The other day I went for my walk and decided that I would trek up a very steep hill near my house. It’s a little over a mile to the top of the hill. About 5 minutes into the walk I noticed my spirit dropping as I focused on how much more I still had to climb. And yes, it was starting to feel more like a climb up a mountain than a walk up a hill.
With each step I became more and more overwhelmed and seriously considered turning around, thinking, “There’s no way I can do this in the amount of time I have to complete this walk. " It was then, that a little voice inside my head said, “Turn around and look back. " Of course! I was focusing my energy in the wrong direction. Instead of looking at what was in front of me I needed to look back and see what I had already accomplished. Once I turned around and saw a very steep part of the hill already behind me, my spirit, and energy level soared. I knew, if I could get through that part of the hill that quickly, the rest would be very doable and I would be finished in plenty of time.
How many times in your life have you been told, “Don’t look back. Looking back doesn’t do any good. The past is the past and regrets aren’t going to keep you moving forward. " Well, what about looking back so you see all the things you’ve already accomplished in your life. The things you did that you never thought you could do. I’m sure you’ve had thoughts like, “How will I ever get this project off the ground, create a career I’m passionate about, raise happy and healthy kids, find the love of my life, buy my first house, ask for that overdue raise or even make it through this day. " Just knowing you did some or all of those things can make you feel a little bit better and realize that what’s in front of you now, will be yet another accomplishment you can add to your ‘looking back’ list.
Maybe you’re someone who doesn’t give yourself enough credit most of the time. Or, you focus more often on what you need to accomplish instead of enjoying, from time to time, what you’ve already completed. Give yourself a break and take some time to really assess all the wonderful things you’ve done in your life so far. Make a list so you really see what there is to be proud of. It doesn’t matter if it’s simply getting out of bed on a day that you were in a lot of pain emotionally or physically. No matter how small or big that something was, you wanted to do it and you did!
Don’t dismiss things because you may tell yourself, “Anyone could have done that. " You did it and that’s all that matters. It’s irrelevant if someone else could or did. Life isn’t a contest. If you constantly compare your accomplishments to others you will consistently disappoint yourself. Why? Because there will always be someone, somewhere, accomplishing something that you haven’t. So let go of that one. It’s a lose/lose every time.
Pay attention to the fact that you’ve gotten through more than you may think you have and that whatever lies ahead of you, you can get through and accomplish as well. Especially, when your heart knows it’s true.
Copyright 2005, Linda Salazar all rights reserved. This article may be reproduced in its entirety as long as all credits are included.
Certified Personal Life Coach, Author, Speaker
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