Relationship Success – Look Forward Not Back

Look forward, not back to create relationship success

Woman Moving ForwardSo many times in my life I have felt disappointment, sadness, even grief, over the loss of something I wanted – a friendship, a lover, an opportunity, a payment.  Sometimes the problem had to do with technology or my automobile or a physical injury.  No matter what the problem was, no matter how devastating and frustrating and overwhelming at the moment, in hindsight it became a learning experience.  I have always learned something that I was later able to apply in a new situation to avoid having to repeat that previous experience.  (And of course, sometimes I had to repeat the experience over and over until I finally learned the lesson).  Wisdom comes more easily from our failures than from our successes.

Never look at a relationship, or anything else, as a failure

Maybe it has not yet worked out as planned and desired. Life as we live it is one learning experience after another. Every so-called failure is just another opportunity to learn what it takes to succeed.

If the love of your life just broke up with you, if you were just fired from a job you loved or if you missed out on what you believe is a once in a lifetime opportunity, please do not view this disappointing experience as a failure. Instead, see it for what it truly is – a setback, a detour, a moment when you did not get what you wanted. What you don’t know in the moment is that there may be a new love, a new job or a new business opportunity waiting for you to accept when you are ready. Maybe you are not yet ready to receive what is coming to you.

How do YOU get ready to receive the success YOU desire?

If you view your life as an ongoing learning experience, a school for overcoming obstacles and expanding your knowledge and skills, you will then strive to create. And what you will create will always be unique to you because your experiences, trainings and mindset are different from everybody else.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when you seem to be up against that dreaded failure.

  • What did I learn about myself, about others, about business, about the way the world works?
  • How will this experience help me to move forward, develop new skills, to heal from the past, and to create what I want?
  • What beliefs do I need to let go of and what new beliefs have I begun to develop that will serve me better in the future?

Turn away from your past, whether it was wonderful or extremely painful. 

The past is over.  You cannot re-create in the past.  If you had the most wonderful spouse who is no longer with you, no matter how much you wish you could go back, you can’t.  Look forward toward your future.  Dream big and allow your dream to be fulfilled in the right time.

Take full responsibility for all that has happened, both good and bad.  Stop blaming another person, a situation, or even God.  Take full responsibility now and forgive yourself and others for whatever appears to be a wrongdoing or careless mishap.

Learn from the patterns of the past and keep that awareness in your present consciousness.  Stay conscious in all your relationships and current situations.  Ask questions of yourself and others.  Be curious. Be trusting.  But take action only when you are tuned in, centered and loving.

Remember to give thanks for all the lessons you have already learned and even for those you have not yet discovered.  Change your attitude to one of open acceptance, allowing life to happen, remaining in the flow of your existence.

Want help to create successful relationships in your life? CONTACT DR. ERICA





Dr. Erica



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Dr. Erica Goodstone is a Spiritual Relationship Healing Expert helping men and women heal their bodies and their relationships through love. Having presented her comprehensive relationship healing programs throughout the U.S. and Canada over several decades, she has helped literally 1000's of men and women to heal through learning how to love. Dr. Erica believes "Where There is Love There IS a Way". When you love, accept, listen and pay attention to your body, trust your own sense of what you truly desire, and strive to understand, appreciate and really know the other people in your life, anything and everything is possible.

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26 thoughts on “Relationship Success – Look Forward Not Back

  1. Dr. Erica,

    What you have said here is so profound! If we view or lives as ongoing learning experience and we strive to move in a positive direction we will all be the better for it. I like how you give us questions to ask ourselves when that time comes that we may perceive that we have failed in a certain area of our life.

    Those quesions will easily place us in the right mindset so that we learn something valueable from that particular experience. Finally, I think is is very important that we take some responsibility for what has happened to us and move forward, whether it was directly our fault or not. Thanks for sharing.

    • Nathaniel,

      I am finding that when I look back at past experiences, both “failures” and successes, I can now see the enormous part my thoughts, emotions, attitudes and actions played. And what may have seemed disastrous at the time has always taught me something, a new way to look at situations or a different way to handle problems. And all of those experiences are what has led me to the place I am in right now.
      So, if there is some place I want to go or some way that I want to be, NOW is the time to begin developing the vision, attitude, desire and start taking actions in that direction.

