In a society where we are measured only by our most recent achievement, we are all driven to focus on the next big thing and keep our eyes forward and driving in the direction of our goals. We are reminded not to live in the past and to practice being present whilst striving for a better future. So when is it ok to look backwards?
When it’s going to help someone
A lot of the incredible women I get to interview on The Fearless Females Podcast would prefer that their past remains in the past. Often it was painful, messy, confusing and maybe even embarrassing so to bring it up again is not conducive to remaining positive, which is where they prefer to live these days.
However, when it is going to help someone else in their journey to either believe in themselves enough to make a change, or to provide an example of the steps they need to take in order to get through it, or simply to be the inspiration and remind them they are not alone, then these women are willing to open up their past and step up to the vulnerability plate and share their stories. These interviews are an example of when it’s ok to look backwards because it’s going to support someone else.
Don’t get stuck there
One of the reasons a lot of people don’t want to step backwards and venture into their past experiences is because we all know someone who got stuck there and we don’t want that to happen to us. I know of a person who still, at every opportunity in a social and business gathering, finds an opportunity to bring up when their partner left them. If you dig deeper you find that this event happened fifteen years ago and yet they are still stuck there. Unable to move on. This is an example of when it’s not ok to look backwards!
To acknowledge your growth
Earlier this week I received a message from an old friend via social media. They had taken a hiatus from Facebook (can you imagine doing that?!) and consequently we hadn’t connected for a couple of years. I had met them a couple of years before that whilst snowboarding in Colorado and had shared my goals and dreams at the time.
My friend said, “Wow, it looks like you’ve achieved all that you wanted, I am so happy for you”. It made me smile and I stopped for a moment to think, “What were those goals I had back then?” As I remembered I thought of where I was when I met my friend and where I am now and it was wonderful to see just how much I had achieved in those few years.
It filled my heart with gratitude and gave me, even more inspiration to drive me towards my new goals. This is when it is ok to look backwards if it is to acknowledge yourself (or someone else) on how far you’ve come. And anyone that knows me, knows how important I believe acknowledgements are!
It’s OK to look backwards occasionally
So, as you drive forward travelling towards your dreams remember it’s ok to look backwards in the rear vision mirror occasionally if it’s to acknowledge yourself, or to inspire someone else but be sure not to get stuck there. Just take a glance and then keep moving forward on your journey.