February 1, 2017 Chris Fuller

What to leave behind from 2016

“The things that hold us back the most are, likely, more internal than external.”


Belief is a powerful tool: A sledge hammer that breaks down the walls that stand between us and whatever we want to achieve or a 5000 lb counter-balance keeping us stuck.

As we were prepping for our podcast around launching 2017, I was discussing with Brett that it is important to let go of some things from 2016. You don’t want to (and likely can’t) go through 2017 carrying 2016 baggage.

Our beliefs are built by our experiences and the messages we tell ourselves about those experiences.

To maximize the year ahead, it is a great practice to review what happened in 2016 and what we are telling ourselves about those experiences.

  1. Look back methodically
  2. Consider the impact to your belief systems
  3. Take hindsight to foresight


  1. Look Back Methodically

Many of you know that John Maxwell is my long-time mentor and his company has been my largest client for the last 12 years. John has often said:

“Experience is not the greatest teacher – EVALUATED experience is.”

To evaluate 2016, I recommend sitting down with your calendar and going month-by-month in review. Consider the folowing questions:

  • What was on my mind? (Mindset)
  • What did I think would happen? (Expectations)
  • What was I anticipating? (Assumptions)
  • What happened? (Occurance)
  • What went Right? Wrong? Different? (Evaluation)
  • What am I telling myself about this month? (Conclusions)

Once you have dug into some of the details, the next discovery is:

  1. Consider the impact to your belief systems

Experiences are data points and we tell ourselves a story about each experience. These data points collect and become part of our overall story. Over time our story becomes our belief system and the “lens” (like a prism) that we look through to evaluate and make sense out of all present, past, and future experiences. We shape it and it shapes us!

The movie in your head plays either the Hero or Villain role in your life!”

Self-awareness around this lens is key to understanding our beliefs, our internal messaging. It’s important because it impacts our behavior – it is the foundation of our actions!

To work toward creating a healthy lens:

  • Affirm yourself and blame your approach (Internalize success and Externalize Failure)

Here’s a process to consider:

  • During the occurance and evaluation phases (point 1 above) go deep and, really, disect the situation by:
    • looking at your assumptions,
    • your approach, and
    • what you would do differently next time.
  • Ask others for their perspective (lens) on the situation
  • Create a ‘lessons learned’ list

Which leads to my 3rd and final point in the podcast:

  1. Take Hindsight to Foresight

Use the lessons learned to create new, more successful methods and habits that propel you forward! I believe you can have an amazing year and it starts with reviewing the past, managing our lens, learning the lessons, and adapting our approach – Have a great week!

For more on this topic, click the mic to check out the full podcast.

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