The Strat: Who wants to live with yesterday’s trash? Show of hands?

The Strat
By Valerie Sokolosky

A Reach-certified Personal Brand Strategist offers tips and advice on our favorite topic – personal branding!

Who wants to live with yesterday’s trash? Show of hands?

Just as I thought. No one. So, why do we keep looking in the rear view mirror at yesterday’s rubbish in our lives, like the disappointment when we didn’t get the promotion…the times the people we thought had our back, yet let us down…or that deep resentment we felt over a business deal.

I’ve always known it did no good to dig up the past. But what about those of us who never bothered to bury those hurts, disappointments, resentments and simply bad feelings? Why not put the lid on that garbage from the past? Why keep looking in that rearview mirror when we can focus on the road rising in front of us?

Like all of you, I’ve had my share of garbage in my life and have wasted precious energy wallowing in the past – only to recognize that the only person I was harming was myself. How silly! So let me share ways I’ve dealt with this….and as I do, I’m hopeful that something from my experience will resonate with you:

1. Recognize how much energy you ARE wasting.

Every time I thought about an emotionally draining situation with the feelings that came with it – it caused me pause. Then I asked myself “If I’m smart enough to want to change those feelings – then it seems a logical decision to purposefully forgive, let go and move on. It’s my choice, no one else’s!

2.Determine to learn from the past, rather than to continually wallow in it.

Even with the past junk that resurfaces from time to time, there’s usually a lesson to learn. Something to look at and reflect on. Was there was a better way I could have handled a situation? Or a different outcome if I had been more aware? Whatever that lesson is, own it and try to react differently next time.

3. Don’t let disappointments from the past cause you to doubt yourself.

Are you holding onto a self-limiting belief that has become a barrier to your future success or to reaching a goal? Once when I lost a job, I took it so personally that my self-esteem began eroding. Doubt crept in on what value I had. And then withdrawal. I can tell you that was not a good time to be around me. My usual optimism was affected, which in turn affected my family. When I finally had the nerve to tell someone in whom I trusted the reasons I doubted myself, she helped me see from a different perspective. Only then did I pick myself up and determine NOT to let someone else eat away at my self-image.

All in all, it’s simply not the best driver technique to continue your journey with your eyes — and your heart — focused on the rear view mirror.

Valerie Sokolosky is an author of 8 books, a speaker and the owner of Valerie and Company, a firm that focuses on people skills through training programs and executive coaching. She contributes regularly to Success Magazine, SW Airlines Spirit Magazine and Dallas Business Journal.


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