‘Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.’
― Bruce Lee
I am sure that there is a large majority of people who agree with the above statement. But I am also sure that the proportion of people who successfully put it in to practice is much lower.
This type of thinking (from the quote above) is an example of someone who has – what I call – a ‘Type P’ personality. P standing for proactive. This type of person:
- Takes initiative
- Believes that they can create positive results
- Takes responsibility for their actions, thoughts, behaviours and so on
- Ensures that their behaviour is a product of their own choice and not their conditions/circumstances
- Is driven by values
This type of person also understands that it does not end with their circumstance but instead with their response to each particular situation.
On the opposite side of the spectrum is a ‘Type R’ personality. R standing for reactive. This type of person:
- Struggles to take initiative
- Is led much more by a negative mindset
- Shifts responsibility for their actions, thoughts, behaviours etc. to external factors including friends & family
- Allows their behaviour to be a product of their current circumstance
- Is driven by feelings, circumstances, conditions and their environment
A reactive person is likely to say things like “there is nothing I can do,” “if only I had…,” and “that’s just the way things are.” Alternatively a proactive person would say things like “lets find an alternative,” “I will have…,” and “I may not be able to change the situation but I can alter my response to it.”
When looking at the above descriptions can you identify your personality type?
When I first thought about myself and where I stood on that spectrum I realised that I was a combination of both. There were times where I had a proactive mindset and also times where I allowed myself to be controlled by the situations that I faced.
But I soon realised that there is nothing worse than allowing emotions to control us and as I steered away from this mindset I saw just how powerful self-fulfilling prophecies can be. When I thought negatively, negative things would prevail. So I adapted my mindset, my behaviours and actions and I took control. And with control came positive changes.
So think long and hard about where you fall on that spectrum. Think about your current personality type and what you would like it to be. Adapting can be uncomfortable, but as I said in a previous post stepping outside of your comfort zone is where real growth occurs.
As Barack Obama once said ‘the best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.’
So today ask yourself “what’s my response?”