What you need to know about the past

Worrying about things that happened in the past, whether its not hooking up with someone, not eating before going to the party, not finishing school and going to university, not saving money for your future, letting your child do something stupid, is hard to move away from. Especially when other people want to keep bringing it up for you.

Podcast fave Tonya Leigh suggested that we spend more time thinking about our past than where we are now and where we’re going.  When we do talk about our past it’s often in a negative way.  We don’t highlight our wins and celebrations in the same way.  We hone in on all the things we didn’t do so well, or reject not doing.

Past thinking is a habit that doesn’t serve us well. We should try to stop living with regret and start living with delight in the right now and excitement for the future. The past only exists in your mind and we you keep playing it over and over, it holds us back. If we stop hitting the repeat button it would be over, and you’d be open to so many more possibilities.

What happened ten seconds ago, ten minutes ago, ten hours ago, ten days ago, ten months ago and ten years ago is done.  We need to stop hanging around in the past if you want to create a new future.

Talk about the here and now and where you’re going.  Talk about your dreams, not your past failures.  Read books that excite you not that remind you of who you were in the past.  Think new thoughts and stop playing the old ones.

It’s impossible to move forward when you’re stuck in the past.  Be the person who is not defined by your past.  Appreciate where you are now; be inspired by a new future.  Don’t use the past as an excuse for lack of success.

I really struggle with this at times.  As a ruminator, I go over things again and again.  Conversations that didn’t turn out the way I thought they would.  Things I did I shouldn’t have, and things I didn’t I should have.  People from my past often crop up, sometimes in the most unusual situations.  Sometimes I’ll reminisce with fondness, other times with dread, regret, shame or humiliation.  I often live with the “if only” scenario of whether I could have said or done something different, would there have been a different outcome.  Knowing what I know now about people from my past and current lives, would I have still followed the same path?

Who knows, is the answer.  I can’t change what has happened in the past and I need to learn to move on from it and embrace the now, and look forward to the opportunities of the future. 

The past is over.  Move on.


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