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Proactivity: The Muscle You NEED to Build

What is the ONE thing that always sabotages your dreams, causes you to over react and creates tremendous, but unnecessary, pain in your life?

The answer, YOU!

Well, more specifically, your thoughts but they are exactly that, YOURS!

Thoughts are what create our world, they are the at the root of all of our actions, even if you are conscious to it or not.

Most people demonize themselves and SABOTAGE all the good things in their life. Your impulses and your reactions are usually NOT for your benefit.

There are three points to a reaction:

  1. Stimulus

  2. Thoughts

  3. Response/Reaction

The thoughts are what create your reaction to the initial stimulus....for example, you are faced with a FRESH PACK OF TIM HORTONS DONUTS at work and you've decided to FINALLY get fit!

  1. Stimulus: You see the donuts in the office kitchen.

  2. Thoughts: " donuts, they smell sooo good!"

  3. Reaction: Eats a donut.

Okay! I am not saying that you will always reach for the donut or that you have NO DISCIPLINE, maybe there was a debate in your mind.....but the point to be made is that the POWER OF DECISION comes into play after the initial stimulus and your thoughts are usually what will determine your actions.

If you are REACTIVE and unaware of them, you will impulsively reach for the donut.

This is where I want to introduce the idea of "proactivity" to you, the opposite of reactivity...

What is Proactivity?

Proactivity, according to International Best Selling Author Stephen Covey, is the 1st and most foundational habit of the 7 critical habits of HIGHLY EFFECTIVE people and leaders.

He describes it as, “the subordination of an impulse for a value.”

This means that you are able to be aware of your thoughts in a moment of impulse (reaching for the donut) and choose to make a better decision (sticking to your goals and your diet).

You are able to take responsibility (Response-Ability) for your actions and respond to stimulus in a way that BEST supports your goals and your dreams.

Between stimulus and response, every person has the POWER to choose how they wish to respond.

By realizing your powers and choosing to NOT reach for the donuts, you have officially made a proactive choice and subordinated your impulse for a higher value, health and physical appearance.

The more you make these kinds of decisions, the STRONGER you become and the MORE proactive you can be at overriding your impulsive, reactive and self-sabotaging thoughts and tendencies.

This is a skill that you can develop which allows you to CHOOSE how you respond and which intersects the negative thoughts, replacing them with constructive ones.

You will begin to realize that you can take 100% responsibility and control over your life, in EVERY scenario!

It destroys victimhood mentality and forces you to realize that there is ALWAYS another alternative.

Your old, negative thoughts and bad habits are clouding your better judgment!

Proactivity creates CHOICE, EMPOWERMENT and RESULTS in one’s life!

How do you DEVELOP this proactive mindset?

The proactive mindset says that...

"I am not a product of my circumstances, I am a product of my decisions." - Stephen Covey

To develop this mindset, it is like a muscle and these are the steps to build your proactivity muscles:

  1. Develop mindfulness and awareness of your current thoughts.

  2. Once mindfulness has been built, take action to correct your negative thoughts and develop your power and discipline to make better decisions.

  3. Repeat step 2 over and over, proactivity is like a muscle that you build.

The MORE times you make a decision that proactively overrides an impulse, the better you will become at making the RIGHT decisions.

SO! The first step for you to do is to build mindfulness of your current thoughts...

What I want you to do is spend 5 minutes a day, away from distractions, sitting in quiet away from others, and try to observe the thoughts that come up.

Do this, develop your mindfulness and begin to see your impulsive behaviours for what they are, simply thoughts!

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Sarita Arisola
Sarita Arisola
Nov 27, 2020

Awesome content!

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