How to Be Proactive (Not Reactive)

September 17, 2019

minute READ 

​​When it comes to mindset, we can be in two states: a proactive ​mindset or a reactive one.

In this article and video, I describe the difference between these two and the many benefits of a proactive mindset. I also give you advice on how to be proactive (not reactive) when it comes to having work you love.

​What's the difference between a proactive and a reactive mindset?

​A proactive mindset is action and results-oriented. It anticipates problems and looks into identifying opportunities.

A reactive mindset waits for things to happen and then reacts to them.

That may sound a bit abstract so let me give you a practical example: let's look at fire safety!

Now a proactive approach to fire safety would be to make sure you don't have anything inflammable near to an open flame, to make sure your fire alarm is working, etc. 

​The reactive approach is: "Oh no, something's on fire!!! How do we put it out?" 

I think you can guess from that example which mindset feels more comfortable to be in.

​Remember that a proactive one is also about identifying and taking advantage of opportunities. If you want to create a life you really love, identifying and taking advantage of opportunities is so important. 

If my fire safety example didn't convince you, here are some ​other great advantages of proactivity for you:

​​a proactive mindset is positively correlated with
- job performance and
- team performance
​- job satisfaction including pay and advancement.

Plus it's great for being a leader and entrepreneurial pursuits.

How to shift into a proactive mindset when it comes to work you love: 

​As promised I also wanted to introduce you to a distinction that can help you shift into a more proactive mindset when it comes to work. Since I love helping people have work they love, I wanted to show you how you can apply it to that area.

Now, often people talk about searching for work they love or searching for their passion or (a bit better) finding their passion and finding work they love.

But can you see how there's still an element of reactivity in it?

If you're finding something you're not proactively going out into the world and making it happen so that's why I encourage you to shift from talking about finding work you love to creating work you love.

​How are you going to adopt a more proactive mindset in your life?

​​I'd love to see what you come up with. Just comment below!

Before you go: let's stay connected!

​I ​think our collective story of leadership is broken and that it's up to us to redefine it. I believe in a world where good people are empowered to make a positive difference and I believe that we're the ones we've been waiting for. 

​If this resonates with you, please jump on board! Simply sign up below. You'll receive ​a free meditation that will allow you to connect more fully with your ​authentic power, leadership and confidence right away.

I will also send you my awesome weekly newsletter with helpful resources on how to be more productive, reduce stress and create work and a life you love. 

​I can't wait to support you on your path! 

About the author

Bere is the founder of Leader for Good. She's a former lawyer and academic who moved from Germany to the United States where she started her own business. Today, Bere loves helping her coaching clients and students connect with their passion and purpose. You can find out more about her coaching business at

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  • Great points! I try to anticipate things that might happen as I plan my days and weeks, to see how I can best prepare for them.

  • This is awesome. I’m currently reading the 7 habits of highly effective people, and this is the first habit! Super cool. What I focus on is paying attention to what I can have an influence on rather than worrying myself with what I can’t control. I feel that’s a good way to move towards proactivity

    • Thanks for bringing up that book, Oskar, it’s such a classic! I’ll go take a look at the chapter you mentioned.

      “What I focus on is paying attention to what I can have an influence on rather than worrying myself with what I can’t control.”
      Yes, I think that’s such a useful approach.

  • I usually say respond vs react – but I fundamentally I think we have a similar point of view. I hope others take the time to check out your meditation. 🙂 Great value!

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