I’ve noticed coaching clients sometimes get stuck in the past. I’m not talking about just reliving memories but stuck living with old, and often negative, habits and beliefs about themselves.
Here is what I know for sure, the past is the past – the best way to use the past effectively is to gain knowledge from the life lessons we’ve learned and then use those lessons to build a bigger, brighter and more empowered future. I also realize that sometimes, it is not so easy to let go of the past and head toward the future. The past feels familiar and comfortable while the thought of the going forward can sometimes bring about the discomfort of knowing we’ll probably have to create some new habits and beliefs.
Here’s what I’ve learned about appreciating the past and going forward:
1. Appreciate the past for what it is – the past. The past is your history. It is filled with memories of people, places and lessons that have formed you into who you are today. Honor those memories and lessons but know that from today forward, you are creating new memories and learning new lessons. Sometimes, you have to acknowledge and accept that the past is not necessarily better than the future will be.
2. Find something, or many things, to look forward to doing and achieving in the future. I know it can sound like a cliché but, the future is what you choose to make it.
· Have you written short-term and long-term goals for living the future of your dreams?
· Are you focusing time and energy on what you want to do, be and learn in the days, months and years ahead?
· Do you believe you can learn from past lessons, challenges and mistakes and use your past to build an empowered and exciting future?
· Are you optimistic about what lies ahead?
· Are you excited to learn from the past and head positively forward, even if that means coming out of your comfort zone to try and experience new things?
Past memories can serve you well when they are used to motivate and propel you forward in positive and productive ways. I’ll say it again, learn from the past and head excitedly toward the future – the memorable future you are choosing to create, appreciate and enjoy.
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