Are You a Forward Thinker or Stuck In the Past?

by Jayne Kopp on January 12, 2012

forward thinking, forward thinker, stuck past

If you’ve made the decision to make positive changes this year, I hope you’re practicing the art of forward thinking rather than staying stuck in the past.

The reason I’m discussing this topic today is because I ran into a lady at the grocery store the other day who is aware I work full time online.

She asked me how things were going with business and I know she was genuinely interested because she called me last year a couple of times to ask questions and considered starting a business herself.

Naturally, I told her the truth, that things were great … and then asked her how things were going in her world.

Her response was ‘ok I guess… but I haven’t done anymore on the business end of things’….

I said “oh and why’s that?”

She said “well, ya know, last year was such a rough year for me” (she split with her husband LAST January which is a shame of course), “and you know, I’ve been thinking about it, but I’ve never really done anything like this before, it’s all new to me”….

Then she went on to say that she never did well “writing essays and such….and didn’t really know how she’d do writing articles or building a site’….

She also told me that she still felt dragged down with the after effects of her family situation…but… then she said…. “but I’m still really interested in getting started  and have a few good ideas and have and have been thinking about it”

Ah ha! (I thought)… ‘She’s stuck in the past’…I then thought to myself “if she’s been thinking about it… it certainly hasn’t been purposeful”…

Before we parted she told me she’d made a resolution to make some changes and improve this year and was still really interested in getting started online.  Hmmm… how fitting I thought… she may have made a resolution but certainly not a decision to make it happen’

Now don’t get me wrong, I know all about the stresses of unfortunate family situations.  (In fact, I could be the New York Bestseller on the topic)… In fact… come to think of it… that’s one heck of an idea… perhaps I’ll consider that as one of my next projects ;-)

Seriously though, I know how heartache and stress can definitely knock the stuffing out of you and leave you feeling like an energy less blob. (Really I do).

I also know how it feels to have struggled in some areas of life or felt a little intimidated at the thoughts of trying something new.

Her fears pertain to writing… my challenge is ‘tech stuff’.

I also know all about over-thinking due to ‘fear of failure’… but I also know at some point have to put one foot in front of the other and  make a choice to create changes.

The point is though, how long is she going to stay stuck in a rut and stuck in the past and let it hold her back from enjoying life the way she should?

You see, all change has to start with being a forward thinker (opposed to a looking back).  Then stick to a decision to move forward regardless as to whether you’re venturing into new and unchartered territory.

None of us can change the past.  What’s happened has already happened and sadly there is no ‘rewind’ on life.  I know it isn’t always uplifting and can indeed be very challenging, but unless you want to stay frozen in bad feelings, memories and everything else, you have to decide you’re going to implement the art of forward thinking and look to the future not over your shoulder.

The truth is most people do experience pain and hurdles at some point during life, but if we all just curled up in the fetal position and did nothing and didn’t exert the effort to re-design the future, we’d all be stuck at home every day, eating chocolates and watching reruns of Oprah with a big box of Kleenex and an overflowing garbage can.

Everything would come to a halt and we’d all be flat and very depressing!

Anyway, I think you get my point.

 So how do you start “forward thinking”?

In short, you  have to come to terms with what ‘has been’  and realize there’s nothing anyone can do to reverse it.  You then need to  look forward to what lies before you and each and everyone of us and look for new things that will reward you and make you happy and fulfilled.

You have to visualize how you’d like your ideal life to look and then plan the steps (as direct as possible) in order to get there.

Don’t worry about each and every detail… or the fact you may be inexperienced when it comes to performing some of the tasks you may need to tackle along the way.  You’ll learn the things you need as you go, but you just need to start where you are and use what you have and personal belief you can achieve whatever it is you dream about.  (Because you can!)

It’s all about picking ourselves up and brushing  ourselves off  and getting on with ‘it’… what ever ‘it’ is.

