As much as you strive to stay on your desired path, there are times where you will veer off course, sometimes even going in the opposite direction. When you have lost your way you have to turn things around.
Your initial step is to recognize and acknowledge that you are going in the wrong direction. You must take full responsibility for the road you are currently on. If you blame other people or circumstances, you will not get back on track.
You chose the direction you are traveling. Turning things around involves reassessing and reordering your priorities. Taking for granted all you have to be thankful for is all too common. When this happens, losing your way is all too easy.
Before you can begin turning things around, you must immediately stop doing whatever caused you to wind up where you don’t want to be. Nothing will get better until you do this.
When you are going the wrong way, or have made a mistake, there are four important questions to answer.
1. What happened? In order to begin taking corrective action you must identify exactly what went awry. To do this, you need an awareness of what’s happening in your life. You will not be able to get back on the road unless you are looking out the windshield.
2. Why did it happen? You must understand the cause and effect relationship that brought you to your current position. The key to this is what you did and the role you played. Since the only thing you have control over is yourself, it’s a complete waste of time to fault others or make excuses.
3. What did you learn? There is more to be learned from mistakes and problems than when everything goes right. If you don’t learn anything, you are destined to constantly repeat the same errors.
4. What do you have to do to prevent it from happening again? Accurately answering this question is vital to avoiding the same mistakes that brought you off course. People who don’t honestly answer this question are destined to find themselves stuck in an endless cycle of frustration. Blaming others for you circumstances puts you in this position.
In order to turn things around, you need to determine your new direction. This decision is based on your goals. Without a clear destination, there is no way to alter your course. Formulating well defined goals is paramount.
Let go of the past. Learn from your mistakes rather than fixating on failures. Life moves forward. Concentrate on taking the action today necessary for making tomorrow better. Nothing happens without action.
Displace the bad habits that drove you off course, with good ones. Bad habits sabotage your success. As soon as you catch yourself behaving in an old pattern, change what you are doing. This is a repetitive process that takes time to become engrained. Persistent bad habits inhibit your turning things around.
If you are on the wrong path, there’s no reason for you to keep suffering. You have the power to make changes. The longer you continue in the wrong direction, the more time it takes for your return trip. Act today to take the first step. Recognize the need for change and then formulate a plan.
Believe in yourself. If you have the desire and determination, you can turn things around. Your mind believes whatever you tell it. If you believe you can, you are right. If you believe you can’t, you are also right. So tell your mind that you can and will turn things around.
NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at
or write him c/o this paper. 2012 Bryan Golden