It seems like a simple concept doesn’t it? Putting the past behind you so that you can have a brighter future? Psychologists will tell you all day long about how important it is to let go of the past. However, it seems much more difficult then it sounds.
Of course, I could talk all day about how you need to put the past behind you to grow in your personal life, but this blog is supposed to be more focused on business growth and productivity. And even though they are both deeply interconnected, I am going to focus this article on the workplace for the sake of brevity.
You Can’t Change The Past
I often wonder when I see people put so much time and effort into something that has already happened if they are aware that they can’t go back and change it. It seems silly, but I am sure you can recall an instance where your boss or coworker put far to much effort trying to figure out who to blame for a mistake when they should have been putting that effort into figuring out how to fix the mistake. When something is in the past, it is done. Your focus should be on moving forward because no matter how much effort you put into the past, it will never change.
You Can Push Yourself Further
The past may have made you who you are, but it is the present that decides who you will become. People who dwell on the past limit themselves because they always see where they failed before. However, the failures of the past are lessons that will keep you from making those same mistakes again. You need to learn from the past, but not dwell on it, and not let it control your future. When you do make a mistake, or fail at something, don’t dwell on it. Learn the lessons that it taught you, and use those to be better, and more confident. A wise man once said “I didn’t fail 100 times, I was successful in finding 100 ways that do not work”.
The Past Isn’t Very Clear
You often hear people say “hindsight is 20/20”, but that isn’t really true. Ask people about a meeting last week, and you will get ten different replies. The past is your interpretation of your own memories. That interpretation may or may not be very accurate. The way you remember things changes based on your mental condition at the time the event happened. If you were stressed out, mad, or otherwise compromised, your memory will be compromised as well. You also only remember things from your own perspective. No one can make a sound judgment based on only their own perspective.
Letting Go Of The Past Let’s You Take Control Of The Future
You can’t change the past, You can’t control the past, You probably can’t even remember the past correctly. You can, however, control your future. Take responsibility for your own actions and focus on the future. When you let the past interfere, it makes bad choices. Use the lessons the past has taught you, but leave the past to the biographers.
Does The Past Have A Place?
Of course the past has its place. That place is in the past. But it can be useful in seeing mistakes that were made, and helping to guide us to not make those same mistakes again. You should never forget the past, but you should put it behind you so it doesn’t cause problems for your future.
If you are interested in having your staff become more productive, and enthusiastic about moving your company into the future, you can contact Level Up Partners to come to your facility for a lecture or seminar. Together we can help your team get to the next level!