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Home » Confidence Building, Decision Making, Featured, Goal Setting, Happiness, Headline, Managing Emotions, Motivation, Problem Solving

Proactive People Versus Reactive People

Submitted by on September 9, 2013 – 11:56 pmNo Comment

Proactive PeopleimagesArticle #543

Author: Tristan Lee

Whether you choose to believe it or not, being proactive is among one of the most important traits of successful people. It allows anyone, in under any circumstance, to choose what kind of life they have or will have in the future. This is a far stretch from reactive people, which in my opinion, are the exact opposite.

The difference between proactive people and reactive people is that proactive people take action, they take initiative, and they come up with ideas to get things done despite the conditions they are in. Reactive people, on the other hand, usually are the ones to react to a situation rather than take initiative to create a situation. Thus, they are constantly under the influence of the conditions around them, stopping them from taking action and getting things done.

An example of this might be today’s economy. The economy has been worse than ever since last year. There are many people who do nothing but react to the economy in unhealthy and negative ways, but do nothing about. They might complain all day about how bad the economy is in laying off people, how bad it is on home foreclosures, how bad it is on their business, and how it’s only going to get worse from here on out. They react by letting the social conditions of news media effect what they can do, by falling into sorrow or anger as well as passing on a negative vibe to others around them.

In a bad economy, proactive people realize that economy is out of control, but they do not go into an obsessive panic mode. They take a look at the situation and ask themselves what they will do to respond to the situation in the best way that they can. They look at the situation from different angles and choose the most appropriate method. In the meantime, they also create new ideas to help solve the problem at hand. It doesn’t necessarily mean that their solution will always work, but they don’t sit around waiting, wallowing in sorrow and fear; they find a way to do something about it.

What about this example – relationship breakups? I’m sure you’ve had to deal with a close friend that desperately needed your help at bedside because they just went through a painful breakup with a lover. Most everybody has gone through a breakup at one point in their lives and understands how badly it can hurt. The thing is, usually if the relationship means a lot to them, people will just react in a wide range of hurtful emotions like anger, jealousy, and depression, resulting in self-destructive behavior. They lock themselves up their room, cry for days, and shut themselves away from friends, family, and the public for weeks, months, maybe even an entire year.

Proactive people are the opposite. When they go through a breakup, they swallow up the pain and the agony. They realize that they have a choice to either dwell in misery for a long period time, or choose a different path to grow and to be stronger, to get their life settled once again, to go and meet other new and interesting people, to change their life for the better. They understand that a breakup, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t that big of a deal and do not wait for something miraculous to happen, like the lover coming back, or for someone nearby to take care of them. They learn from their mistakes, accept the consequences, and move forward.

The main difference between proactive and reactive is that proactive realize the situation that they are in and do something about it, while reactive people react to the situation but usually do nothing about. So, which are you?

If you’re in a situation right now that you are not particularly fond of, or you have some problems in the back of your mind that you have always wanted to settle but never have, stop waiting for more time to pass you by. Be proactive about it and jump right into what feels uncomfortable – yes, uncomfortable.

You must realize whatever in life you want, you can have; whatever you want to be, you can be. But you will have to step out of your comfort zone and take that first step into uncomfortable territory – something that most reactive people will not do. You have the responsibility to choose how to respond during unwanted circumstances, and ultimately, you have the ability to make things happen. Be driven by the things you value in life, not controlled by the feelings you get from life’s conditions, and you’ll see yourself becoming more and more like the proactive person that you are.

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About the Author

Tristan Lee is a writer who enjoys helping others with self-improvement and personal success. Read more of his self-improvement posts at his blog,

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