Your past leaves a trail of footprints cemented on the ground behind you. If you always retrace your steps by putting your feet in places you’ve been, people you’ve left and things you’ve said goodbye to, you’ll never be moving forward.
There are so many times that we have gone back to revisit our past memories and past habits and fall back into our old ways. There are countless times that we promise ourselves we wouldn’t do something that was not healthy nor bringing us joy, yet we fall into temptation and revisit what is comfortable to us. Remember the last time you wanted to change your health for the better, or pick up a new hobby, pursue something that you’ve always thought about doing or leaving behind things that are doing more harm than good in your life? Remember the last time you wanted to do one or few of those things, but fell back into your old habits and never ended up pursuing that new path you had sketched out so clearly in your mind?
Revisiting our old footprints in life is a form of procrastinating. It feels comfortable and it feels easy because we have been there already, we have done those things again and again and we are not affected by a change in circumstances. Many times, we stride three large steps forward, only to be stunned by how terrifying change can be, and take five steps back where we are comfortably staying stationary in our old footprints.
The reality of this pattern is that we will never be moving forward, if we are constantly living in the shadows of our past. Change and growth will never come to us if we are consistently retracing the ways we have come and going back to the places we know we don’t want to stay in, but feel too afraid to step into the unknown.
Our minds are smart enough to know what’s good for us, and what’s bad for us. The same minds are the ones holding us back from a fear of change when we start paving a new road for us to walk on. It becomes an eternal inner conflict and many of us always settle for comfort, drowning out the voices inside of us that inherently know that we shouldn’t be retracing our footsteps, yet we do it anyway for the short-term familiarity and comfort of what feels easy.
But we all want to move forward, don’t we? We all want to see positive and successful change in our lives and we all want to forget about the grim places that we can finally put behind us. The reality is that nothing is ever going to change if you continually seek your old habits. Someone once said that ‘In order to be someone you’re not, you need to do something you’ve never done before’. Similarly, in order to be a person better than you were yesterday, you need to start by taking the right steps that you’ve never taken before. Move forward, not backward.
Start small, and begin planting your feet one step at a time ahead of you. The small, daily changes you commit to making every day is what attributes to your success. You know what needs to change, and you know what needs to be left in the past. Now the challenge is setting your eyes to your goal, pointing your feet forward, and promising yourself not to relapse back into your old footprints.