Which phrase most accurately reflects how you view the past?
💭 Forget the past.
💭 The past has something to teach me.
💭 I can’t stop thinking about the past.
How you view the past has a lot to do with how you participate in the present and look toward the future. The truth is: the past is great to see where you’ve come from, but terrible to determine where you’re going.
Think about a rearview mirror. It’s a fraction of the size of the windshield. It’s there for perspective to see where you’ve come from. It’s to pay attention to anything coming up behind you that may compromise your movement forward.
You need to look back in order to celebrate how far you’ve come, reflect on what you’ve learned, make sense of your experiences, notice how you’ve failed forward, and remember sweet memories. The past is a gift that got you here.
If you’ve been around me for a while, you’ve likely heard me say “your whole story matters.” Your work to becoming your whole self requires that you integrate your past into your present so you can move forward with power. When we can be grateful for our past, we can heal and live fully into our potential.
Here’s a thought: practice one of these 5 ideas this next week and watch how gratitude grows in your life and leadership.
Express gratitude: Reach out to someone from your past who’s made a difference and express your thanks. Specifically sharing how you’re thankful for them strengthens connections and expands joy.
Learn from your Mistakes: Instead of dwelling on past mistakes, view them as valuable learning opportunities. Reflect on what you’ve gained from failing forward, and use them as springboards for growth.
look back: As this year is wrapping up, reflect on the brightest spots of connection, growth, healing, and achievement. Celebrate how far you’ve come. (Look out for our popular Year in Review coming soon! 👀)
HONOR THE HARD: Pain, trauma, disappointment, and betrayal form who we are – for better or worse. Holding gratitude for surviving the hard stuff and the good it’s taught you about God, yourself, and others is a powerful way to transform what the enemy intended for evil and turn it for the good.
SEE YOUR LITTLE SELF: What did you love about yourself when you were 9 years old? Go back to your little self and love who you were. Maybe you want to reintegrate your little self into who you’re becoming.
Incorporating gratitude for the past into your daily life leads you toward your whole self. That’s a journey worth being on! Best of all, gratitude for what got you here is FREE and expands your life in all its fullness.
I’m grateful for you and this journey we’re on together. Next week, we’ll look at how gratitude in the present expands your life.