We are constantly looking ahead….our holidays, to the things we have to do next week, to the stuff we have planned even years in advance. Is it time to look backwards?
I was recently looking for a reference that I had used in a piece of writing I had done a year or so ago. In order to find this particular reference I had to reread a large piece of work which I had spent many hours researching and putting together. Although I had re-read it in order to get the word count right and check grammar and spelling and the like I had not actually read it for the pleasure of reading it. So a year or so later I am reading it with fresh eyes and I think to myself “wow this is a really good piece of writing, I can’t believe I did this”.
Out with my family celebrating a birthday, we were talking about things that were on our bucket lists. Fantasising about all the things we would like to do with our lives individually and as a family was great fun and led to many debates as we questioned the appropriateness of some of the bucket list activities to some of our family members-a man living without electronic devices for any period of time!! I wonder how many of these things we will actually do?
And as I sit here reflecting on these two events which may appear to be completely unrelated the connections I make from this are that we are so future-orientated it takes real effort to look backwards and to see just what we HAVE achieved.
When I was nursing I had to regularly change jobs due to the frequent moving with my husband’s work. This meant I was constantly updating my CV and re-reading and re-editing my personal statements. What I now realise is that I was also regularly in touch with what I had achieved personally and professionally and this boosted my self-confidence and self-esteem.
So my challenge to you is to spend some time reflecting on all those amazing things that you actually have done. For some of us, the things that seem very small to others may be massive to us-like getting out of bed (particularly challenging when we are suffering from depression for instance). So look backwards and celebrate the big things and the little things that you have achieved because you are amazing and you have choices in the direction of your life.