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This got triggered when I was going through my notes from a coaching conversation with a client last year
The client, a senior leader from the consulting domain, was planning to quit and start his own company
“My first start-up did not do well and I had to eventually shut it down” he said “I had to join the corporate job back”
“But now I am afraid if this new start-up I am planning also fails” he continued “Should I really go for it or not ? I am having my doubts”
His fears and worries were based on his past experiences
He was assuming that since his first start-up did not do well, anything new he will start might also fail
There is a lot we can learn from our past
And I think it is OK to reflect on your past occasionally to learn from it
But too much dwelling in the past can hold both your present and future to ransom
You cannot drive ahead looking in the rear view mirror all the time, right ?
And this is a challenge I have seen in many people – be it CXOs, working professionals or entrepreneurs
They let their action and decision be driven purely by past experiences
They are not able to overcome their past and move ahead in life
So if you are one of them, what should you really do ??
Here are 5 powerful questions to ask yourself to help you overcome your past and move on
1. Do you really want to get over it ?
This might sound stupid, but start here
Because when you say you can not let go, is it that you do not want to ?
Staying in your past sometimes can be the convenient thing to do, rather than take action and change yourself, right ?
So be honest and true to yourself when you answer this question
That automatically leads to the next question....
2. Is staying in the past meeting some unmet need of yours ?
This is a really powerful question
Dig deep inside to find the answer
Again, be brutally honest with yourself
Warning – This might not be easy and could get messy
3. Are you fully aware of the cost you are paying by not letting go ?
In my experience, this is where many people lack awareness
While it might be convenient to hold on to the past, what is the price you are paying ?
Examine all areas of your life – career, health, relationships, passion, wealth, lost opportunities etc
And in many cases, you will realise that there is a huge cost you have already paid and will continue paying, if you remain stuck
And now that you are aware of the costs, let us look at the possibilities
4. If you could get over the past, what sort of life would you have ?
Think of what you do not have today and what all would be possible
Again, examine all areas of your life – career, health, relationships, passion, wealth etc
..If you are able to move on from your past, what sort of career opportunities could come your way ?
..How would your relationships with people around you improve ?
And so on....
Finally, now that you are aware of both the cost and possibilities, it is time to take action, hence the next question....
5. Is it too much of an effort to move on? Does it create a lot of discomfort ?
Compare the response to this question with the answer to the previous question 4 ( possibilities )
Is that effort worth it or not ? If yes, what is the smallest action you can take today ?
If it is not worth it, be aware of the cost !
So here is the real deal....
No one is forcing you to stay in the past
Nothing is really stopping you from letting go and moving ahead in life
It is a conscious choice you are making to stay where you are
But I think it is time to move on !
So go back and reflect on these 5 questions and I would be interested to know what came up for you as you read this email
Stay safe and stay healthy