I recently experienced a situation that reminded me of the importance of letting go of the past. Lately, I have been so focused on hiring enough people for my company that it has absorbed all my attention. I decided to take some time off, and, interestingly, when I returned to work, most of what I was working on continued smoothly on its path. The exception was hiring.
One of our key people went on maternity leave, and many of the roles were very complex, so it was a challenging month. I was not happy upon my return because this set us back a month on our hiring calendar. We cannot afford to lose ground because some of our teams are having a hard time already with the amount of work we have to do these days, so we needed to expand our teams.
A couple of weeks after finding out what had happened, I was still annoyed, and I noticed that my feelings were standing in my way of doing my job well. I stopped being proactive. When I realized this, I quickly called the manager in charge of hiring and told her about my feelings and that I would work with the team to move forward.
The minute I did that, my entire perspective changed. I helped her put together statistics, and we started working on our backlog every day together. As a result, things have improved, and we are making the hiring process move along much more quickly than it had in the past. I also started to feel better about the process and the company’s situation. We’re not done working through our logjam yet, but we are definitely on our way.
The past may leave us stuck, not allowing us to move forward, but we are not bound to it, even though it often feels that way. Sometimes we don’t realize what is happening, and we continue to move forward as if we are still in the past. The key is to be self-aware, keep a fresh perspective, and continue moving forward.
I am not saying that we need to dismiss what has happened in previous times completely. The past does have important information, so it must inform what we are doing. If we have a recurrent problem, then it may be time to address it. But sometimes, we may be projecting the past to our present, when it would be much more useful just to let go of what happened and move into the future.
I’m surprised by how long it took me to realize what I was doing this time because I have been practicing letting go of the past for a long time. But it creeps in, and sometimes we do not notice. The more we are present, the more potent we are and the happier we will be.