Three Keys to Being Proactive

Last week I wrote about how to make feedback useful. It was an idea sparked from my Newsweek quote. When reading the rest of the article, it brought another topic front of mind… the idea of being proactive.

My VA joked that being proactive takes superpowers or a crystal ball to see into the future. I think being proactive comes down to a few things; forethought, curiosity & creativity, and experience.

  • Forethought. Seems obvious that you need to be able to think ahead. To take an action and think through the possible reactions and outcomes. Thinking beyond this moment takes practice. It means getting out of survival mode. Set time aside to think past the here and now and focus on what’s to come. Don’t get sidetracked by immediate needs or emergencies that you need to overcome just to get by. Allow yourself a moment to recenter and refocus. Instead of feeling like you are treading water, breath and visualize yourself on the life raft, look ahead and ask yourself, what’s coming next.
  • Curiosity & Creativity. To fully use that time to look ahead, you must tap into your
    curiosity. Ask yourself and others questions about possibilities. Come up with crazy and unrealistic options, as they often spark something that may not be that far out of reach. Try creative brain activities to generate possibilities and expand your thinking for possible future actions. Then decide what steps to take now to actualize that vision.
  • Experience. Though pro-action is all about looking forward, it’s also looking back, drawing on all
    of your experiences to figure out the different scenarios of issues that might arise. A key here is to not use the past to thwart the future or as proof of why something won’t work. Ask yourself, “what if I did it differently, would I have had a different outcome?” Take the learnings to create future success regardless of what happened in the past.

When you combine this looking forward – forethought – and looking back – experience – with all that creative curiosity, you’ve begun to master the art of proactivity. Grab a cape, according to my VA, you’ve got a new

What do you want to be proactive about?

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