Proactive Vs Reactive Behaviour — You Choose

Luke Jones
6 min readMar 11, 2014

This article was originally published by Luke Jones at HERO Movement: Proactive Vs Reactive

“Reactive people are often affected by their physical environment. If the weather is good, they feel good. If it isn’t, it affects their attitude and performance. Proactive people carry their own weather with them.”

Stephen Covey


We’ve all done it.

Looked through the window to see rain and grey clouds, and decided it’s a miserable day. Been criticised by someone at work or home and consequently felt down for hours afterwards. Watched our sports team win a game and felt on cloud nine for a week.

For better or worse, these are all examples of reactive behaviour, where our feelings depend on the results of external events or processes that we have no control over. They are completely outside our sphere of influence, yet they can control our lives.

Reactive people are like characters in a movie, playing out the script. They often resemble powerless victims, having their lives run by external factors. They have little control over their emotions. Instead, their emotions are dictated by someone or something else; by circumstance and the outside environment.

You’ll often hear phrases like: “If only they treated me a bit better, I could be happy”. “I have to do this because…”. “I wish I had more time for that, but…”.

We are all guilty of being reactive from time to time, often without even knowing. For most people, it’s the default program. I know I’m guilty.

For example, I had an article published on Natural News the other day, and I also had a good workout. I felt great. Sometimes though, when I struggle with finding blog ideas or if I’m sick; I don’t feel so great. I have no real control over any of these events, they have control over me.

But whether we realise it or not, we choose to subordinate ourselves to those forces that are outside our sphere of influence. We choose to experience happiness, unhappiness, anger, frustration, boredom, and elation. We choose to create the habits of wallowing in self-pity, shifting the blame, and feeling powerless.


Luke Jones

Exploring & sharing ideas in movement, wellness &adventure. Website: YouTube: