By: Marissa Parks, Regular Contributor
And no, I’m not talking about the acne treatment, I’m talking about proactive thinking! Many people don’t know this but there are two ways of thinking, proactive and reactive. Proactive thinking deals with language like “I can do it” or “I will try,” “I can control my feelings” while reactive looks like “there’s nothing I can do,” “that’s just the way I am,” and others like “I can’t.” There’s an obvious difference between the two but let’s go into how they work in our lives.
Our minds have a default setting of “I don’t want to” or “I’ll do it later” that’s why procrastinating and being idle is so easy. It’s easy because it’s natural; it also causes us to put on limitations that we don’t realize, like why we don’t have success or why we don’t feel in charge of our lives or destiny. Sometimes it’s also easy to put the blame on why we don’t succeed or get things done due to outside forces. Our emotional life becomes controlled by the way other people feel or by someone else’s behavior. This can lead us to depend on others for happiness or for a certain outcome and when it doesn’t happen, it can ruin us. Our concerns become our influences and make us feel victimized in simple situations.
In order for us to flip that “I don’t want to do it” switch, we must think proactively. Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People states that “Our language… is a very real indicator of the degree to which we see ourselves as proactive people.” He says that in order for us to flip that switch, we must transfer the responsibility to the things we can control, like our attitudes and positive thoughts. These thoughts of “I can do it” and “I can change this outcome” will turn into positive actions, which will later influence the others around us to be positive. Our positive attitude can ultimately change the atmosphere around us and shape not only who we are but also how we influence others.
Sounds simple huh? Well go ahead and try it! Whenever a situation arises, just think that there is something you CAN do about it, there is always a positive choice you can make and it will help in the long run. YOU can make the difference and I know it will be amazing when you do!
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Marissa Parks is a junior at Texas State University in San Marcos. Other than being a bobcat, she is a member of the Human Rights Campaign and a huge fan of HEB tortilla chips and breakfast tacos. She believes in helping women be the best they can be and equality for everyone. You will most likely find her floating the river, reading a book or hiking in Austin.