Be Proactive, Not Reactive
the difference between being reactive and proactive is the belief that life is happening to you versus life happening for you.
Let me tell you, your girl can be as tough as nails on the outside, but really I'm just a Poptart who fawns over baby puppies on Instagram. I am no stranger to sensitivity, and instantly feel my emotions and anxiety take over the moment something goes wrong. That's right, I am a Certified Perfectionist and I have a B.A. in Being Controlling. In other words, I'm a planner and strategist who plans things out to the T, takes the lead, and flips the f*ck out when things don't happen the way I planned it. I'm gonna need the other perfectionist and control freaks to come together and say "Haaa-lee-luuu-jurrr". I'm talking full-on waterworks, nervous breakdowns, and hella stress over sh*t we can't control (You may even feel like putting those paws on somebody from time to time). I'm going to say this one more time for the people in the back including myself.
we get upset over the shit we cannot control...
Reacting over any and everything doesn't really get you too far except on a bunch of call logs and maybe a highly reposted Twitter sub (I'm guilty). There were many moments where I've handled a situation with too much emotion and not enough logic, resulting in a far worse situation than before (like slashing that f*ck boy's tires instead of just saying "I'm good love enjoy"). There is nothing wrong with being emotionally sensitive at all, a matter of fact, embrace that ish wit'cho empathetic self. But, you must feel through those emotions and try to find the trigger that is causing your behavior. Once you get down to the root, wipe those tears and set anxiety aside so you can actually get sh*t done.
I remember sometime last year I planned an event for my client, and once the event date arrived everything you think that could have gone wrong, WENT WRONG. Minute, by minute I started losing my cool. The final straw was when my client's styrofoam blinged-out-sign broke, just minutes before her presentation. By this time, I walked outside so no one would see how pissed I was...I mean RBF HARD AF. Before heading back in, I intentionally cleared my head to receive clarity as to what was happening. For one, walking out could have shown my client that I wasn't being professional or capable of handling such instances. Two, I had to think fast of which ways I could save the day and remedy every issue we were having. I had to push my emotions aside and channel my creativity to help me get shit done. Ironically, I quickly grabbed a few balloons that spelled out her brand's name (which actually were supposed to be regular helium gold balloons instead of letters which I also flipped out about) and proceeded to place them on the wall where her sign once remained. I slipped into leader mode, delegated tasks, and got everything in place just before showtime. The presentation went great and my client was extremely happy (If I was stressed, imagine homegirl), and gave me a $140 tip on top of my invoice!
The point is that we go through sh*t, and too often we let it affect our attitudes, the way we treat others, and our responsibilities. When we are in a reactive state of mind, it can feel like life is bullying you and the Universe doesn't have your back. It can even spiral off into a pessimistic form of thinking meeting every instance and opportunity with cynicism. Crying in bed over your recent breakup is being REACTIVE, but transmuting those emotions into a song is being PROACTIVE. Constantly complaining about your co-workers or clients are being REACTIVE. Switching up your processes and improving your work ethic is being PROACTIVE. Being REACTIVE is looking at your drama and constantly talking about it with any person who'll listen. Being PROACTIVE is accepting what has occurred, and moving on to things that will elevate you and your current circumstance. Life happens to us all, and there is many a time where we will be faced with adversity. However, it is up to you to either react or get the f*ck up and change your mental, emotional, physical, financial, or spiritual surroundings. You do not have to have to deal with a sh*tty boss that you complain about to your mom any chance you get, you can easily find another job...but let's also get something straight here. You cannot be afraid of a different outcome just because it's different than what is natural to you (your reaction). Do not let fear shine and keep you from finding solutions to your problems. Butttt.....I'm sure y'all got my message by now.
Here are 8 tips on how to be proactive instead of being reactive.
1. BREATHE GIRL!
Yasss, close your eyes, deeply inhale, and exhale. The only thing that's gonna be constant in your life is your breath, so take advantage and be grateful for your existence with each inhalation. When we are angry, sad, or anxious, we forget to breathe. How can something so natural and vital to us completely go forgotten when stress comes through? Focusing on your breath can easily redirect your energy back to yourself and away from your drama. Not only is it healthy for every organ in your body, but it also gives you a sense of control over what's around you. If you are aware of your breath, you can control the quiet voices and movies inside your mind. Deep-breathing can even help you connect to those bright ideas and blissful memories, see how mindful breathing can help you find your life's purpose in this TEDx Talks HERE.
2. CLEAR YOUR MIND AND PRAY FOR CLARITY.
Now that you've calmed down with some deep breaths, take a moment to pray for clarity. Call on whoever you believe in whether it's Jesus, Allah, Your Ancestors or Beyonce, and pray to them. Specifically, ask them to give you clarity and discernment. If you have no belief system, call on the "Bad Bitch" that lies deep within your soul and call on her to instill that magic within you to see it through.
