Why the Past doesn't need to be an Indication of the Future

When you are a child of an alcoholic, you learn from a very young age the signs to look for so that you aren’t in the line of fire when the next violent episode occurs. And the feared incident always happens.  Consequently, we become conditioned to react to these indications: stumbling, slurred words, angry tone. 


As we become adults, we begin to see evidence that because bad things have happened in the past doesn’t mean more bad things will happen.  Not every slurred speech or stumbling from another person will cause me harm.  Therefore, we can determine the past doesn’t have to repeat itself. 


Although this may take time for us to realize, it doesn’t have to. Although, we are shaped by our past, the good news is, we aren’t bound to it. We can move past the difficulties of the past and into something far better.  The main reason we don’t have to repeat the past is because we can learn from it.    


While we cannot predict the future, we will most surely live it. Every action and decision we take - or don't - ripples into the future. ~ Jacque Fresco


What is Your Mindset


We often have feelings and attachments to the past. The past can be hard to let go of, and it affects us emotionally.  Yet we have a choice to make, an option to choose a different outlook, a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset


The fixed mindset is the idea that you believe your attributes and abilities are inherently fixed and can’t be changed. For example, you may think that you’re as smart as you’ll ever be and therefore, that thought process causes you not to even try to learn new things.  Since, you don’t believe your intelligence can grow with time and experience, then you can’t change, and your future will be the same. 


A growth mindset is the exact opposite.  This mindset is founded on the conviction that your basic abilities can be cultivated and are malleable.  This allows one to grow with enthusiasm, time, and a commitment to improving, learning, and become greater than before.  With a growth mindset, failures are short-term setbacks and the process is usually more important than the outcome.  So, with a growth mindset your future is never predetermined. 


The fixed mindset is the most common mindset and the most harmful.  So, you need to know which mindset you favor so you can learn from the past and then choose a different future.  You can change your mindset, just by thinking it through.


The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power. ~ Mary Pickford


Everybody Changes; therefore, the future can’t be the same as the past.


As an adult we have experiences enough of life to see that one constant is change.  We grow, circumstances transform, people develop.  All of this is observable, therefore, if everybody changes then the past can’t be a good indication of the future. 


Even those around us that don’t seem to have the desire to grow still change.  They have to based on the circumstances that occur in their life and by the choices that they make.  Even not making a choice is choosing, which has an impact on one’s life that doesn’t allow things to stay the same. Thus, despite lack of growth, the future will be different than the past. 


As we grow and develop how we perceive the past is altered and reframed.  We learn from the past and determine ways to prevent unwanted situations.  We make informed decisions and take responsibility for our choices, so that we can move forward in the direction of the goals and dreams we are striving towards.  Thus, validating that we are creating a better future than our past.


People underestimate their capacity for change. There is never a right time to do a difficult thing. ~John Porter


Making Your Future Better than Your Past


As we have seen, in order to make your future better than your past, you have to believe that it’s possible.  This may take a bit of courage to overcome your fears and move towards a growth mindset.  Here are some ways to help you with this process.


The best way to predict the future is to create it. ~ Abraham Lincoln


·Surround yourself with people who remind you more of your future than your past.


You may have to cut ties with those people in your life that keep you fixated in negativity.  The girlfriend who’s always teasing you about the mistake you made years ago, has no bearing on the present, expect that it keeps your ego in a place of embarrassment every time she mentions it. The people who remind you of your failings or missteps are focusing on the negativity of the past.   You may need to spend less time with them.


Instead, focus on those people who are encouraging, the people who are excited for you to try new ventures or take a class.  These are the true friends, the ones who look at your best attributes and speak in a positive way to you.  They remind you of the successes you’ve had, as a way to inspire you to keep moving forward.  Make new friends in the areas that you are growing.  It can be helpful to have someone learning with you to discuss and problem solve together. 


Releasing those people from your life that have a negative influence on you is an important step to safeguarding that your future doesn’t resemble your past.  By ensuring that you have people who are positive and encouraging around, you help yourself enlarge the possibilities of a better future.


Don’t worry about people in your past. There’s a reason they didn’t make it to your future. ~ Anonymous


·Free yourself from attachments that only exist because you fear losing them.


Fear of loss is a common concern, like the anxiety of losing your job and the grief of losing a friend.  The harsh reality is that we will lose things and loved ones.  It is the natural course of our lives. Nonetheless being anxious and worried does nothing but keep us from being fully present and working towards our goals. 


The fear of loss can cause many to stay in a mode of indecision and procrastination throughout the course of their lives. People grow attached to the stuff in their lives. Things like their profession, their prominence, their income, their lifestyle, etc. To pursue a change would mean relinquishing some or all of these things that have come to be associated as part of your life. Because of this aversion to loss, many people choose to put their dreams on hold — continuously.


Again, this is not the way many of us want to live as we all desire to live our dreams.  By becoming less attached to the things in our lives we overcome the fear of loss.  This enables us to move forward towards our goals and build a better future for ourselves.


Attachment leads to jealousy. The shadow of greed that is. Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose. ~ Yoda


·Accepting your current situation for what it is.


By learning to be thankful for your current situation, one changes the focus from lack to having enough. This is important on a universal perspective.  Acceptance for what is allows peace to enter our lives instead of feeling that you are fighting just to get by. 


Part of acceptance is gratitude for everything we have, which includes any hardships as they’re there for us to learn something.  The fastest way through the adversity is to ask the Universe what lesson are you to glean from the experience.  Then, you have to get quite and discern how this situation can teach you something about yourself or how you relate to the world around you. 


One of the best ways to help you see all the good in your life is a gratitude journal.  It is easy to write down a few items each evening that happened during your day that you are grateful for.  They can be things like the beautiful sunrise you witnessed while driving into work or your child passed their math test even though he struggled with the homework.  We all have things in our life to be appreciative for and this is where we need to focus our attention in order to shape the vision we have for our future


Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there’s got to be a way through it. ~ Michael J. Fox


·Small steps keep you growing.


Growth and development don’t happen overnight.  It takes time.  And we all want things to happen quickly as we are impatient with ourselves.  But we need to be kind, give a little self-care and self-love.  Pay attention to the incremental steps we take as we grow. 


It took me over two years before I could meditate daily.  I wanted to, but I had to overcome obstacles within myself in order to accomplish this goal.  First, I set the intention to meditate daily but I had focus issues.  So, I had to work on being able to quiet my mind so that I could focus.  Once I accomplished that step, I added meditation to my calendar, because if it’s on my calendar I tend to do it.  This entire process could be frustrating but I focused on each incremental step, not the end result.  Now, I wouldn’t begin my day without first mediating.  


So, whatever you are trying to accomplish, set up steps along the path so you can have small victories along the way.  This ensures you will continue to move forward even if you run into a time of struggle.  Being able to see that you overcame previous difficulties encourages you to continue until you accomplish the goal. 


You need to be content with small steps. That's all life is. Small steps that you take every day so when you look back down the road it all adds up and you know you covered some distance. ~  Katie Kacvinsky


Believe the best part of your life is in the future.


Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present. ~Jim Rohn


Belief is paramount to being able to do anything.  Confidence in your abilities, conviction in your resolve to constantly move forward, and faith that all your work will make your dreams a reality.  Maintaining this belief is important which is why you need to take pride in the victories along the way.  Every disappointment that you overcame, each circumstance you seized, and the individuals that arrive along the way that you recognized were there to help you.  All the success along the way help you maintain the belief that the future is going to be better than your past, because you are creating it each and every day.  


Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay. ~ Simone de Beauvoir


As you determine to create your own future and become conscious about your mindset you can alter the course of your life.  If you would like to receive more enlightening articles right into your email fill this out now.

Do you need help becoming aware of your own mindset?  Do you need support in overcoming your past?  Do you want a strategy to help you create a marvelous life?  If so please contact me and we can put together an action plan for you to be authentically you and for you to know that you are enough.

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