Looking Back, Reaching Forward

When one looks back over the events of their life, it is most often with one of three mind sets: as victim, as survivor, or as thriver.

If we view past events as a victim, we give new life to an uncomfortable story every time we think of it. This creates a barrier that prevents us from moving forward. We feel sorry for ourselves and keep the unwanted past event alive.

When we view a past experience as a survivor, we have acknowledged our ability to overcome an adverse situation but we still give life to that story even if our present shows promise of moving forward. Again, we are held back from completely moving forward by the need to give life to the past.

If our perspective is one of a thriver, we accept that negative events are included in our story to date, but rather than focus on them specifically, we view each experience as a life lesson. Our focus becomes more about how we can apply what we’ve learned going forward than about giving life to the story that got us here.

Which one are you?

In thinking about our personal history we are afforded the opportunity to reflect on the life lessons we’ve gleaned along the way. When moving forward, we make a multitude of decisions daily that are informed by the lessons we’ve learned. We decide to wear boots when it snows because our past experience shows that wearing shoes will give us cold, wet feet. When moving forward, however, we need to decide where we’re going so we can map out a plan to get there.

How we look back and how we look forward are interconnected. The story we tell ourselves about the past will determine how we live the future. Looking back with an attitude of victimization is passive. It’s where everything is done to you and is out of control. You don’t feel in charge of your future.

If your view of the past is from a survivor perspective, you have overcome past events but that doesn’t guarantee that you’re seeing yourself as somebody who’s going to grow out of those events. You might see that there are more mountains to climb but what you find on the mountain is not up to you.

A thriver may acknowledge past experiences as life lessons and incorporate what has been learned into the setting of goals for their future.
What’s important here is to acknowledge that there are different ways to move forward. Your success has a lot to do with your mindset, not just doing certain things.

At Forge Coaching and Consulting we offer coaching to individuals, teams and groups who wish to move productively forward into their future. Call today if you’d like to learn more.