Have you ever heard the expression, “two steps forward and one step back is still one step forward”? Setbacks are frustrating, difficult, and can even be paralyzing if not viewed in the correct way. Today, let’s look at 3 different ways that taking a step back can actually help us move forward.
1. Stepping back encourages REFLECTION.
When we choose to or are forced to take a step back, we automatically have a choice to reflect on what just occurred. In my day job, I spend a lot of time using formulas and macros in Microsoft Excel to format files in a way that they can be uploaded into a financial system correctly. Whenever I just cannot seem to get the file to look right and “balance”, I am forced to take a step back and evaluate my process. During these “look-back” periods I often find a simple step that I missed and am then able to move forward and complete the task.
In life, there will be times when we just seem to get stuck or cannot figure out how to “get it right.” Take a deep breath, stop, and reflect on your process. What is preventing you from moving forward? Is it something you can control? If so, then determine what you need to do to get moving again, and do it!
2. Stepping back brings CLARITY.
Imagine you are hiking on a clear blue day when a thick fog rolls in and drastically reduces visibility. Well, if you just blindly keep going you may very well hike right off a cliff! The situation calls for a mandatory stepping back and sometimes even stopping until the fog clears. If you must continue forward, you can get out your safety equipment and maybe even a light that cuts through the fog to do so.
Have you experienced life’s fogs? They could be financial debt, a family crisis, a natural disaster, an unfavorable situation at work, etc. What should you do when these happen? Step back and let it pass if you can, but if you cannot get out your equipment and move forward anyway. This could mean creating a financial budget so you know where your money is going or spending time with your family and sharing your honest and open feelings.
3. Stepping back brings REFRESHMENT.
Have you ever been in the middle of a workout and felt that you could continue no longer? What did you do? Most of the time we stop and just say, “Well, I guess that’s all I’ve got in me today.” What if all you needed was a small break, a glass of water, a snack, and a few stretches? Personally, doing that exact thing has allowed me to continue physically when I probably would have normally quit going.
Are you missing refreshment in your life because you are just pushing so hard forward that you are forgetting to check your gas tank and see if you are running on empty? Take a step back and refresh yourself! My dad always says that if you want to have a life that is overflowing and positively impacting others, you yourself have to be full and refreshed.
Take some time this week to step back and reflect, clarify, and most importantly refresh your life. What if that propels you forward farther than you even planned to go?
Stay encouraged, my friends!