A Little-Known Way To Boost Confidence and Achieve Big Goals

Author Emma G Rose poses with attendees at an author event

“Don’t look back, you’re not going that way.” It’s one of those ubiquitous inspirational quotes that shows up on mugs and home decor.

Some people attribute it to artist Mary Engelbreit. And, overall, it’s good advice. If you’re caught up in the past, it’s hard to move forward (just ask Ella).

But with all due respect to Ms. Engelbreit, sometimes looking backward is exactly what you need to do. It’s the only way to see how far you’ve come. And seeing that progress can boost confidence to help you achieve goals you’ve set for the future.

When I realized I needed a Boost in Confidence

Recently, I was feeling overwhelmed by the distance between what I’m doing now and what I’d like to do. It seems an impossible length to travel. Today, I’m a little-known (*gasp*) indie author who has sold just over 1000 books in my career. I’d like to 10x that number, just for starters.

Today, I visit local schools to talk to students about writing. I’d like to become a paid speaker, so I can inspire more kids more often.

Right now, I have just a few hundred social media followers and my inner circle mailing list is a small but mighty team of superfans. More than anything, I want to share my stories with more people.

When I look forward to all that, I think, There’s no way I can get that far. This is the best that I can do.

And then I turn around and look back.

Looking Back Provides Perspective

This is me, more than five years ago. I was in my happy place, at an immersive art exhibit that had a candy bar!

Emma G Rose dressed in black sits on a white beanbag chair in a the corner of a brightly painted art mural

Sometimes I look back a that young woman and consider all the things she didn’t know she was capable of:

I look at her and I wish I could write her a letter that says:

“It’s hard right now, but you can do this. Yes, it’s going to feel impossible, until one day it doesn’t. You’re going to think you have no idea how to do it, until one day you realize you already are. The obstacles will seem insurmountable, and then suddenly you’ll be standing at the summit adoring the view. You can. You will. You are. Keep going.”

She can’t read that letter, because she is more than five years in the past. She is as distant from me now as the woman I will be five years from today.

But looking back, I can see her. She’s so certain that this is the best that she can do. So sure that she has no idea how to move forward. But she does, she did. I did.

And if she can do it five years in the past. I can do it now.

And so can you.

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