By Hayley Westoby.
“You know you’re on track when you are uninterested in looking back”
This is one of the quotes we are inundated with daily, telling us that we shouldn't look back, we shouldn't focus on the past and if we want to be successful we need to simply focus on what is ahead.
While part of this is true and I strongly believe that there is no point in focusing on the past, as you cannot change it - I don’t believe that you shouldn’t ever look back. Why? Because taking the time to reflect on the past, whatever it may be, can help motivate you, it can assist in shaping your future decisions and it can ultimately teach you some extremely valuable lessons, allowing you to not take the same path in the future.
Recently Facebook reminded me of my past, a memory from 9 years ago, a reminder of my past self - being 65kgs heavier and extremely unhappy. It was the perfect reminder and it couldn't have come at a better time.
Sometimes we can get so caught up in our day to day life, we lose sight of how far we have actually come. I along with many others can be extremely self-critical, and sometimes we can be unnecessarily hard on ourselves, convincing ourselves we haven't made any progress or we haven't improved at all. This self-doubt creeps in usually when you have slightly slipped off track, or if you haven’t stuck to what your initial plan was, sometimes it can be because you haven't had a lot of sleep or there are other things which are taking priority - causing frustration and self-resentment.
Seeing my reminder from 9 years ago was a shock, and initially, I was embarrassed, embarrassed that I had let myself get like that. Frustrated that I didn’t do anything about my weight gain other than complaint. Annoyed at me for getting to that point. But quickly my embarrassment turned to reflection and that reflection quickly turned to pride. I was proud that I’ve now lost close to 70kgs and every day I am working on building a fitter, happier self. I am proud that because of my past I am now helping other people on their journeys. I am most proud that through my past experiences, I have inspired many others to transform their lives.
Whilst looking back can sometimes be a shock, it can sometimes be embarrassing, and it can sometimes hurt. Looking back can be the reminder you need, the reminder that you have 100% survival rate from bad days, bad experiences and bad people. It's a reminder of how far you have come, and most importantly a driver and a motivator for your future, showcasing just how much you have achieved, and just how much you can achieve when you put your mind to something.
Whilst social media encourages us to never look back, sometimes you can’t open a new door until the other one is closed, you may not see it today or tomorrow, but when you choose to look back, you will be pleasantly surprised with just how much you have achieved. Look back to see how far you’ve come, and use it as motivation to make your next move.