We all make mistakes. There are things in the past we would have done differently. Unexpected challenges surface at the worst possible times. Problems arise that were never anticipated. There are various choices available to you and you're not sure which path to take.
If you get caught up in the past you will compromise your present and pollute your future. There are always things you would do differently in hindsight. Mistakes are never pleasant. Examine the past to understand what went wrong and why. Use it as a learning tool to move forward more successfully.
Unless and until you understand the cause and effect connection from your past, you have no basis to make improvements. Take ownership of your actions. You are responsible for where you are. Blaming other people or circumstances sabotages your future.
Whatever circumstances you are facing, feeling sorry for yourself is not only an absolute waste of time; it drains your energy and contaminates your attitude. Regardless of your current situation, there are many others who have successfully overcome a similar predicament or made the best of it. If they can do it, you can also.
Becoming overwhelmed and freezing in fear or doubt never works. Getting bogged down in paralysis by analysis provides you with a false sense of security that you are being prudently cautious. While you justify not taking the next step because you are busy analyzing all of your options, opportunities are passing you by.
Worry doesn't work. Worry is a conditioned response that you have spent your life perfecting. You can worry as much as you want but it will be to no avail. All worry does is exhaust and frustrate you. Worry creates stress which leads to actual physical and mental ailments. Worry must be replaced by the action of taking the next step.
Regardless of what has happened, what you have been through, the problems you face, or the obstacles you have to overcome, the most important thing for you to do is take the next step. This is positive action that moves you forward.
Success requires self-monitoring. This is a constant awareness of what's happening to you and why. Are you on track to reach your goals? If not, why not? What needs to be changed before taking the next step?
Circumstances may not be ideal. All you can do is make the best decision you can with the facts at hand. Your objective is to keep moving forward toward your desired destination. Make adjustments as needed. Your path to success is not a straight line.
Each step you take should be directed toward a goal. Situations may blow you off course. Changes in direction will be required to avoid obstacles. Detours may be necessary to solve problems. Each step you take should be deliberate. Think before you act. Gather as much information as possible before making decisions. Seek advice from people who are where you want to be.
Every journey, regardless of the length, is simply one forward step after another. It's impossible to get to a destination by sitting in one place. You lose ground by walking backwards. You need to look forward in order to remain on course. If you are always looking behind you, you'll never reach your destination.
When in doubt just take the next step, no matter how small. It's not magic. Giving up is never a valid option. If you fall, get back up, shake yourself off, and take the next step. Make this a habit. Set a good example for others.
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. 2013 Bryan Golden