We live in a time were (in most countries) there is an abundance of opportunity.  If you’re reading this post right now… you live in one of those countries.

We can always improve!  Even if you’re not thinking about making financial or business changes… even if you just want to… let’s  say… feel better and improve your life….’d like to lose weight or get fit… (The list goes on) everything starts with adjusting your outlook and tweaking the way your think… then taking action on your thoughts.

Ok, so my acquaintance hasn’t taken any steps to start a business she’s thought about for over a year because she’s had a rough time with her marriage failing at the beginning of last year.  So… can she fix it by staying imobile??  (Answer:  Nope!)

So then what are her options?

Well… she is going to have to become a forward thinker and look to the future…not the past.  She is going to have to make the decision to improve.  She is going to have to accept what has happened and then OPEN HER EYES to everything else that can help her design a better life not stay blinded by her grief.

The long and short is she is going to have to suck it up and start writing to improve her skills or find an alternate way of sharing her  knowledge (if she’s serious about success).

She’s going to have to either learn to build a site or get someone to do it for her.(Again, if she want’s to do what she says she does).

If this is truly her desire, she has to get unstuck from the past limiting beliefs and barriers that she has allowed to hold her captive and MOVE.

Hey… I know all about dwelling on the past and know the feelings are real.  Been there, one that, bought the whole series of T-shirts and I’ll be the first to admit it’s quite painful and takes energy to break free of the stronghold.

What I can tell you though is that when I decided to make changes and become a forward thinker… and made the decision to improve I regained that energy and found more zest for life.

I do acknowledge the fact that we’re all different but for me the change occurred when I participated in a personal development program and subsequently learned to market the attached business opportunity.  For me, this helped me make both personal and financial change and the clouds parted and the sun began to shine again and with every step I took, the more opportunities I discovered.

I had to ignore the fact that in the past I’d done nothing techy… other than send and receive emails… (on good days with an attachment) and face the challenges head on to learn what I needed to do.  Funnily, things are never as difficult as you can talk yourself into believing they are.

I had to remind myself that nobody is born with the knowledge or built in talent  to do anything… and that everything new has to be learned… and can be.

This forward thinking attitude applies to any area of life.

If you want to lose weight and change your diet… you’re going to have to education yourself on a new lifestyle change pertaining to the way you eat.

If you want to start get fit and start working out, you’ll have to join a gym and get help or hire a personal trainer to show you the ropes.

If you wanted to start a new hobby… lets say “pottery”… you’re going to have to take the steps to learn the art of doing so.

If you want to reorganize your life … or even your house… you have to think ahead and envision and plan the things you need to do and then take action to make it work.

You might suck hugely at first… but its all part of the conquering process and it will fall into place once you get moving!

What I can tell you is that once the wheels are in motion, you get better and will feel happier and more fulfilled as your attention will be focused on your new accomplishments and the past will fade and become less prevalent in your current existence.

Forward thinkers look ahead and open their eyes to what can be.  They acknowledge what needs to be changes and take the steps to make it happen.

Over thinking your shortfalls or playing the violin about past failures or weaknesses won’t do a bloody thing for your self worth, self esteem or current situation.

If you want this year… or any year to be the year you change your life for the better, look ahead to what lies before each and every one of us.  Change your mindset, determine the skills you need to learn or the steps you need to take and move forward.  You can make anything happen if you want and all it takes is a split second decision to change your life!

Again, for the final time…(sounding like a parrot now) …Nobody can change the past so there’s no use in staying there.  Nobody can change you… except you.  So use that noodle between your ears, and get moving, regardless of what it is you wish to achieve.  The futures bright… walk into the light and you will definitely feel the shift in your outlook but only if you keep your eyes open to what can be rather than what was!

Incidentally, I know I’ve repeated myself in different ways but they say people need to hear things a few times over before the penny drops.  I’m hoping that hammering this message home will help the point sink in to the ‘loaves’ of those who need a push.

