Speaking of proactivity implies reviewing our beliefs and the power we give to the environment and circumstances, above what we grant to our being. The big question is: are we proactive in the different areas of our lives? Or are we more reactive in becoming victims of circumstances?

Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn. The worst part of blaming luck for the failures is that we do not learn and repeat the mistakes of the victim state. Complain when something does not go as planned, puts us in a victim position that is fallen out with proactivity.

According to a study from Stanford University, complaints do as much damage as the cigarette smoke: it brings harm to the person who issues it and to the listener, as well as being highly contagious.

If we are always complaining, our brain releases cortisol, the stress hormone. This reduces extremely the potential of the immune system and makes us more vulnerable to diseases. In addition to this, complaints cause brain problems that reduce the size of the hippocampus, the area responsible for helping us resolve conflicts.

So how do we overcome lamentation and become more proactive? The first thing we must do is understand that we are participants in everything that happens to us in life. Even those situations in which we have assumed a victim role have happened because we have provoked or allowed them.

If we look at life’s situations from that perspective, there is no room for the victim’s role. This is what many Afro-descendant women have done in Uruguay, according to a study by the National Development Corporation. Despite the low educational level of the participants, they succeed in their great proactivity in entrepreneurship, with the help of government programs.

As we propose in the Bamboo Leadership model, the recommendation is to assume mistakes as opportunities to learn, rather than classifying them as failures; focus on the process and enjoy it, instead of sticking only to the results; be open to feedback or constructive criticism, rather than being defensive. And finally, develop flexible and dynamic thinking, instead of a closed and rigid one.