Hello, July! It’s lovely to see you, say those living in the Southern Hemisphere. While those of us in the Northern Hemisphere furiously turn our fans on and attempt to make our lightest, dri-fit, athleisure wear look as professional as possible.

As some of my clients have recently expressed, we’ve entered the bit of the year affectionately termed the summer doldrum season. Where for some of you it may feel like your vacation plans are either an oasis in front of you that seems unreachable or a far distant memory from just last month. Either way, this time of year can feel a little “draggy” as one of my most cerebral clients said earlier this week.   

It’s this lull of a month that has inspired me to tackle topics focused on self-sabotaging behaviors. We all have them. I’m pretty confident you’ll recognize a few of your own before the month is over.

Our first self-sabotaging behavior, which can rear its head if we’re not careful, is an obsession with the past

Having an obsession with the past destroys the future.

You may feel like you have a healthy relationship with the past; after all, you can change very little of it. But just because you can’t change it doesn’t mean you don’t relive it, a little too often.

You can hear yourself or others reliving the past when you hear phrases like:

  • “I just wish they would have done…..”
  • “It’s not fair that…”
  • “I can’t believe …….. was done (to me)”
  • “We’re stuck with …….. because…….”

I am not saying that we can’t express disappointment or that we can’t debrief past missteps to learn forward future steps. I’m saying that obsessing about disappointments of the past, once processed with pace, is best viewed as a “sunk cost” vs. a “future spend”.

There is a reason the rearview mirror is significantly smaller than our windshield. We’re not meant to see or remember all the details of the past (or anyone else’s past that we’re holding on to). Those are meant to become smaller, as they do when we drive forward. We’re meant to see through the 20x-sized windshield in front of us. 

We sabotage our future when we obsess about the past.
Which way are you looking?