If you’ve been stuck in the past and would like to move forward, contact me and lets see if we can’t get you to feel more satisfied with life and get you moving in the direction of your dreams.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Daniel D. Lombardi February 8, 2012 at 2:51 am

Great post, Jayne. Life is made up of a series of experiences, some are bad, and some are good.

Each one will make you stronger, if you can learn from them but, on the other hand, it might drag you down so law and make it more difficult to recover.

In Life we are all being tested, tried, and passed. The only way to win is to face are fears and keep on moving.

Take care,


JosephJYoung January 27, 2012 at 6:19 am

Hi Jayne,
This is definitely a great post to give someone who is not a forward thinker but is thinking about being one and just hasn’t taken the steps. I began my online experience at the end of ’07. I was heavily involved in niche marketing and into the beginning of ’08 when my mother died. I sat there at the computer and just stared. The punch was completely gone.

It is hard to “get up” and “get movin” but it is a must if “we” who are still alive are going to “live” again ourselves. The only way to do so is to get moving. Time is moving forward we might as well move with it because we are anyway. There is something priceless about rising again from the ashes of life and its disappointments that can make better people out of us.

Great post!


Steve Nicholas January 24, 2012 at 9:14 pm

Great post, Jayne! Sometimes, it can be way too easy to focus on the things that have gone wrong in the past, but all that does it get people stuck. I remember a few months ago talking to my brother about an investment idea, and it seemed like he had the idea that if something had a 1% chance of failure, even if it had a 99% of success that would work beyond someone’s wildest dreams, he still wouldn’t go for it. (He had the same conversation about investing in stocks, that it’s better to keep everything in a savings account, even though every single rolling 20-year period dating back to before the Great Depression outperforms a savings account.) Sometimes, you have to play to win, not just to avoid losing.


Joyce January 20, 2012 at 5:33 am

I’ve just wrote a post about this topic today. It’s about how to get out of the rut when life sucks.

We need to identify the issue but now sallow in it. It should be a stepping stone to move ahead. When i lost my job i went on working on my business. Now it’s my main income.

Thanks for sharing this inspiring post.


Jayne Kopp January 22, 2012 at 9:42 pm

HI Joyce, yes I actually read your post over the weekend. You’ve come a long way baby! :-)

Thanks so much for being such a positive contributor to the conversation. You are a breath of fresh air.




Kostas January 18, 2012 at 10:38 am

Too much thinking without actually acting it’s a sure way to sadness and disappointment in life, this doesn’t apply only in business but on everything in life.

Most times people fear to take action cause of the fear of failure which actually leads to nothing (this is worst than a failure).

In my opinion being a Forward Thinker is not enough you have to take action in the present and don’t let past or even the though that you could take action in the future keeps you behind…


Jayne Kopp January 19, 2012 at 10:06 am

Hi Kostas, thanks so much for the great comment. You are right actually, when you say “being a forward thinker isn’t enough”…. you definitely have to take action.

I do believe however, that if you are not a forward thinker you’ll never take action on dreams and goals because you’ll be stuck thinking about the past instead of the future.

For myself personally, looking forward and to the positives in life inspires me. It’s because of the seed thoughts and seeing what could be rather than what is that moves me to achieve it.

It’s really all about mindset and following it when in positive mode rather than shutting down and doing nothing.

Thanks so much for participating in this conversation.



Monyelle January 18, 2012 at 9:55 am

Our fear is usually what gets in the way of our successes. We fear the changes it will bring and the new roles/ responsibilities. You have so many great suggestions on how to process and make the definitive decision to move forward! Thanks for sharing Jayne!


Jayne Kopp January 19, 2012 at 10:09 am

HI Monyelle. I know fear does get in the way of some people and the fear of the unknown can definitely limit them.

