Forward Progress Only

By Laura Berger
Executive Coach and Principal
The Berdéo Group

We often take positive steps forward in whatever we are trying to achieve. Sometimes, however, we fall back into old habits that sabotage our efforts. Or, we fail to recognize that we’ve moved forward, because we see only small gains in our efforts.

The important thing to recognize is that we are indeed making progress and those small steps really do add up and move you forward in ways that you can sometimes only recognize in hindsight.

But how can you always have forward progress?

It’s quite simple, actually. Show up to everything that you are committed to—even when in doubt.

Consider our experience last month, when WPLG ABC-TV in South Florida contacted me and my husband, Glen Tibaldeo, about featuring us on an upcoming show about our new book, Fall in Love Again, Every Day.

The book, which details our move from a charmed American life to the rainforest in Costa Rica, is a glimpse into our journey—one that risked our relationship. So we were thrilled when we were invited to talk about our experience on WPLG ABC-TV.

I planned, prepped, and prepared for days. But on the morning of our interview, I got a message from the reporter saying that her cameraman had called in sick. She asked if we could standby until 9 a.m.

Crestfallen, I knew that the drive to the interview was at least an hour and a half away. We were scheduled to be interviewed at 11:30am. Should we get ready, wait, give up?

Then at 9:00 a.m., I received another message from the reporter saying that she still didn’t have a new cameraman, but that she would keep us posted. At that point, I was beginning to feel deflated. Was this incredible opportunity slipping away?

Then my husband looked at me and said, “Forward progress only.”

It was our New Year’s resolution, and boy did that promise to each other come in handy at that very moment.

Without hesitation, we began getting dressed, and by 10 a.m. we were ready to head to the studio—just in case. Worst-case scenario, we’d get a call saying the interview was officially canceled, and we’d take each other out for a fantastic lunch.

Minutes later, the reporter sent a text saying that we were on. We jumped in the car and walked into the studio ready to go. The interview went far better than we even dreamed of, and we now have an invitation to come back as guests in the near future.

The one thing that I always tell my clients is this: Life is all about showing up.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.” I couldn’t agree more.

So ask yourself:

  • How are you showing up in your life—at work, in relationships, spiritually, and mentally?
  • Do you undervalue yourself, give up, doubt, self-sabotage, compete, or push too hard?
  • Are you showing up the same way everywhere in your life?

Think about it. Make a list and write down your answers. Then step back and ask yourself—are you truly seizing every experience and showing up to the best of your ability? If not, rethink your approach.

Please let me know what you discover:

And do check out our new book, which you can download as a PDF or buy it as a kindle book on

Here’s to moving forward.

About Laura Berger

An executive advisor and founder of The Berdéo Group, Laura Berger has 15 years of experience as a consultant advising leadership in the areas of global operations management and strategy, project and change management, and solution development and implementation. She is a confidant of CEOs and senior executives who consistently realize their potential as leaders by seeing their companies flourish.

Having worked with many Fortune 500 companies, she counts among her clients leaders at JPMorgan Chase, State Farm Insurance, United Airlines, General Motors, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, McDonald’s Corporation, American Hospital Association, Leo Burnett Worldwide, Starcom MediaVest Group, and Walt Disney World.

Her ease and zeal for building lasting relationships, acquaintances, and productive introductions between people is her personal trademark. She has stretched her own spirit and will to combine her passions with her professional pursuits, and she shows others how to live true to their core.

Berger exemplifies this commitment to the life path in the book, “Fall in Love Again, Every Day,” which she co-wrote with her husband, Glen Tibaldeo. The book chronicles the humorous side of the successes and challenges they experienced living in the remote jungles of Costa Rica.

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