“You need to be more proactive.”
Has anyone ever said this to you? Your partner? Your boss? Your doctor?
And when they said it, how did you feel? Motivated? Annoyed? Confused?
It seems to me that the word “proactive” is thrown around pretty often. Maybe a little too often. So while the need to be more proactive is common advice, what does it really mean?
I can totally understand when my clients talk to me about how they want to be more proactive about their healthcare but aren’t necessarily sure what that word means, let alone how to actually accomplish it. They may have decided on their own that they want to take a proactive approach to their healthcare. Their doctor or nurse may have given them that advice. Or it may have come from a family member.
So let’s take a look at what it really means to be proactive.
When you Google proactive, you get this definition: “creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened.” Reactive, on the other hand, is defined as: “acting in response to a situation rather than creating or controlling it.”
Is that a surprise to you? It was to me. What I take away from this definition is that being proactive isn’t about being ready to react to what might happen. Instead, being proactive means doing everything you can to take control in your life. Acting now! Does being proactive mean having all of the control? No. But it does mean recognizing where you do have control, and taking that control. And when you think about being proactive in your healthcare, this means being empowered.
Here’s a link to an article on being proactive that I posted awhile back:
Think about what you do to take the best care of yourself. How much of what you do is proactive? And how much is reactive?
And the bigger question: Just how proactive can you be?
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