Looking Back To Catapult Forward- 7 Reasons To Use Where You’ve Been
Moving forward is alllll the rage- set your gaze on your dreams and go out and make it happen, right?
Um. Humans. We are humans, need I remind you NOT actors on a motivational montage on YouTube with epic music on in the background. (I love them too but cmon.)
So let’s have a real chat about what we need to do in order to move forward. We’ve got that whole new year, new you stuff flying everywhere on the internet and most of you know that it doesn’t really work well for you, but you’re not sure what else to do.
We get caught between the idea of sticking with the past to make sure that we are not holding ourselves back repeating the same issues and charging ahead.
While we don’t want to bury our heads in the sand and not look at what we’ve done before or the results that we’ve gotten in the past, we also want to make sure we don’t rush ahead with no thought because we just repeat the same stuff we do again and again.
Now the other option would be to close off the past. Ignore it all and pretend you’re this new you who has tools, skills, beliefs, and habits that you may not yet have. So that one doesn’t work either.
I’m going to show you something a bit different.
Today we’re going to work on how to actually use looking back in the past, whether it’s the previous year, your whole life, past business decisions, life choices, relationships, who you’ve been, which sometimes things a bit in order to use it to alchemize as tools to move you forward.
Let’s dive in.
I have 7 reasons why looking back can actually help you move forward.
And I’m going to teach you how instead of just telling you the why.
This is not about sitting where you are. It’s not about ignoring where you’ve been and it’s not that if you look back, you won’t go no where you’re going.
You know where you want to go. You just can’t figure out how to move forward.
Yes, the past is over and there’s no reason for you to look back to it, to pick it up and carry it everywhere.
But visiting the past every now and then doesn’t mean you have to live there- it’s not all that bad.
Part of why we look back is so that we don’t tell ourselves a story that it’s all that bad!
Remembering the past and reality has its benefits.
Now I know it may sound crazy, but if we do it properly and we utilize it for ourselves, it actually frees us from the past that we think owns us.
1. When you look back, you can see how far you’ve gone and seeing the distance from where you were to where you are can be encouraging.
If you don’t look back, you can make assumptions that aren’t true about where you’ve been, what you’ve done, how good you are at things, how shitty you are at other things, and you can stop yourself from actually taking a real measurement of the data of what’s gone on and stick to metrics in your head that are not necessarily true.
Knowing that you’ve made huge improvements by actually measuring and looking, moving away from unhealthy, toxic relationships, bad business decisions, beliefs that weren’t working for you, choices that kept you stuck actually give you a sense of fulfillment. Now that sense of fulfillment will make you want to keep pushing and not stopping and starting because if you’re not measuring, you don’t actually know what’s changing.
2. You need to forget some of the feelings, but you have to take the lessons with you. If you don’t look back at an experience, then you are loading up the emotional response you have to it by shutting the door. That it was awful. Nothing worked. Everything was wrong.
None of those are actually true.
There’s good stuff that happens with every “bad experience”. And if we can separate the data from the drama and take the lessons from the feelings, then we can heal the feeling and not carry it everywhere forever!
Learning from the lesson and not repeating it everywhere and revisiting the past will help you remind you that you managed to survive what you thought was impossible.
Bring you forward a few steps on the map of where you want to go and help you understand what habits you don’t want to repeat, what scenarios that don’t work for you and what sort of people or experiences you notice, things you don’t want to bring forward with you when you look at it with a less judgmental and more objective view of saying, wow, had I not gone through that, I never could’ve gotten to the good juicy bits.
I never would have learned those lessons. I wouldn’t have known what was possible for me if I didn’t first find out what wasn’t working. So if we ignore the feelings of the past or only carry the feeling without the lesson, we end up loading the past with far more responsibility and importance than it ever needed to have in the first place.
3. In the daily hustle and bustle of life, it’s very easy to get caught up in the middle of the chaos and forget your why.
Forget your purpose.
Forget your mission.
Forget your manifesto.
When you look back, it’ll remind you of why you’re here in the first place and exactly where you’ve been trying to go while using up all of this energy.
It’ll give you a renewed sense of direction. So instead of just getting busy with the to do lists of today or the measurement of what didn’t work, you’re going big vision again and saying, wait a second: Now I remember why.
Why would I want why I believe what I believe, what I want for my family, for myself, for my business, for my future, for my finances?
Because you’re actually looking and reminding yourself that none of this is haphazard and that you don’t have to stay in the hustle.
You can move back into flow and watch the fact that the waves come and go.
It doesn’t define you whether you’re always succeeding or always failing because you’re neither always.
4. When you look back, you get in touch with your inner self, who you were, what molded you to become who you are right now and sometimes (most of the time) we need closure so we may need small closure on one specific relationship we named may need bigger closure on a pattern that we see evolving again and again and showing up in our life.
What if we don’t look back?
Your Inner self doesn’t get a chance to put those glasses on and actually see the kaleidoscope and the mosaic of what makes us who we are.