      Dr. Erica

  2. Life has a way of throwing up new and different challenges to overcome, or problems to solve. If you are going to deal with them effectively you just have to keep on learning. You learn new techniques or how to improve or correct those you have used unsuccessfully before.

    I used to be like Rachel, constantly beating myself up for failing and each time feeling more of a failure. I did learn but the lessons took me a long time and caused me a lot of problems. I wish I’d had access to your wisdom back then, Erica, but even now it always does me good to read what you have to say.

    • Sue,

      I have also been guilty of beating myself up when things did not go as wanted or expected. But sometimes, even often, no matter what I might try to do there is a different plan in store for me. Instead of blaming myself or anyone else, now I attempt to accept my current reality as something temporary (although sometimes I am still resisting, kicking and screaming). But the more I just accept what is – “It is what it is” – without fussing and getting upset, I am able to get a glimpse of what is coming to me, just around the corner. I had this amazing experience with my recent move to something much more luxurious.

      Dr. Erica

  3. Hey Dr Erica,

    This post made it seem like we’re constantly learning in life. And I definitely have to agree with you totally! In life, a lot of times, we have to fail our way up and in the process enjoy the journey. As far as our past relationships, they are those experiences that we can learn from so that we can better connect with others, especially those future intimate relationships.

    At times I look forward to failure. I figure that I want to learn something new so let’s see what I can fail in LOL… sounds ironic, but it’s true. For me it makes living this life a lot more interesting! Thanks for sharing and I hope you have a great week ahead!

    • Sherman,
      We are either learning or becoming stagnant in life. Learning does not always feel good for awhile but the end result usually brings us wisdom, clarity and even new opportunities. You are a special person, actually looking forward to failure. You are not only willing to take risks but you actually seek out opportunities for expansion and growth.
      Dr. Erica

  4. Excellent message Dr. Erica. Several years ago I attended my first – and last – ACOA group therapy session. I understand this kind of therapy can be beneficial for some people, but as I sat there listening to a room full of adults clinging for all they were worth to things that happened to them as kids, I thought, nuhuh, this is not me. I decided 2 things that night – 1) my parents had their faults, but they did the best they could and 2) I may not have had control over my life as a kid, but I do as an adult and I chose to let go and move on. Life is simply too short!

    • Marty,

      I agree with you. It is important to look back at the past to understand some of the reasons for your current thoughts and feelings and behavior but the focus needs to be on the present moment with an eye toward creating the future you choose. You CAN create your desired future by understanding your past, knowing what needs to change, and putting your attention on doing what you can now.

      Dr. Erica

  5. Hi Dr. Goodstone:

    I found so many uplifting tips in this post! But I particularly like how you articulated that if you view life as an ongoing learning experience and a school for overcoming obstacles, it will help us expand and develop the necessary skills that we need!

    That is such an awesome thought! Thank you so much for sharing! I just joined B3 and your blog is one of the first hand full that I’m getting the pleasure to comment on.

    • Mark,

      Unfortunately, there are often learning experiences we would prefer not to have – but here they are and we can either resist or embrace the learning. The change will not disappear because we resist. In fact, the more we resist, the more the negative aspects will persist.

      Dr. Erica

  6. Having a relationship end whether through mutual agreement, a one-sided decision, or death is rather like stepping off into the abyss. I always feel a little afraid and very vulnerable. Your advice is sound but hard to do – just move forward and let go of the past whether good or bad.

    • Marty,

      Change is part of life, whether it appears to be better or worse. We cannot go back and undo or even return to the past. We can reminisce, we can close our eyes and imagine the past, but we cannot go back. We must go forward so it is up to us exactly how we will move.


      Dr. Erica

  7. When we have lost something or someone precious to us, it can be so difficult to grasp the truth — that this isn’t the end, but rather a new beginning. Loss of one thing often opens up the way for something new and even better. So tough to grasp at the time, but how liberating it is when we do grasp it and embrace the new reality.

    • Willena,

      You know the emotional pain of loss and you have developed such wisdom and acceptance. It is a beautiful thing to observe. Being alive involves pain and loss and suffering – and – it also provides beauty, sensuality, pleasure and so much to be grateful for.


      Dr. Erica

  8. Dr. Erica,
    your wisdom and know how to explain such difficult situation in a simple and professional way is always great to read them…THANK YOU for supporting so many of us with all what you happen to learn and or teach.

    This article is so interesting to me because I too went through hundreds and hundreds of “set backs” called differently as the situation would appear and even if I was so stubborn in the past.. I must say that in the later years I become a lot more accepting and always Grateful for all what come along.. good and not so good.. and with that it helped me to do just what you wrote about on this article.. I focus on the moment and some how the past and future is not part of living life in the now..

    Ok, Ok.. that is enough for my SMALL EGO.. and so must also say that it is not always 100% possible since my deep roots were not as great.. so from time to time experience something that is not what I like (such as thinking back or in the future) but I noticed that now it is MUCH better for me to focus in the moment more than ever before and I love to thank God for all the Guidance and people who I surround my self with such as you..

    THANKS so much for all you do to support others and for becoming a better you.

    • Nick,

      You continue to share your sensitivity to the human condition and the growth you continue to make along the path to enlightenment. It is not easy to stay in the present moment. Our minds bring us back to the past or anticipating a future that may be very different from what we fear or dream about. All we really have is the present moment, to be as true to our own self, to learn what there is to learn and to find a way to appreciate living life.

      Dr. Erica

  9. I enjoyed this wise post Erica. I used to spend ridiculous amounts of time beating myself up for my perceived failures. Well, sometimes I still do 🙂 My inner critic would run rampant. Fortunately, I learned ways to let go of such incidents; otherwise, I would waste valuable time and energy dwelling on things I couldn’t change and feeling bad about myself to boot. I have exercises that help me stop thinking about what I’d done and forced me to focus on creating a future positive outcome. Working through those exercises can give one insight and help let go of the past.

    • Rachel,
      One of the reasons you are such a powerful coach now is that you have learned from your own personal experiences and you have developed tried and true methods to help others overcome some of those same issues and problems.


      Dr. Erica

  10. Hi Erica,
    Great post. It is hard sometimes to leave the past behind but slowly I am learning to appreciate and be thankful that I had my husband for the time that I did and not dwell so much on the time we didn’t have.

    I enjoy reading your posts. Thanks again.

    • Monna,

      As sad as it is to lose the love of your life, just think of how many people have never, ever experienced that quality of love. Just hold those feelings dear to your heart that you have been loved and are loved eternally.


      Dr. Erica

  11. Very interesting post Dr. Erica and I have always said not to look back and always look to the future, both in relationships and business. Thanks for sharing your expertise.

    • Merle,
      If we keep looking back in business to times when the economy was better or the competition was less, or whatever, we will miss out on the opportunities presented to us in the present moment. The same holds true for relationships. The only thing we can count on is change – and no matter how the relationship begins, it will definitely change, and we need to keep looking forward to what we can still create.


      Dr. Erica

  12. You nailed it with this one Dr. Erica. I think that not just in relationships but in life, our business, and whatever we apply we need to always look forward, not backwards. The past is there for a reason and it’s not meant to be brought back! Always be present in the moment, and look straight ahead!

    • Nate,
      We need to study the past, understand what worked and did not work, learn from it and then focus on what is possible to do in the present moment. When we keep our eye on the potential of the future and do what we can in the moment, doors open, opportunities appear, and life changes.
      Dr. Erica

  13. So true Erica!

    In every aspect of our life, it is a constant learning curve. When it comes to relationships, I had a real bad one in the past. But, from that pain came a new blossom of ME because I took responsibility of allowing things to happen. What a great lesson and one to rejoice in.

    Same applies to business. To me, there is no such thing as “failure” (I don’t like that word) But when things “fail” I look at it as a good lesson. One that I will never repeat. It pushes me in a new and better direction.

    I believe it all starts with changing our mindset. Once we do that, we can recognize a problem and fix it without those awful negative feelings. We see things as they are, and don’t internalize it, but rather fix it.

    Great thought provoking post!


    • Donna,

      You have discovered the secret – to view each setback as merely another learning experience. When we stop taking it all so personally and stop feeling so bad when things do not go as expected and desired, we are much more ready and receptive to all the good that is available.

      Dr. Erica

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