3. ACCEPT WHAT HAS HAPPENED, LET IT GO, AND MOVE THE F*CK ON!
When something has occurred already, there is nothing you can do but move forward. Talking about the past over and over paves way for gossip, and trust me, you don't want to be known for that. Yeah, it may seem like your venting, but try to draw the line between venting and being cynical. This ultimately can cloud your judgment and efforts towards finding a solution. If you find yourself stuck in the past, the future will move on, with or without you. Often times it takes for a little drama to show us the truth. Despite the drama, it's still the truth; the one thing we are always seeking but get mad when we discover it. If you went through his phone and found him talking to other girls, the truth is that you may need to reevaluate your relationship. If work is stressing you out, the truth is you may need to quit. So now that we know these "truths" why do we create further complications by either antagonizing the situation or staying in it???? Accept the cold-hard truth, let it go, understand that these situations do not define you, and move the f*ck on by leveling up on whoever or whatever. "Cry me a river, build a bridge, and get over it" as the great Young HOV once recited.
4. FIGURE OUT YOUR TRIGGER AND LOOK FOR PATTERNS.
Believe it or not, 9/10 we react to situations that remind us of the painful experiences from our past. We try to control circumstances so they don't end up like our previous situations and micromanage every detail so things won't go awry. If you threw an event before and it was a flop, you're likely to be on edge anytime a guest list needs to be made because you're reminded of a "bad memory". Find your triggers and accept your past faux paus' as learning experiences to prepare you for the present. Don't bring old sh*t into a new year, figure out why you're getting so worked up, what memory you associate the feeling with, and how you keep making the same ol' mistakes. You have to hold yourself accountable by recognizing in which ways your reactiveness can be toxic to you and others.
5. BE THE SOLUTION TO YOUR OWN PROBLEM/s.
It drives me nuts when I hear people complain (it's so draining!). So instead of joining their hate party, I suggest they find a solution to their own problem. Problems are of our own creation, and nothing is ever a problem unless we make it one. If you can't find what you're looking for, maybe it's always been you that you've been looking for! No one is the blame as to why you can't find jeans with a longer hem, or why there isn't an app for that. We all have the power to create, so be the solution to your own problems by taking on the role as an innovator. Creativity is about strategy and finding solutions for positive outcomes. The next time you have a problem, think of all the ways you can utilize your time and resources to solve it. Create the spaces, products, and services that help other people solve the same problems you too once experienced and ask yourself "What problem?" the next time another check hits your account. Okkurrr!
6. THINK ABOUT THE WASTE OF ENERGY BEFORE YOU WASTE YOUR ENERGY.
Imagine if you put all that energy you put into talking sh*t into actually doing something that will minimize the chances of it happening again.Sadness, jealousy, anger, and resentment are all feelings that are recipes for drama. Life will always go on, so put that energy into your purpose instead of letting your surroundings drain you. Looking back years ago, I wish I could shake the sh*t out of myself for going crazy over some f*ckboys the way I did (Honey I use to live for a Baby Boy, Jody and Yvette ting) instead of focusing on my grades and career. I wish I could have put more energy into pursuing my passions instead of talking sh*t about the people who didn't get it. See, it's a lesson learned! The next time you're sad, think about the last time you hit rock bottom and still managed to get back up. Think about the love it kept you away from, the opportunities you missed out on, or moments that could have been a good time shaking your a** instead of crying at home in those raggedy sweatpants. Knock you down 9 times but you'll get up 10; travel back to those moments and remember that you never want to relive them again!!!! (*Cardi voice). You'll be saving yourself a bunch of time, energy, and money for the mimosas you cry over with friends! You cannot let your emotional episodes affect the other sectors of your life just because there's a hiccup in another. Everything has always worked out for you, and it will always work out for you.
7. THE ONLY THING YOU CAN CONTROL IS YOU.
Last but not least, you must accept the fact that you cannot control your situations. Now we all wish we could change sh*t up at the snap of a finger, but there is so much more magic in knowing that you have the power in controlling your reaction. Remember the game The Sims, and how you are able to control the way they react and interact? Well, think of your body as The Sim, and your brain as you, the player. Let your mind run over all the ways you can react and how it will affect everything and everyone around you, action by action. Go through each alternative and see which is most conducive to your growth. You will now have the capacity to control how every moment will play out from that second on. So think before the next time you react, and act from a place of mindfulness when making your next move because after all, you are in control of what happens next.
8. MAKE EVEN THE SMALLEST STEPS COUNT, PROGRESSION IS A PROCESS.
Just because you're 2 years away from 30 and don't have your dream house doesn't mean that you can't start saving for one. Not starting your blog due to a hectic schedule, doesn't mean you can't brainstorm months worth of blog topics. The point is that sometimes in life we may not be ready to move forward with our choices because of a lack of resources, time, or finances. Even though the big goals can feel like they're lightyears away, you can get a little closer by doing smaller tasks or assignments to help you reach your overall objectives. Celebrate those baby steps on the road towards accomplishing your bigger goals...because they count too! Instead of standing around and doing nothing, be proactive by doing SOMETHING! Checking tasks off your to-do list, big or small, helps you see your progression happening in real time. Progression is a process bby girl.