Stay In The Positive Zone By Looking To Your Past

As entrepreneurs, we’re always looking ahead. We’re always focused on the exciting future in front of us rather than the negative past behind us because we assume the future is where growth happens and we can impact it by our choices.

In reflecting on this past year, however, I’ve realized that it’s not our future that’s exciting. The future is, in fact, always normal. It’s the past that offers the real excitement.

Think about it: Any future, no matter how great it seems when you imagine it ahead of time, becomes normal when you actually get there. So many of the things we take for granted today were still on the drawing board 10 years ago. That includes Zoom, which was new and exciting and even a little bit scary at the start of the pandemic, but is now an essential part of our lives.

The future becomes normal so quickly. But the past gets more exciting every day because it represents a change or improvement you made that took you from one point to another, better point.

Yet our expectations of the future are always high. We demand that it transform us. We expect that, when we achieve something or get to a certain level of success, we will be a transformed human being. But when we get there, we’re just normal.

That inevitably leads to disappointment, so we then assume that the next future will be the exciting one. We need it to be, because that’s the only way we can escape our past.

The thing is, the transformation we’re looking for is actually the comparison of our present with our past. It happens backwards. It’s about having a negative experience and transforming it into something positive. It’s about getting confronted with something painful, scary, and uncomfortable, and developing new capabilities and courage that take us in a new direction.

The only way to escape this cycle of expectation and disappointment, then, is to look at how far you’ve come rather than where you hope to be. One of the thinking tools we use frequently at Strategic Coach is The Positive Focus. It’s a simple, fast, and extremely effective way to center yourself by focusing on what did work rather than what didn’t.

When we take a few minutes out of our day to think about and write down our progress and achievements, and the ways we can expand on them, it raises our energy levels and puts us in a more productive and confident frame of mind. If you do this for a month, I guarantee you’ll see a huge shift in your perspective — and your confidence.

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I hope this article triggered some new ideas, projects, initiatives, and thinking for you and your business.

Thanks for reading,


Looking to take your positive thinking to the next level? Download our free Positive Focus exercise to stay focused on the right things.

Make sure to check out more of my latest articles because little things keep becoming bigger and better when you think about them in new and different ways.

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World’s foremost expert on entrepreneurship in action. Co-founder and President of The Strategic Coach Inc. Find out more:

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Dan Sullivan

World’s foremost expert on entrepreneurship in action. Co-founder and President of The Strategic Coach Inc. Find out more: