60 Looking Back Quotes to See How Far You’ve Come

If you feel like you lack the courage to recall the past, browse through this collection of looking back quotes that can motivate you!

Looking back is something that we need to do to be guided in our current lives. It’s not that simple, though.

Looking back on the past can be a painful process because it contains memories you’d rather forget.

But, looking back goes beyond only the painful experiences. It also helps us remember the good moments in our lives and how we overcame our difficulties.

Through it, we can believe in hope and brighter days ahead.

So, if you’re someone who finds it difficult to look back, read these quotes that we’ve gathered!

These will definitely help you learn from past experiences.

Continue to the complete list below.

And make sure to check out these change quotes and moving forward quotes.

Best Looking Back Quotes

1. “Looking back through life, you will find the pleasure of achieving your dreams is always greater than the pain you met while achieving them.” – Moffat Machingura

2. “Wisdom is looking back at your life and realizing that every single event, person, place, and idea was part of the perfected experience you needed to build your dream. Not one was a mistake.” – John Federick Demartini

3. “You live life looking forward. You understand life looking backward.” – Søren Kierkegaard

4. “I always knew looking back on my tears would bring me laughter, but I never knew looking back on my laughter would make me cry.” – Cat Stevens

5. “Forget the past; it’s gone, but glance back occasionally to remind yourself where you came from and where you are going.” – Chloe Thurlow

6. “Never look back at your past; everything happens for a reason. Keep your head up and look forward. The more you look back, the more beautiful things you will miss in life.” – Brandon Smith

7. “They say not to look back, but if you’re not sure what lies ahead, what else is there but looking back?” – Laurell K. Hamilton

8. “Looking back, we see with great clarity, and what once appeared as difficulties now reveal themselves as blessings.” – Dan Millman

9. “The years go by. Time flies. Every single second is a moment in time that passes. And it seems like nothing. But when you’re looking back—well, it amounts to everything.” – Ray Bradbury

10. “Enjoy the little things. For one day, you may look back and realize they were the big things.” – Robert Breault

Famous Quotes About Looking Back

11. “In looking back, I see nothing to regret and little to correct.” – John C. Calhoun

12. “Looking back at my life’s voyage, I can only say that it has been a golden trip.” – Ginger Rogers

13. “I don’t like looking back. I’m always constantly looking forward. I’m not the one to sort of sit and cry over spilled milk. I’m too busy looking for the next cow.” – Gordon Ramsay

14. “Living the past is a dull and lonely business. Looking back strains the neck muscles, causing you to bump into people not going your way.” – Edna Ferber

15. “The only reason time seems to be moving rather fast is that sometimes we’re too busy living in the past.” – Dominic Riccitello

Also read: Famous Quotes

Looking Back Quotes That’ll Inspire You to Be Positive

16. “As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being redirected to something better.” – Steve Maraboli

17. “Looking back is a way to sharpen the focus on the things you want to change in your life. I think there’s something about nostalgia that really puts a fine point on the here-and-now, and that can be incredibly fascinating and interesting and engaging for the mind.” – Sarah Paulson

18. “The best way to look back at life fondly is to meet it. And those along your journey—warmly, kindly, and mindfully.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru

19. “Looking back, you realize that a very special person passed briefly through your life—and it was you. It is not too late to find that person again.” – Robert Breault

20. “Sooner or later, we’ll be looking back on everything, and we’ll laugh about it like we knew what all was happening.” – Michael Tolcher

21. “I look back and smile because it was life, and I decided to live it.” – Anonymous

Also read: Positive Quotes

Looking Back Quotes for Those Who Want to Move Forward

22. “I think if you look at exactly where you are, you can’t really focus without looking back and forward at the same time.” – Bill Laswell

23. “When the most important times are occurring, we don’t even recognize them or notice. We are just busy living our lives. Only by looking back do we know what was a great moment in our lives.” – Federico Fellini

24. “It is not possible to go forward while looking back.” – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

25. “The hardest part of moving forward is not looking back.” – Anonymous

26. “Life is our resume. It is our story to tell, and the choices we make write the chapters. Can we live in a way where we look forward to looking back?” – Matthew McConaughey

Looking Back Quotes to Help You Move On From Your Past

27. “At my age, you find yourself looking back from time to time, and you begin to appreciate some of the things that happened to you.” – Bob Dole

28. “You can almost measure where you are in life by the degree to which you have begun looking back rather than ahead.” – Ted Koppel

29. “That’s the funny thing about time. It is only in looking back that it’s easy to connect the dots. To see exactly why everything needed to happen the way that it did.” – Rebecca Serle

30. “I don’t know what else I would be if I wasn’t me. I am not looking from the outside. Looking back, I am who I am.” – Cher

31. “Hopefully, through all aspects of life, you learn from things you’ve got right, things you’ve got wrong, but I’m not one for looking back. I’m looking ahead—you’ve got to.” – Nigel Farage

Looking Back Quotes That’ll Strengthen Your Mindset

32. “To look back, to go back, is not to be weak. It is not to reopen wounds. It takes strength, it takes courage. It takes a person who is more in control of who they are to cast a discerning, non-judgmental eye over who they once were.” – Cecelia Ahern

33. “Never back, never back! People don’t like going back, even if they must. I don’t like going back! And I’m not people! But I look back, sometimes, every so often, just to make sure I’m not leaving anything important behind. Like my tail! I can never be sure when I leave my tail behind me by mistake.” – Emory R. Frie

