After writing my last article about the importance of looking at your past beliefs, I realized that looking behind you isn’t just helpful when it comes to understanding the money beliefs that hold us back so that we can shift them. It’s also helpful when it comes to allowing yourself to acknowledge your growth and what you’ve learned!
As happens to everyone from time to time, a few weekends ago I had a moment where I was telling myself that I hadn’t done enough and I was focused more on what hadn’t happened than what I’d actually created. And let me tell you, the energy around it wasn’t fun and I was committed to moving through the unpleasantness as quickly as possible. (If you don’t know, focusing on what’s not working rather than what is working is a surefire way to attract more of what’s not working and I didn’t want any of that!)
So instead of beating myself up about what was missing, I set forth to read all of my journals for 2015 to review what had happened so far and to be with my thoughts about what I’d created. As a recovering overachiever, I always get to be present to the times when the not-so-nice voice in my head tries to remind me “you’re not doing enough!!!”
And what I read in my journals honestly brought me to tears – more than once. It was clear that while some things hadn’t yet happened, that overall I’d done some pretty amazing things! Just a few of the items I included on my list were: skydiving for the first time, co-authoring 2 best-selling books with other amazing women, and completing my transformational trainer certification.
I will admit that I’m proud that the list of things I’ve accomplished this year was lengthy (and my recovering overachiever had conveniently forgot many things), yet perhaps more important than all of the things that I’d done was the woman I now have the opportunity to be in the world. My mindset and the way I think about things has been forever upgraded, and for the better.
After completing my review of my journals and reflecting, I was able to be grateful for what was, for what is right now in this moment, and for where I am as a result. In the weeks since I completed my review, I’ve been gifted with additional opportunities to see my growth over the last 4-5 years including volunteering at a workshop this past weekend that I attended myself in April 2011. What a trip that was to see how much that one workshop alone had forever altered my point-of-view!
Whatever is guiding me to look backward lately is insistent, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to take it easy on myself instead of beating myself up. I’ve created amazing things and I’ve been doing the hard work, and I get to acknowledge myself for that.
And at the same time, I get to gather myself together to gain awareness of what isn’t yet working and charge forward to continue creating the road before me that leads to my dreams. It’s only in looking backward that I can identify what I’ve already created and what I get to address to course correct going forward.
One of my favorite quotes ever to illustrate this point was by the late Apple icon, Steve Jobs. It’s from a commencement speech that he gave at Stanford in June 2005:
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well-worn path; and that will make all the difference.”
Will you take the time to look backward, connect the dots, and pave the path ahead with clear intentions?