Never Look Back – Alex Issa

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Alex Issa – @AlexIssaFitness

Sometimes inspiration strikes at times when you least expect. As I was putting laundry away, I noticed a shirt that I had purchased from the Arnold Classic a few years ago.  The front of the shirt had the classic Arnold pose with the words “Never Look Back” printed in bright red.  When I bought the shirt, I thought it was just another average top that I could add my collection of workout clothes.  Now, as I pull the shirt out a few years later and reflect on the meaning of the powerful words printed across the front, I realize how impactful and inspiring that saying can be. 

How many times have you reflected on a past situation and said to yourself “I wish I could have done this differently?”  How many times have you told yourself “if I could have done that one thing, I would be way better off than I am now?”  We all have said these phrases to ourselves a few times in the past, and probably still do today.  It is okay to reflect on the past and think about the choices we have made that have led us to our current situation in life. However, it is not okay to dwell on the past saying, “shoulda, coulda, woulda.” It doesn’t matter how long or hard you think about that situation and all of the possible outcomes, nothing is going to change what happened in the past.  The positive aspect that you can take away from the situation is that you have to learn from the past and apply what you learned to your future. 

We may not realize it, but we are wasting energy when we think about the past.  That same energy that could be applied to bettering yourself. Instead, you’re using it to think of hypothetical situations, sitting there and letting an opportunity slip by.  It is taking away opportunities to plan for the future.  It is taking away time from your loved ones because you’re too busy being dwelling on past situations. If you’re going to use energy to think about a life altering situation, use it to think of ways it can change your future.

This mental attitude can be applied to any life situation: lifting, health, finances, career, relationships, and sports, just to name a few.  The reason this attitude can be used for all facets of life is because those are often the largest areas where we look back and think, “how could I have been better at this?”

Jay Alzeltine, a partner of Iron Valley Barbell, took a huge jump and moved down to Indy. One of his biggest motivators was constantly telling himself, and others, to take a jump and don’t look back. Jay took this jump and life changing move as a chance to never look back. When you finally decide to make the jump, you also have to commit to yourself. If you allow yourself to look back you will take each step of action half-heartedly. Half of your heart will want to take that next step, but the other half will be hesitant. Rather than looking back, you have to empower yourself to look forward. 

In my last article “Tips on Landing your First Personal Training Client,” I discussed that I had contemplated the idea of going back to school to become a physical therapist. It was those thoughts alone that caused me to look back at past situations. I soon realized that looking back and imagining alternate outcomes was not helping my current situation. I stopped looking to the past and trying to change everything that I had worked hard for. Instead I focused my energy on what I could do in the present to put myself in the best position for my family.  The best part about not looking back is that I am constantly empowering myself with forward thinking. This forward thinking allows me to wake up everyday and say “I love my career.”  

The next time you catch yourself reflecting on the past and creating alternative outcomes, I want to challenge you to these few things:

Figure out what went wrong in the situation

Accept the outcome of what happened 

Create a plan that will help you move forward in life!

Never look back.  Keep moving forward.

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