You Don’t Have To Make Up For Your Past – By Marney Reid

Good morning LTTH readers.  I hope you’ve been enjoying a wonderful week so far.  This post was inspired by recent events at work, however I think the underlying theme is extremely relevant to all aspects of our lives.

About three months ago I had a realization that I didn’t, in fact, want to completely leave the medical device company I work at and only pursue my entrepreneurial venture (Stilettos on the Glass Ceiling).

With this realization, came the understanding that I had some SERIOUS work to do on leadership development if I wanted to continue towards my goal of a promotion.  So I reached out to a couple mentors in my company, had a call with my sponsor (this is a career term for someone who has the ability to lobby your cause in your company) and I jumped head first into working on making myself a better leader, team player, and mentor to those appointed to me.  In a great book I was given to read called “The Reality Based Rules Of The Workplace” by Cy Wakeman I realized all the areas I could improve on and I set to work doing that.  This book is written for the workplace, however, I found the lessons and tips were JUST as meaningful in my personal relationships.

In my interview with Cy Wakeman (she was kind enough to reply to my Tweets and grant me an interview) she said something that resonated with me then and still does to this day.  “The most important thing you need to understand is that you don’t have to make up for your past.  You can change the course of your present day life in SECONDS and that’s all you have to worry about.”

In our personal and work lives we often realize mistakes and have the desire to improve.  However, I think something that might hold us back from making that change is the fear that our past will always be held against us and thrown back at us in moments of relapse.  When I took her advice to heart, and really worked on making a positive change in the way I present my thoughts and feedback, I noticed a HUGE difference in the way my peers and managers responded to me.  Three months after this “come to Jesus talk with myself” the Global VP of sales for our division did a ride along with me.  This is someone whom I’ve known for years but hadn’t (until now) developed much of a relationship with.  At the end of his ride with me he told the VPs and managers at dinner that night that “it was one of the best field rides he had done in years” and went on to acknowledge how much work I had obviously done in leadership development.

So the moral of this post is that no matter what has happened in your past, you can move forward to a better place and better relationship if you acknowledge what you have done wrong, and make conscious decisions every day to improve.  Will you have moments of relapse where the filter slips or you revert back to some old habits?  Of course, you’re human after all.  But the most important thing to remember is that you don’t have to spend time making up for what you’ve done…you only have to move forward with good intentions and the desire to improve.