There are people who say we shouldn’t dwell on the past, that we should just keep moving forward.
I came across this quote by the author Roy T. Bennett:
“If you want to be happy, do not dwell in the past, do not worry about the future, focus on living fully in the present.”
On the whole I agree with this. There’s no point beating yourself up over things you cannot change; it can end up dragging you down. Learn from the situation and take that new knowledge forward into future situations.
However, I do believe that there are times when it’s good to look back and reflect on where you are versus where you’ve come from.
What I’ve learnt from looking back
My reflection on where I am now versus where I was 5-10 years ago has made me realise how much I have developed as a person.
Consistency and persistency pay off
Whatever area in your life that you’re trying to work on, it’s a marathon not a sprint. There may be days where you don’t want to make the effort. If you can push through those feelings and keep plugging away it will be worth it. Don’t get me wrong, you may not always get what you want but there is a lot to be said about learning from the journey and not just enjoying the end result.
My confidence has increased
I’m much more confident now than a few years’ ago. I believe a lot of this confidence has come from me pushing through, even during the times where I doubted my abilities and didn’t necessarily think it was worth continuing with the things I was pursuing. I have much more faith in my own resilience.
Getting support from others has helped with my self-belief
Having supportive people around you is incredibly important. I’ve been able to push myself further than I thought possible because the people around me have faith that I can do what I’ve set out to achieve. To have others believe in and support me has given me the strength to keep me focused on my goals.
Time to look forward
The exercise of looking back was really helpful; I felt proud of how far I’d come. It also focused me on what I want to achieve in the months ahead.
So I do think it’s useful to look back and reflect, but I also think it’s important not to stop there. The next step is to take what you have learnt, look to the future and ask yourself what you want to achieve in X many months or years.
Setting future goals can bring more focus to whatever you’re working towards. Just make sure your goals are achievable (i.e. you have the resources to achieve them) and realistic. So, wanting to be a millionaire within the next few months probably isn’t realistic, even though the thought is appealing!
What things have you reflected on recently? How do you think you’ve grown?