Are You Living in the Rearview Mirror?
This month at Vision to Purpose, we’re focusing on personal growth. Many wise people before us have observed that personal growth requires self-reflection. Self-reflection allows us to observe and analyze how we’ve done in past situations.

However, we’ve noticed that self-reflection can all too easily turn into an unhealthy dwelling on the past. Today, we ask you, “Are you living in the rearview mirror?” meaning, are you focusing so hard on your past that you are incapable of moving forward?

Reasons to Look Ahead

Looking forward, looking to the future, rearview mirror

When we’re constantly looking in the past, it’s hard to progress with our goals. We must look forward to move forward. If you’re constantly thinking about the mistakes you’ve made – whether in regards to career moves, personal relationships, or spiritual matters – you may find it hard to shed the old you and embrace the newer, wiser version of yourself. Holding on to outdated self-perceptions is a really great way to limit yourself from reaching your full potential.

Another reason why it is so important to let go of the past is that it allows you to make significant life changes. Holding on to bad habits, guilt, or tired routines prevents us from learning better ways to approach the challenges that life will inevitably throw at us. Repeating history will cause you to miss the opportunities waiting just around the corner you haven’t yet traveled down.

What Healthy Self-Reflection Looks Like

self-reflection, looking forward, pondering the future, rearview mirror

There is nothing worse than the person at the party with little-to-no self-awareness. You know the type – the one who makes people uncomfortable with their off-color jokes, or annoys everyone with their incessant bragging. You wonder to yourself, “How can they not see the eye rolls and negative body language around them? Do they not know what this behavior makes everyone think or feel about them?”

No one in their right mind wants to be that person, but sometimes, despite our best efforts, we have moments that reveal just how little self-awareness we have in certain situations.

It is a healthy practice to take inventory of your behavior on a regular basis. I think of it like playing back a highlight reel of recent interactions. I hate to admit it, but there have been more than a few occasions where I’ve looked back and thought, “man, I really could’ve handled that better.”

Regret is never a good feeling. Through self-reflection, we can start to create a consciousness surrounding our behavior and responses to things, and ideally, make changes to better ourselves.

How This Applies to the Job Search

job application, not the past, not the rearview mirror

We get it – searching for a job can be so discouraging. You start out strong and motivated, but after you get turned down over and over, you start to lose steam. Instead of losing heart, we encourage you to take this opportunity to reflect on what you have done in your job search thus far, and what mistakes you may have made.

This is a great time to reflect on how your resume reads, and how you interacted in failed interviews. Use this self-reflection to gain a better understanding of how prospective employers see you. If this doesn’t match the image you are trying to portray, then you have a clear path for change. Determine what didn’t work, make the changes, and move forward without dwelling. If you need a little help, we have a review program just for you. For a limited time, we are offering for one low price, for an entire month, reviews of your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile. Check it out here: review promotion.

Today is a new day, and it’s time to stop looking in the rearview mirror because the view ahead is full of possibilities!

About the Author:


Melanie Lemus is the Communications Specialist for Vision to Purpose providing self-help, business, and career-focused topics.



About Vision to Purpose:

Vision to Purpose is an organization dedicated to helping individuals and businesses succeed through the offering of tailored career, life, and business solutions.

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