The natural flow of business moves forward like a raging river: Getting clients leads to seeking more clients, reaching economic goals creates higher expectations for next quarter, and new product launches imply improved iterations later. It doesn't stop unless we make it stop. Waiting for a natural plateau to celebrate a victory or take a break? Stop lying to yourself. That moment will never come.

If we don't pause to assess our lives, then we never see the full impact of our decisions, from the personal sacrifices we accepted at a particular time to the influence our judgment made on the greater environment. Whether conscious or not, we never see the things we left in our wake. 

Imagine how much more insightful Steve Jobs would have been if he didn't spend most of his life running from an unacknowledged family or if Musk didn't truly fear taking a vacation to collect his thoughts? The Achilles heel of our favorite entrepreneurs isn't ego or fanaticism, but a lack of reflection. 

You have the opportunity to be stronger. Here are three reasons why looking back will make you a better entrepreneur. 

Learn from the past: It is foolish to take risks and push limits unless you are maximizing the rewards. Unfortunately, if you don't look at your choices, your decision and your results, then you aren't actually learning enough to merit having the experience nor to actually implement what you've learned in the future. 

Renew business: The beauty in facing the past is that you can reconnect with a forgotten idea or a neglected relationship that could lead to new business. Shutting out the past may protect you from messy feelings and difficult confrontations, but you are also shutting down potential opportunities for growth both personally and professionally. 

Clear thoughts: Science argues that strong emotions take precedence in the brain, which is why we can't think straight under tremendous emotional stress. By facing the past, even the most logical entrepreneur could reach an even higher level of insight and strategy. 

How much would stopping and reflecting making you a better entrepreneur?

Published on: Mar 4, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.