We are always told to look forward, look ahead, think about where you want to get to. Don’t look back, move on. And while this is good advice, it can be slightly limiting. Sometimes there is massive value in looking back so that we can see how far we have come. It is easy to become disheartened when we forget how much work we have already achieved and focus only on where we want to get to. Looking back reminds us of have much we have accomplished, and looking forward gives us new goals to aim towards.
A few months ago I got a rescue dog. Now after a few weeks she began to whine when you walked her, all the time, incessantly. Gradually over months of careful training, she only whines very occasionally. But I find myself being frustrated when she does whine. It was only when I took her around a walk that I had not done for a few months that I remembered how previously she had whined the whole way. It reminded me of how far we had come, and made me realise how much the training that I had done had improved her.
It can be hard to see improvement when it is incremental, and it is often only when someone else sees you after a period of time that they can see the improvement that you had been struggling to see. If you see your trainer once a month they will see a massive improvement that you might not have noticed. This validation if the work that you are doing will help you to strive to do more, to do better.
Even if you can’t see a trainer regularly just getting someone else to come and watch you ride your horse, or work your dog can be really beneficial. They will see what you can’t. Looking back doesn’t have to be bad, if you gain value from it. Looking back to appreciate the work you have done, can be a real boost to your confidence. So look back and then look forwards…