Years ago I was a volunteer at a center for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. To help them succeed in their recovery, one of the things I would do was to encourage them to define, and then focus on the positive and healthy lifestyle they were striving to achieve. They would frequently reference their past and the things they did at the lowest point of their addiction rather than focus their view on where they wanted to go – the future. It was the equivalent of walking backwards into the future while looking primarily at what they were attempting to stop. For many, their greatest challenge was to turn around and focus on what, and who, they wanted to become.
I believe many of us can relate to this mindset. We talk about and plan for the future; defining what we aspire to do or be, only to realize that we’re focused, or even obsessed, on a past event or person that has hurt or let us down. If we’re self-aware, we realize that by focusing on what we don’t want, we actually keep that very thing in full view and it continues to fuel the fire of our anger or pain. We may also be backing into the future.
What about you – who or what is capturing your focus and keeping you from achieving success or greatness? Where do you need to change your direction and focus? Do you have a clear view of your desired state and is the view improving as you gain altitude?
To bring about the necessary change, consider finding an accountability partner or coach that challenges, supports or affirms you on your journey to strength, energy and success. Perhaps at a more basic level you need to be honest with yourself and stop the self-delusion or seeking a scape goat, and commit to taking the necessary action to bring about the desired change. Take this simple yet challenging step – select one positive thing you want to do or a behaviour you need to acquire and turn yourself in that direction mentally, emotionally or even physically and then move forward. Don’t overthink this. You likely know intuitively what your greatest challenge is. That’s the one to start with.
Your success lies in where you are going not where you have been.