Proactive Self-empowerment

Do you know that it is not your circumstances, but your thinking about them that causes your fear, inner pain, stress and discouragement? Let me explore this with you.

Very recently I had to stomach the bad news that I lost two great contracts – that, while most of my remaining contracts are in their end stages. On top of that a few people close to me are recovering from Covid-19 and a family member has to cope with very severe, life-changing challenges. And a week ago I hurt my back causing me to walk, sit and and get up like an old man for a while. I was tempted to have some really dark thoughts and started feeling sorry for myself and soon felt robbed of my inner power, joy and zest for life.

We all get there. I am no exception. In comparison to others my challenges are quite small. But we all know those dark moments where you want to blame how you feel on your circumstances, other people, or your inherited genetics. The depro and blaming mood might feel good for a short while, but it does not bring any solutions or improvements. It just takes you on a downhill slope.

Ironically, in the same week I had to facilitate two sessions based on Stephen Covey’s phenomenal book “7 habits of highly effective people”: (1) Be proactive, and (2) Start with the end in mind. Easy to teach. Quite hard to practice! ☺

Proactivity is about taking a PAUSE between the Stimulus (event, situation, challenge) and your Response to it. In the pause you can become self-aware (or mindful), discern what your inner resources and desired outcome might be, and choose what the best response can be. The pause makes all the difference – it gives you the freedom to choose to control the controllables, which is most of the time your personal thoughts,feelings and actions.

The alternative is to be reactive, to be controlled or determined by your circumstances, genetics or the past. In the process you become the “victim”.

How wonderful is it that as a human being you can take a step back, have a look at yourself, and check and re-script your inner narrative (your perceptions, or the “stories” you are telling yourself). Then you can step back into the situation with a different inner world, a different approach, and getting a far better outcome! By the way, this is applicable for your whole life, be it your marriage or other relationships, your career, or your health. As Covey explains, your life is not the result of “nature” or “nurture” but of intentional choice.

May you, in these challenging times, use the best possible “script” by empowering yourself as a proactive being, created with the wonderful capacity to make great choices to better not only your life, but also that of many others! Perhaps you can check out this YouTube clip:

We need more people like you, who can see further than the here and now – proactive people who can live with the end in mind, but even live with a picture that exceeds far beyond that!

When I stared doing that, my world expanded. I had new creativity, saw new possibilities, also new opportunities to be a blessing and make an impact. My spirit lifted and in the process my energy levels, creativity and excitement grew. How great is that.

May this be true for you as well…!