Going Forward…by Going in Reverse?

My daughter and I were outside looking at the flowers when we encountered a dragonfly. “Did you know the dragonfly is the only insect able to fly backwards?” I asked.

She responded, “Why would a dragonfly want to fly in reverse?”

“It helps them catch their prey,” I said. I found myself adding, “And maybe they find it easier to go with rather than fight against the wind … or maybe they do it just for the fun of it.”

Suddenly, I had this flash of how many of us are afraid to “fly backward” in our lives.

Our focus is on moving forward.  We are told not to hold onto the past, living our lives like we are looking through the rearview mirror.  True, I wouldn’t want to live my life in reverse either.

Yet are there times when going in reverse can help us move forward?

Do you feel some resistance or judgment about the idea of taking a few steps back?

Your ego may put up some strong resistance. It shares with you that under no certain circumstances is backwards the direction to go.  This can create an ego attachment to “moving forward” when none is necessary.

Your ego is trying to protect you from going backwards and living in reverse. In reality, what makes people feel stuck is when they try to push forward without taking the time to see what may be holding them back.

Next time you feel like you’re pushing forward with great effort, consider how taking a few steps back may do you some good. Look at the Reverse gear as a strategic maneuver that you have the capacity and mental flexibility to use for your growth.

Think about how beneficial it can be to put your car in reverse.  You often wouldn’t be able to get out of my driveway or parking lot without this function.  We don’t judge ourselves when we need to put our car in reverse.  Why do the same when you need to step back and gain perspective of your life?

Here are some signs of when the Reverse gear may beneficial:

  • You feel you are trying to make things happen yet can’t get the results you desire
  • You feel you aren’t being your fullest expression of self (you feel an aspect of yourself is hiding or doesn’t feel congruent with how you are living)
  • Unprocessed feelings keep popping up
  • You feel in certain areas of your life or relationships that you aren’t acknowledged or accepted

Reverse is not about stewing about the past.  It a conscious move to recognize what may be inhibiting you from moving forward.  Moving in reverse means you are giving yourself time to reflect and look honestly at what is and isn’t working for you. It allows you to take a look at both your strengths and weaknesses and how your fears are impacting your intentions.

Living in a way that includes a well-maneuvered Reverse takes a little practice – especially if your default mode is one of pushing forward. Just like driving a car, there are some tips that make this process easier and more effective.

Here are 6 Do’s and Dont’s to master your Reverse maneuver:

  • DO make yourself a priority during the reverse process. This means actually scheduling time for you to reflect on your life.
  • DO take time to reflect upon judgments and limiting beliefs. These are aspects of your shadow self.  Only when you are able to recognize that they exist can you actually make the necessary changes.
  • DO allow yourself to attend to your feelings. Your feelings are present to let you know when and how you are imbalanced and how to regain the balance you crave.  Listen to what your feelings are telling you about what’s not working and where you might need to back up.
  • DON’T try to rush the maneuver. Going fast in reverse is not a smart option in a car or in life.  You’ll only lose the perspective you are looking to gain and find yourself needing to back up again and again. Take it nice and slow to get through the process with greater ease.
  • DON’T get caught in old stories.  Attending to your feelings does not mean you have to allow the victim stories or bully stories to take over.  Recognize that when the ego tries to pull out these old stories, it is to keep you distracted from what the issue really is and more importantly how you can resolve it.
  • DON’T remain focused on what you believe is lacking. There is something you are meant to learn and need from the present to support you to move forward on your path.  Any focus on lack keeps you disempowered.  When you are able to recognize taking a step back as a powerful maneuver and gift, you will recognize the blessings offered in the present.

In many cultures, the dragonfly is the symbol of prosperity and change.  It is known for these strengths due to the agility to maneuver.  It offers us lessons in breaking down illusions, seeing the truth in situations, and creating transformation.

You have the ability to maneuver without being afraid or without hesitation in order to gain the clarity and insight you need to grow and evolve.  Being able to know when reverse is the best option available is an underused technique in this growth process.

Go ahead. Move into Reverse… and expand your maneuverability. You may soon witness how this helps your life come together with a greater sense of empowerment, synchronicity, and alignment with your greatest life purpose.

Thoughts on using Reverse to move forward? Please continue this discussion below!

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Leave A Reply (2 comments So Far)

  • Michelle:  Well said!  Your Do’s and Don’ts to master the reverse maneuver are practical and thought provoking.  It’s particularly insightful for high achievers who can benefit from slowing down when a lot of emphasis is usually paid on continuously moving forward.  Thanks for the reminders!

  • Robert

    One step back, two steps forward!