We just judge the things that we think our weaknesses and kind of take for granted the things that are our strengths because we’re not seeing it in a big picture.
We’re not seeing the patchwork.
When you look back and find out what you’ve overcome, what you’ve succeeded in and maybe even what you failed in, you get a richer sense of self and you get bigger gain a lot more self trust.
You can’t heal if you’re not willing to even acknowledge a painful situation.
If you’re always just trying to get up and skim over it or push through things like a lot of people decide you can, you aren’t going to get that far. You’re only going to be willing to measure the joy, success, and fulfillment in direct correlation with what you’re willing to look at that didn’t work or that was painful.
So if you can allow yourself to look back with those more objective and kinder glasses and say, wow, look how much of a different person I am, look what kind of lessons that I’ve learned. Look at what my inner self has been pushing me to go through in order to be the kind of human I want to be!
You actually allow yourself to grow far faster because if you don’t look at the pain, the pain will continue to show up.
It’s in other areas of your life, it will move from one category where you’re not paying attention to anymore cause you closed it off to another category.
So if let’s say you have a mistrust of people in your personal life, don’t be fooled that it won’t start showing up in your business life.
If you don’t address it, it will. It’ll show up everywhere because you are the cog here that makes all of the machine work or it gets stuck.
5. Looking back as just an opportunity to laugh at yourself.
I am a big believer in bringing your sense of humor forward in your growth to anywhere you want to go.
You have to be able to laugh at yourself. You have to be able to take yourself less seriously. You have to be able to loosen the glue on what keeps you stuck so that you can understand that all of the booboos in the past, all of the wrong decisions have led you to the right ones.
All of those bad relationships help you understand what the perfect partner would look like.
All of the wrong business moves have led you to understand that when the right one lens, you know how to stick to it and turn it, turn the volume up on it.
The memories can all put a smile on your face when you’re over the bitterness, so ignoring what happened makes it hold its grip more to you.
The more you can laugh, the more you can make a joke about it.
The more you can realize, Oh, here I go again. Or there’s that habit again.
It makes it especially fun to relive your past with the friends who won’t judge you for your mistakes. So maybe make a fun pity party with everyone.
Everyone bring a list of all of the crap you’ve done, all the silly mistakes. It’s far less loaded when you show other people. If you’re not sure about this, go watch Brene Brown.
You will see when you make a joke, even from the scientific data, the vulnerability of being able to show people what those dings and bruises are already takes a lot of the charge out.
It shows you’re human. It reminds you that everyone else goes through stuff too. It makes it easier to give yourself a second chance because you’re not only judging yourself from wrong decisions.
6. You prevent history from repeating itself. When you look back, you prevent yourself from committing the same mistakes over and over again because looking back where, refresh your memory as to what you promised yourself you were never going to do again.
The wrong boyfriend, the wrong girlfriend, the wrong food choices, the wrong vacations, the wrong business partnerships, allowing the wrong clients to hire you and saying, why didn’t I remember that I did this?
You know I had two babies and I didn’t remember what the pain was like because our brains forget it on purpose. Don’t allow your brain to rewrite history in a way that is not true. Stay very relevant to yourself so that you can be kinder, not because you’re trying to punish yourself.
If you’re willing to look, you can stop the bad things from happening because you are the one in the driver’s seat.
7. When you look back, you may realize how you have let many opportunities pass you by.
Maybe you didn’t say the words you should have said. Maybe you didn’t grab the opportunities that were in front of you.
Maybe you weren’t brave enough.
Maybe you were letting fear hold you back because of that, you will now going forward.
Grab every opportunity given to you. If you know better, you can do better.
When you look at your past, you can realize why you’ve landed where you are and why it feels so scary.
So when you can add kindness into it and when you can see what you’ve missed out on, you can give yourself the opportunity to do better going forward.
The purpose of reflection is not to throw a pity party nor is it to send yourself on a permanent guilt trip or to hold yourself back because of decisions you made, but to learn from those difficulties and to move on from them with pride that you are a growing, evolving human being novel and that your soul is here to learn a lesson and that this Maverick side of you is ready to embrace life boldly and grab life by its balls.
Except if you don’t let yourself, then you end up being a very meek, quiet version of yourself and that just SUCKS.
It feels really good to know how wise, strong and independent you’ve become. You’ll know that by looking back and comparing yourself now to your former self, you’ve changed. You should be proud of yourself.
You are ready for more.
So start looking back at maybe this year, five years, 10 years, your whole life yesterday with the intention of not dwelling in the past, but so that you can be reminded of the rewarding process of change and healing.
So go ahead, take a glimpse at what was so you can be grateful for what is and stay hopeful for what will be.
This is an exciting way to move forward. I’m reminding you that you are empowering yourself to say no one else is in command of your future.
No one else can decide what it looks like.
Only you get to allow yourself to grow.
Allow yourself to change and have fun on the way!