The bottom line is that it all has to do with how you are wired, your willingness to change. If that’s strong enough and you are aware that greater opportunities lie ahead, if your mindset it in the right place and you have the burning desire to change, the ‘fear’ is only a small hurdle in contrast to the rewards.

Lovely to see your smiling face. Haven’t seen much of you lately.

Hope your year is going well.



Adrienne January 18, 2012 at 9:13 am

Haven’t we all been there and done that Jayne!

Look at me, I NEVER thought of myself as a writer. If you look at my earlier posts you’ll notice that they were horrible. That is until I just started sharing what I have learned and through my own experiences. Everything started to come naturally so stop putting those labels on yourself and just put one foot in front of the other. You’ll eventually get to where you need to go.

We will hit obstacles, road blocks and an occasional wall but there is always a way around those if you really want this bad enough. It sounds to me like your friend isn’t quite there yet. I do hope she’ll call you soon and it ready to move forward.

Thanks for this great reminder today Jayne. I’m definitely forward thinking my way through! :-)


Jayne Kopp January 19, 2012 at 10:11 am

Hi Adrienne, I am sure your posts were not as ‘horrible’ as you think they were, it’s just that my moving forward and being a forward thinker you have improved to the degree you would have never imagined if you didn’t just DO it.

Obstacles are just part of life but I do believe once past them greener pastures always lie ahead when your intention is in the right place.

Yes I sure hope she can break out of this place she is in. (my acquaintance that is). Once you start moving things do fall into place. I’ve been there. (oh boy… have I ever!!)

Thanks Adrienne for the great comment.



Natalie Peace January 16, 2012 at 7:01 pm


this is a wonderful reminder to all of us… I consider myself to be a very forward-thinking person, focused on the present and the future and all the possibilities it holds. Yet I too, can get bogged down in thinking about the past and what I could have done differently. I find Byron Katie to be a great resource for anyone looking to move forward, as she encourages us to ‘love what is’. Once we accept the past and present exactly as they are, we are free to build the future of our dreams.


Jayne Kopp January 17, 2012 at 11:18 am

HI Natalie, lovely to see you. I hope your Holiday Season was as great as mine.

Yes, I can tell you are definitely a forward thinker… (sista!) Gotta love ambitious women!

I love Byron Katie too. I only became familiar with her a coupleof years ago but she definitely has great information.

We can all build the future of our dreams if we’re serious about doing so but we do have to get out there to make it happen.

See you soon,



Stacy January 16, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Hi Jayne,

This is such an important point! If we don’t move past the past we will never move forward to the future. Whether we’re proud of the past or hindered by it we are not served well by staying there. It’s gone, it’s done and we can either move on and learn from it or not have the future that we desire. There’s no getting around it, no shortcuts.



Jayne Kopp January 17, 2012 at 11:19 am

HI Stacy, yes, what has happened has happened and unfortunately we can’t reverse things. We can however make the decision to make the future even better and if done right, it can far exceed any disappointments.



Lilach Bullock January 16, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Jayne this is such a great post (and beautifully written).

We often look back (I’ve been guilty of this) particularly when things haven’t gone as well as they could have. But life is really too short for having regrets and we need to focus our energy on the here and now.

One of my goals this year is to get more focused and stop looking backwards at what went wrong and all the “I wish I had never” we have to learn from our experiences, adapt and move forwards as you say.


Jayne Kopp January 17, 2012 at 11:22 am

HI Lilach, thanks so much. That means a lot coming from you.

Life is far too short Lilach for regrets and believe me, that shit-eating grin has a lot of history behind it.

I used to dwell and feel guilty for the things I’d done or not done… (not that they were absolutely putrid or anything) but I’d let myself get caught up. The result… I stayed frozen and accomplished nothing.

I’m all about going forward and letting the other stuff go. It was only then I started seeing the results I thought about. I guess that’s the LOA doing its job!

