I listened to a podcast the other day, that talked about living a proactive rather than a reactive life.
Reactive: to act in response to another person or stimulus
Proactive: tending to initiate change rather than reacting to events.
On reflection, I discovered that a lot of my life is spent in reaction to things. An email comes in so I feel I should answer it. The children yell, so I yell back.
I spend a great deal of my life with the sensation that everything is getting on top of me. Then when really big things come up, I am already at the end of my rope and I easily tip over the edge.
The idea of a proactive life is that instead of reacting to circumstances we try and take control. Obviously, we can’t take control of every circumstance in our life. But the fact is that there are a number of things in my life that I can take control of.
I am typing this post with Wi-Fi turned off. Why?
Because I find distractions constantly arrive in the form of emails, notifications and messages. If I want some undistracted writing time, I need to take control of my environment. I was complaining about this to Mr the other day. He looked at me and said ‘just turn Wi-Fi off’. Genius! A simple fix and no distractions.
Likewise, I am in control of my response to my daughters when they yell. I don’t have to react to them with anger. I can choose to be proactive and find out what the real problem is.
I guess what I am saying is that I can set the agenda and tone for my life. When I react that is actually a choice to respond to someone else’s plans and agenda. I no longer have the control.
However, being proactive takes time and space. It means I have to breathe before I reply to my daughter. It means I set aside time to consider areas in my life where I am routinely reacting. It means putting in place some simple steps to live more proactively.
Yet, it doesn’t have to be a big change. One of my recent changes is making lunches the night before. I am getting ahead on tomorrow. So that when my daughter can’t find her glasses, or hat or homework, at least lunches are done.
Are things piling on top of you at the moment? Are you feeling overwhelmed and with no time to breathe? What if you try to be proactive rather than reactive?
It doesn’t mean that you will have life totally under control. But it does mean that when the curveballs come along, you will have some emotional reserves in store to deal with them.
Join me for the journey,