more than that. To me, proactivity also includes accepting ourselves entirely. When we become proactive, we accept our flaws and our human-ness. Whenever we fail, we have been scripted by society to see our failures as irredeemable faults, that our mistakes define us and are a part of who we are. From past experience, I would always beat myself up for making a mistake, following it up with saying that maybe if I wasn’t X and more of Y, I wouldn’t make the same mistake again.

Now, after becoming more self-aware, I’ve realised that by being responsible for myself, means that I own up to my mistakes and look at them in a reflective way and not emotionally, to be able to grow from it. By being proactive, I’ve learned to accept that my failures are a result of a lack of knowledge, not from a lack of personality. That we have the choice to learn and grow from our actions and lastly, and that it is perfectly normal to make mistakes and that we should forgive ourselves for doing so.

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Photo by MARK ADRIANE on Unsplash

I don’t mean to say that focusing on proactivity and self-development has made my life perfect. There seems to be a misconception that after reading self-help books, everything falls into place and instantly we are the best versions of ourselves. This is not true. Aiming to improve ourselves is a lifelong journey and there are no shortcuts. To make life-lasting changes, we must work day in and day out and be consistent.

Since I started my journey of personal growth, life continues to have ups and downs. I still make mistakes. There are days when I don’t feel like I have a good relationship with myself. The only difference I have now is knowing that I am more than these ups and downs and that as I long as I stay focused, I will achieve success.

May everyone a wonderful Easter weekend, and that you all enjoyed reading my post! Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

The Question Of The Post: What was your life-changing moment and what inspired you to make that change?

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Claire S.

A person trying to make it in life as I go through my 20's. Currently trying to get rid of bad habits and writing about getting rid of them. I invest my time way too much in art, books and my dog. Figuring out how to use WordPress one blog post at a time. I write about proactivity, self improvement and appreciating life based on my own life experiences and lessons.

23 thoughts on “What Proactivity Means To Me”

    1. That’s great and I’m so happy for you! For me, that’s blogging as writing makes me reflective and feel grateful, giving me a lot of peace 😄 yoga sounds fun, I’ll have to try it next time!

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  1. A quote came to mind while reading your post, “Happiness is not the absence of problems; it’s the ability to deal with them.” -Steve Maraboli.

    A life changing moment…well more of a life style changing moment for me was when my gyno told me that my weight is the reason for my amenorrhea. I had to start eating more to gain weight and get my period back on track. And this is a topic I will address in my blog for sure 😊

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    1. I totally agree Jenny! Most people think that happiness will just happen to them when everything else is “right” and fail to realise that happiness is a choice we can all make, through our words, our actions and our feelings. Once we realise we have the power to make ourselves happy, reality follows suite 😄

      I’ll be looking forward to reading you talking about your health on your blog! God bless and may all go well with you!

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  2. I agree with your definition
    of being proactive.
    Being aware of my shortcomings helps me avoid the situations in which I could founder.

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    1. thank you for your wonderful comment! For me though, I learned about my shortcomings from all the floundering I’ve done 😅 best of luck to you!

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  3. This was an excellent post, very inspiring and your story is similar to mine! I was always reactive and didn’t do much of anything to change my situation.

    My (now) wife inspired me with how she lived, always aiming to improve. I have slowly been moving towards a more proactive, intentional life – I’ve had some false starts on the way, but the key is to keep trying!

    I haven’t read the ‘7 Habits’ book, I’ll have to add it to my reading list!

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    1. Thank you for your wonderful comment and I’m glad that you can relate! There are some times when I’m still reactive, but now I’m aware of it and can stop myself on the spot 😄

      I’m so happy for you! You are so lucky to be surrounded by someone who inspires you to be your best self! Your wife sounds lovely!

      After reading the Seven Habits, I’ve read a bunch of other books, listened to podcasts and a bunch of other things that are in line with the book. I’ll be making a post of recommendations, which I’ve all read, and hopefully that post can help others!

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      1. That sounds excellent! I’ll look forward to reading your post of recommendations. Have you listened to Optimal Living Daily podcast? It’s my absolute favourite, where they read from popular blogs about self-improvement.

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  4. “By being proactive, I’ve learned to accept that my failures are a result of a lack of knowledge, not from a lack of personality” so so true! I loved reading this 🙂 so happy to come across your blog

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  5. Ah I went through *such* a phase of reading self-help/inspirational book like these in my late teens/early-mid twenties.

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      1. Oh – I read a bunch on body language and stuff, and then I moved into popular psychology and positive psychology…

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  6. An insightful, honest, and delightful post to read, Claire! I am so happy to read about how your blog started; I think this is an ah-ha! moment many people try to achieve. I’m excited to check out that book. Thanks for the share! ~Kelsey 😃🌸🦋

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  7. Hey, thought I would check out your site. This is exactly what we were just saying. This is great news and I really hope it works out well for you! 😁

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