Lovely to see you



Catarina Alexon January 16, 2012 at 9:23 am

Definitely agree with you Jayne. We can’t change the past so what’s the point of dwelling on it. Only you can change yourself and whatever you really want to achieve you will.

Just one caution when it comes to setting up businesses. Make sure your business is viable and don’t get into trouble with the tax authorities. In Sweden, for instance you have to estimate how much your revenues will be and pay tenatative taxes in advance (think it’s a similar system in the US). If you start by getting into trouble with the taxman you are on the wrong track. And those problems will not go away.


Jayne Kopp January 17, 2012 at 11:24 am

HI Catarina, yes absolutely everyone needs to do things the right way to keep on the straight and narrow and these are part in parcel to the new skills we all have to learn about. We can’t ever aimlessly dive in to anything regardless of what it is.

Thanks for your thoughtful comment. Happy New Year by the way!



Srinivas Reddy January 16, 2012 at 4:28 am

Great reminder for the new year, Jayne. I’m a big believer in learning from the past, living in the present and looking forward. I’ve found that negative, unresolved emotions are what keep us stuck in the past. I use energy-psychology techniques on my clients to resolve these emotions and help them get unstuck.


Easther January 14, 2012 at 3:50 am

Hey Jayne.
I agree in something new is hard!, I remember when I first started my online business, I don’t where to start.. etc
You can’t be stuck in the pass, you’ve got to think about the future..


Jayne Kopp January 15, 2012 at 10:34 am

Hi Easther, yes new things are difficult sometimes. Not knowing is worse. the thing is … success is not convenient and based on the fact we all have to learn a few things to make any changes whatosever, a strart is necessary. Funilly, as we go, things do fall into place. Sitting frozen still doing ‘nowt’ does ‘nowt’ :-)

Thanks for stopping.



Warren January 13, 2012 at 9:51 pm

I think people often forget the power of momentum. Getting started can definitely be one of the hardest steps when it comes to starting a business or any other worthwhile change a person might be contemplating, but once you actually list out the first ten or twelve steps and get started and see yourself accomplishing them, you get excited and that excitement turns into motivation.


Jayne Kopp January 13, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Hello Warren! Bingo! it’s funny how making a start opens the door to new excitement which in turn can lead to opportunities, excitement, motivation and improve personal belief!

Thanks for leaving such a great comment! (my fellow Canuck!!)

Talk soon



Ilka Flood January 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Hi Jayne,

Sounds like this lady needs a healthy dose of personal development. We all come with baggage and if we would let that drag us down we’d be stuck and none of us would move forward.

Yes, there are obstacles, road blocks and barriers in this business (as well as in life) but that can’t stop us. These challenges are there for a reason…to make us stronger.

I love this quote by Jim Rohn… “Don’t wish that things were easier, wish that you were better.”

Be blessed,



Jayne Kopp January 13, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Hi Ilka, what a great quote. I love Jim Rohn. I have a very funny video to share where he spoke on visualization. I have watched it countless times and still laugh my head off!

You are so right about my acquaintance. It’s sad really … and in some ways I can empathize because I’ve felt and experienced the same sort of circumstances.

The problem is, I can’t ‘force’ her to take a step as I did. This has to be encouraged and unfortunately can only be improved if she does it herself.

It’s kind of like trying to explain the feeling you get when you become a mom. You can say it, share it, shout it and try to convince those who have no idea about the immense love that embodies you when you have your own bambinos. People just can’t ‘get it’ unless they experience it for themselves.

This might be an ‘out there’ comparison… but I’m sure you know what I mean! :-)

Thanks for stopping by Ilka!



Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. January 13, 2012 at 11:37 am

When it comes to accomplishing things, each day is a new day. Yes, it gets easier if you accomplished things yesterday- but that shouldn’t stop you for today. The only time you should consider yesterday is when it comes to human beings- make sure you provide better empathy and feeling today than yesterday, apologize if you feel you didn’t- but move on to today to prove you ARE different.


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