Don’t look back
July 21, 2014
How would you like to move forward with more confidence? It’s actually simple if you are conditioned to do so. For many it is not the case since they have not developed the habit of doing so. Develop the habit. What would be possible for you if you let go of what is holding you back? Again, it’s easy to let go; it actually takes more energy and effort to hang on to your story of what holds you back. Just let go.
I thought about ending the article after the first paragraph because it really is just that simple. Let go and just do it. However, it may be simple and yet not so easy. It has taken a life time to get you where you are and there are numerous thought patterns, beliefs and emotional triggers that you have constructed that make you who you are and dictate your behavior which begets your results. The good news is you can reconstruct.
I want to share an analogy with you that may help you to let go and move forward.
Imagine you have to get to a very important destination by a certain time. You are driving a car along a familiar road. As you are driving along you see a pot hole and can’t avoid it. You end up hitting it. It wasn’t a big enough pot hole to do any damage to your car, but yet enough to jar you and get your attention. Keep in mind you are on schedule to get to your important destination. Here are your options – Do you:
A.) Pull over and stop?
B.) Do you look in the rear view mirror and analyze the pot hole as you continue moving away from it?
C.) Do you continue on your way, looking through the windshield and focus on getting to your important destination on time?
In this scenario the safe and productive answer is C. Something happens and you move on. It’s what we call a “So what! Now what?”
However, many people are figuratively driving around without a real clear destination or deadline on which to direct their focus. In this case, as a pothole or some kind of setback is encountered, it can seem like a crater and they then justify it needs their full focus and attention. Here is the crazy part — they don’t get out of the car to examine the pothole, they just keep driving around while looking in the past (rearview mirror) and try to figure out what’s up with the pothole as it gets smaller and more distorted in the mirror. The misrepresentation of what’s in the mirror, as a result of time gone by, then becomes their entire experience.
While they continue looking in the rearview mirror they inevitably end up hitting a different pot hole and the cycle starts all over again. If they did drive cars like that they would eventually be locked up. Yet, many people live their lives in this exact way.
If you think about it, if you were on a weeklong trip across the country you wouldn’t continue to re-plan the trip, at each stop, from where you originally started out and relive all the potholes you encountered. You would simply plan from where you currently are and progress from there. Treat your life the same way. There is a reason why the windshield is many times larger than the rearview mirror. It should be used in the same proportion. Direct your focus and attention upon where you are headed more so than where you have been.
Machen P. MacDonald, CPCC, CCSC is a certified life and strategic business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley.