Looking forward or looking backward?

Are you looking forward or looking backward? Forward lookers tend to be optimistic, upbeat, and interested in living life. Backward lookers lean toward pessimism, depression, and often lack vision.

People who talk about a variety of events, experiences, and ideas are those who are looking forward. They are still engaged in life; their adventure is not done. Looking forward results from positive attitude, quality role models, self-confidence, a good support system, and sometimes just plain luck.

Backward lookers may tell their stories with enthusiasm, but their conversation is likely limited to old ideas and experiences. Those who only tell stories of their past, especially the same ones over and over, are looking backward. It can be a sign of someone who is giving up, depressed, or unable to find their next venture in life. Those who are looking backward may have experienced trauma or suffered a loss. The loss can be of a loved one, retiring from a job, or loss of youth.

As discussed in The Stories We Tell, self definition is evident in how we describe ourselves to others. When someone is looking backward, their story is how they used to and still desire to be seen. When someone is looking forward, their story will be current and will often change over time as they add new experiences.


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