34. “We look back on our life as a thing of broken pieces because our mistakes and failures are always the first to strike us, and outweigh in our imagination what we have accomplished and attained.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

35. “We ought not to look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors and for the purpose of profiting by dear-bought experience.” – George Washington

36. “When you experience difficulty at work or in your life, instead of looking back on it as something that was really challenging, look at it and ask yourself, ‘What wisdom did I learn from that?’” – Caroline Ghosn

Also read: Mindset Quotes

Meaningful Looking Back Quotes to Reflect On

37. “If you make the mistake of looking back too much, you aren’t focused enough on the road in front of you.” – Brad Paisley

38. “It’s okay to look back at the past, just don’t stare.” – Anonymous

39. “I’d rather look back on my life and say, ‘I can’t believe I did that,’ instead of, ‘I wish I did that.’” – Anonymous

40. “I tend to not look back. It’s confusing.” – Walter Hill

41. “Strange, how the best moments of our lives we scarcely notice except in looking back.” – Joe Abercrombie

42. “Avoid the trap of looking back unless it is to glorify God for what he has done.” – T. B. Joshua

43. “Missing someone is like hearing a name sung quietly from somewhere behind you. Even after you know no one is there, you keep looking back.” – Tim Seibles

Wise Looking Back Quotes to Serve as Your Guide

44. “Too much looking backward is bad for progress.” – Henry Ward Beecher

45. “Looking back isn’t going to help you. Moving forward is the thing you have to do.” – McKayla Maroney

46. “I’m going to look forward to the future as opposed to looking back at the past.” – Finn Balor

47. “Ever since I made tomorrow my favorite day, I’ve been uncomfortable looking back.” – Paul Harvey

48. “You know, I try not to look back because looking forward is so much better than looking backward.” – Jim Baker

49. “Stop looking back! When your past calls, do not pick up! It has nothing new to say.” – Joseph Simmons

50. “My life is like driving down a road. I occasionally glance in the rearview mirror, but I’m not focused on the past or looking back anymore.” – Scott Hall

Looking Back Quotes That’ll Impact Your Thoughts

51. “What if I can’t turn my head? I can look in any direction by turning my wheelchair, and I choose to look back. Rodman to the contrary notwithstanding, that is the only direction we can learn from.” – Wallace Stegner

52. “Live and do everything in such a way so that if you look back in time, you shouldn’t say that if I had a time machine I would’ve done it better.” – Immanuel Mohan

53. “When I look back on my life, I see pain, mistakes, and heartache. When I look in the mirror, I see strength, learned lessons, and pride in myself.” – Anonymous

54. “I look back on the time I’ve wasted, and I’m just glad I wasted it while I still had the chance.” – Robert Brault

55. “Don’t stumble over something behind you.” – Akash Gautam

56. “Don’t spend your life wondering, ‘What if?’ and worrying over something you have no control over. What’s done is done. Looking backward will cause you to miss out on new blessings ahead. Move on.” – Germany Kent

More Quotes About Looking Back

57. “What has happened has happened. What is done cannot be undone. There is no point in looking back and ruminating over the past. I am a forward-looking man. I want to look ahead. I want to put my past behind me.” – Mohammad Azharuddin

58. “I’m an incurable optimist, and I’m a great believer in never looking back. Life is too short, and new challenges are exciting.” – Cherie Blair

59. ”I think that power is the principle. The principle of moving forward, as though you have the confidence to move forward, eventually gives you confidence when you look back and see what you’ve done.” – Robert Downey

60. “I feel confident imposing change on myself. It’s a lot more fun progressing than looking back. That’s why I need to throw curve balls.” – David Bowie

Are You Ready to Reflect on Who You Used to Be?

Looking back is a significant obstacle you must overcome to live your life to the fullest. It won’t be easy. But, to overcome the regrets, guilt, and disappointments you have in life, you must persevere through the challenge of looking back at your past.

You may say you have no regrets because you believe everything happens for a reason. But, did you already fully embrace all the reasons for your suffering? After all, moving on is different from getting used to living with the past.

You can be happy for the time being or the next few days, but you will eventually break down because there is something in your past that you can’t let go of. It may be a bad one that you’d rather forget, or it could be a joyful scene that makes you want to turn back the time.

No matter what memory it is, taking a look back is necessary since it’s the first step in figuring out what’s holding you back. If you recognize the things preventing you from moving forward, you can now find a way to let go of them so they can no longer affect your current life. However, you must also remember not to dwell on the past too much, as that’ll also hold you back from new opportunities.

With that, we hope this collection of quotes was able to help you understand how essential it is to look back to move forward! Remember, both the good and the bad memories have something to contribute to your growth. Never shy away from them; instead, accept and love them to turn the next page of your life successfully!

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Karen Danao

Hi, I’m Karen, a content curator and writer for Quote Ambition; I’m also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, I’m someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics I love writing about! However, my true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.

With the many places I’ve been to, I found that love, inspiration, and happiness are some things that bring people together. No matter how different we are on the outside, I’m a true believer that our emotions don’t lie; if you dig deep into our psyche, we’re all the same inside.

This belief was further amplified when I joined Quote Ambition. Through the quotes I’ve read, collected, organized, and written about, I found that humans are resilient, creative, and compassionate.

We take from each others’ hearts and courage, and it’s through our individual experiences that we learn how to rise above our challenges and pain. In so many ways, Quote Ambition is a platform that allows people from all over the world to gain the inspiration they need anytime, anywhere!

You can find me on MuckRack and LinkedIn.