It seems to be so clear it wouldn’t need stating. Focus on moving forward is the way to gain and maintain success. But in the events of real life, it is easy to lose that focus. We face challenges, disappointments, and obstacles. BCD – blame, complain, and defend – is often an immediate first reaction when we are confronted with difficult situations. For some, BCD has become a habit. It has become a default way of reacting to challenging events. BCD has never solved a problem, achieved a goal, or improved a relationship. Stop wasting your time and energy on something that will never help you.Henry Ford said, “If everyone is moving forward, success will take care of itself.”Denis Waitley reminds us, “Don't dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.”Whether you are struggling now or doing well, the fact is that difficult situations are an ongoing fact of life. Real leaders know how to focus on moving forward, and they help other people get there, too. Here are some basic critical steps. They aren’t in any particular order—they ARE elements that must be present to move forward.Take 100% responsibility for where you are. Except in rare and unfortunate circumstances, you are responsible for the quality and condition of your life. Your career, your relationships and your happiness are all under your direct control. Sometimes we choose to do nothing when we get hit hard because it’s just easier and less painful that way. But the real pain is only deferred. You have to live with yourself. You have to live with the voice in your gut, your inner wisdom, that says you gave up too soon or didn’t try hard enough. It’s your choice and responsibility to get up and keep moving forward.Learn from your mistakes but don’t live there. Forget regret.Many times, when progress halts or we get a setback, it is at least partially due to a mistake of some kind that we made. Perhaps we didn’t do a good enough risk assessment or get on that issue soon enough. Whatever the cause of the problem, the key is to learn from it to get better and not to dwell on it. Losing sleep over something that’s already happened is not logical. We should be focused on the plan to fix the problem, not stressing out over how or why it happened even if it’s our fault.Learning from failure and having regret are two separate things. Regret is an emotion; a feeling of disappointment along with some shame or guilt. But to look back at a circumstance and figure out what went wrong gives you some very important information. It allows you to evaluate what worked and what didn’t, and more importantly, why. Often after a bit of time, you can look at it more objectively which will allow you to make better choices to keep moving forward.Leave your mistakes and regret in the past. They don’t define your value, then or now. When you stay in the past you become stuck and unable to move forward. We all have made mistakes with our job choices, friends and relationships. The consequences can hit us pretty hard.However, to begin learning how to put these experiences behind us – by letting them go, we can begin to live in the here and now. Give yourself the gift of forgiveness and keep moving forward.Build a team by asking for help.No one person can do it all themselves – teams are there to support each other and help when needed. When you’re in trouble the worst thing you can do is not ask for help. Reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness. It means we’re self-aware enough that we can’t dig ourselves out of this problem alone and need someone to give us a hand. There’s no worse feeling than thinking you are alone and on your own in solving a big problem – don’t compound your difficult tasks with trying to do it all yourself.You are not alone. It may feel that way sometimes, but there are many people who would extend their hand and lift you up if asked. All you have to do is ask.Believe you are WorthyWhatever your goal, your dream, or your desire, you are worthy of achieving it. The closer you get to it is when the enemy of your soul will begin putting doubt in your mind. Replace these old lies with the truth – you are worthy to have your heart’s true desire and to keep moving forward.Change the thoughts that materialized the situation you were in. Transform and elevate thoughts that were working against you. Thoughts like, “I am not enough.” “I have to...,” “I will never...” into positive and optimistic thoughts. For example, if you are moving forward from an unhealthy relationship and think that you will not find better or anyone else who will love you, change your thoughts to create a different attitude and a different outcome, such as, “I deserve someone who will love and appreciate me,” or “I am confident I will find the perfect person for me.” YOU have to take responsibility to make sure the next time is not like the last time.Accept where you are but be clear on what you want.Accept the realization that what you currently have is no longer satisfactory, that you are want something different, and that you are ready for it. Let it sink in. This tends to be the scariest step because it means there will be change, and change brings vulnerability and discomfort.In order to move forward in life, you need a firm foundation to step from. Understanding what and where you want to go in life will provide your vision and spirit – your foundation. The how will figure itself out when you know you want to keep moving forward.How badly do you want it? How badly do you really want to achieve what you are working so hard to accomplish? When you get hit hard, you have an opportunity to answer this question. It’s one thing to say you want to do something, or to be something. But to walk through the pain; to get up and keep moving forward knowing there may be more pain ahead, is a test of your determination and resolve. You HAVE to want it.Take action and break through your limitations.Connect with what no longer fits and why it does not fit — do this with as much awareness as you possibly can. Focus on breaking patterns that are not working for you mentally, emotionally, spiritually, energetically and behaviorally, so you do not find yourself repeating cycles and getting the same outcome.Take action and do things to help. Don’t sit around and moan about what’s ahead. For example, if you are moving, prepare for it by purging what you no longer need, packing, arranging for movers, changing your address and doing everything else needed for your move. This will help you stay organized, focused and optimistic as you accomplish small goals along the way. If you have lost a job, get your resume in order, brush up on skills. If you are stalled in your organization, find out what you can refresh and renew and get after it. Change the players as necessary.Prioritize staying motivated.It is easy to get discouraged if you hit a roadblock that temporarily creates a pause or a slowing down in the flow of your transition. Focusing on the bigger picture will help you to stay motivated. Celebrate and reward yourself and your team along the way. Reward yourself by daydreaming and connecting with the new experiences that you will soon be having. Celebrate by reminding yourself that better days are coming.Practice constant course correction.Whenever there is any kind of change an adjustment is needed. You need time to adjust and familiarize yourself with the new and move beyond what is no longer there. If you experienced a break-up an adjustment period is needed to let go of the other person, your routine, rituals, allow your emotions to heal, etc. The same applies for getting a new job or moving into a new home or anything else.Don’t dwell on what went wrong or where you missed it. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer. Life is kind of messy. Things go wrong and get messed up. When they do, quickly refocus on moving forward. Figure out where you can go from here.Focus your attention on what matters. What are your intentions, values, and vision? Be clear about what has meaning, importance and priority. Spend the time and money you have on those things that really make a difference in your life.Monitor closely your inner dialogue. Are you thinking about all the “what if’s” and worse case scenarios? Are you focused on conversations about how tough it is and your doubts and concerns about the future? Are you with people who moan and groan? Are the people with whom you talk draining your mental energy? Are you separating the facts from your feelings and fears, so you can deal with reality and take steps that are in your control?Open up to the possibilities, and don’t overlook the obvious. Are you really thinking outside of the box and giving yourself the time to explore new options? Are you exploring new thoughts and new concepts? Are you are open to the idea that there are many more solutions beyond what you currently know? Don’t underestimate the obvious, simple things. When you start taking control of the things you can control, you’ll find the things you can’t control starting to fall into place as well.Realize what is really important.Don’t make this situation your identity. Making your job, your success responsible for how you feel about yourself. You are not only as successful as your last project or task or compliment. That’s an enormous amount of pressure to put on one’s self. People and relationships are most important, and even in those, the most important person besides God to respect you is yourself. Put things into perspective. What you are doing is important, but it’s not nearly everything. Approach your life with calm and focus, knowing you are far more than what you do.
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