18 Nov 2017

Burn Your Bridges so You Can’t go Back

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Everyone is wrong. You need to blow up your bridges. It goes against the conventional wisdom, but a major component of success is to burn your bridges, set your sights on the future and move forward.

My parents used to tell me “never burn your bridges”.

Teachers throughout school told me “don’t blow up any bridges”.

Old bosses told me “be sure not to burn your bridges”.

However, this is pure nonsense. Everyone says it, and everyone believes it, and as usual, everyone is wrong. Someday I want to meet this “everyone” person, just to see who started spreading all the false information.

Take the time to understand what I am saying. Read the rest of this before judging.

I am not saying you should be rude or obnoxious when you move on. That’s counterproductive and gets in the way of networking with colleagues.

What I am saying is don’t leave yourself a way back. Always move forward.

Why? Because leaving a way back means you’ve accepted the possibility of defeat. You’re allowing yourself the opportunity to fail. That’s also why you shouldn’t make a “plan B” or give yourself other options as a means to recover or fall back if you can’t make your current goals.

By planning for failure, you waste valuable time and energy which could be better used in the pursuit of your goal.

Do you understand what I’m saying? A huge reason that people fail is they lay the seeds of failure in their future. They tell themselves they can always move back in with their parents, go back to the old job, or start working again if their new business fails. They have bought into the idea that they will fail.

Stop doing that.

When I moved out from home, my parents said, “you can move back if things get rough”. I never even considered it to be an option. I looked forward.

When I left my job as a VP, I moved to a new job, never thinking that I might want to go back. That would be the incorrect action.

Even today, 4 years after I left Trader Joe’s – a nice, comfortable, high-paying job – to be a writer, I never consider, “oh well, if I don’t make it I can go back”.

You never want to go back. Go forward. Don’t even allow yourself the option, or mind-think, that you might step backwards.

That’s the wrong direction.

Always look forward. That’s the direction you need to go.

What do you think?

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