Management July 31, 2019 Last updated July 30th, 2019 91 Reads share

5 Smart Ways to Be Proactive Without Excusing Your Challenges

Be Proactive Without Excusing Your ChallengesImage Credit: Deposit Photos

When I started my business blog, IdeasPlusBusiness, I knew nothing about starting a business online. But, I was determined to make it happen.

I was determined to learn and put in the time required to master a new set of skills. I was short of capital when I started, but I was determined to continue.

I was lacking in technical skills but I was determined to learn along the way.

At that time, it was very easy for me to come up with one thousand and one reasons not to start a business online, but I didn’t give in to that inner pressure.

I refused to excuse my challenges.

The first habit of highly successful people is proactivity. It is a habit of personal responsibility. In three simple words, I summarize proactivity as “making things happen!” 

Stephen Covey captured the meaning of proactivity in a 10-worded phrase that has two letters each: “If it is to be, it is up to me.” 

Research has shown consistent evidence that proactivity predicts success in the seven basic areas of life i.e. your physical, mental, spiritual, relational, emotional (love), financial and social dimensions.

The first place to understand proactivity, however, is knowing that in-between “circumstances” and “our reactions” to them, we have the ability to pause and choose how we respond

This ability to respond to circumstances is what is called “responsibility”. And the inability to respond is what results in negative reactions to challenges called “excuses”. 

Here are five simple steps to becoming proactive (responsible) and not reactive (excusing your challenges).

1. First, be aware that your thoughts create your realities.

Perhaps the most important discovery in quantum physics is that “You cannot have a universe without the mind entering into it. The mind is shaping the very thing that is being perceived”

If this is true, which it is, then it means that your current result is simply an outcome of your past thoughts, words, and actions. And your life in the future is the result of the actions you are taking now and every day. 

So, we are always living in this ‘residual’ (if you will) of our past thoughts, words, and actions.

Complain all you want or give an excuse for your results. It won’t change the fact that it wasn’t anybody’s fault but yours. Your results are simply feedback — maybe you didn’t sow the good seeds after all. 

The first step to living a proactive life is to, therefore, realize that “life isn’t happening to you; life is responding to you! You’re the one creating your own realities with your thoughts”.

2. Take 100 percent responsibility — the one-minute miracle

The very moment you become aware that your thoughts create your realities, there is a sudden miracle that should happen to you. 

You realize that you should take 100 percent responsibility for anything and everything in your life because you are the cause of it all. And if you caused it, then you can change it as well.

The way the masses are controlled is to make them think that their situation is not their fault. This is very disempowering. Not you! 

The moment you know life is merely responding to you, it prepares your mind to be proactive at all times in all situations and circumstances. 

3. Learn the lessons, forget the details.

What are excuses? “Excuses are monuments of fools, a tool of the incompetent; he that is wise will not live by them”

Successful people hardly give excuses for their failures because they’ve learned that the lessons from those failures are what makes them eventually succeed. 

Give a successful person an opportunity to succeed without the challenges, and he will refuse to take it. Your first few years in business, for example, will be layered with failures. 

You will normally use this period to learn all the lessons to make the business stronger. 

And your failures become the school fees you have to pay for the lessons you’re learning.

4. Set a clear vision

Proactivity is a natural manifestation of a clear vision. Set the goal, make it very clear and see if your life will not take on extra speed. 

A clear vision (or goal) is a reality in the future, so big and powerful enough to pull you towards it!

It goes without saying. I mean, since you are well aware that your thoughts create your realities, why not create your reality with your thoughts then?

I mean, isn’t that what proactivity means?

5. Take the 30-day proactivity challenge

Try this test. Every day for 30 days, record your actions every time you act proactively. 

Just for today, think about your relationships and work, and take the initiative to solve the problems you are currently facing. 

For every negative news or feedback you receive today, take a moment to pause and respond to it positively (instead of reacting negatively with excuses).

For how you desire things to be in the future, take the initiative to create the vision and make it plain, knowing this very action sets in motion the process of making it a reality. 

For tasks that are on your face, take the initiative to get the job done without requiring supervision or policing.

For a pending problem or goal in which you don’t know how to solve or achieve, act boldly to research it and eventually figure out a solution. 

Just for the day, focus on being (your to-be list) rather than having or doing (your to-do list).

Learn from a mistake you’ve just made and try again more intelligently. Complete every task you promised to complete on your to-do list. 

Focus on the problems you can solve and see how your influence on things beyond you are gradually being affected.

If you can accept that you are the creator of your circumstances, you will become 100 percent responsible for everything and anything in your life. 

And this means you can create your own life the way you choose and turn every obstacle into lessons or benefits. Do this frequently and watch your life take on extra speed!

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Adeyemi Adetilewa

Adeyemi Adetilewa

Adeyemi Adetilewa is a Digital Marketing Consultant and Entrepreneur. He is also the Founder of IdeasPlusBusiness.com, a media and business resources for startups and entrepreneurs. Some of his articles can be found on the HuffPost, Thrive Global, TweakYourBiz, GoodMenProject, Addicted2Success, Becoming Human and other publications.

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