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Overcoming your negative thoughts about your past

You have the power to design your future however you like. So how come your life is not going as you wish it to be.

What is holding you back?

Have you ever wondered if it might be the past that you are holding on to? 

One of the popular items in coaching sessions is getting stuck due to holding on tightly to the past. More specifically, being focused on past failures so much so that building the desired future becomes almost impossible.

This is happening because of the beliefs that are ingrained in our brains. Basically, your past is a series of thoughts that you are thinking over and over again. When you define your past as a painful experience, and have negative thoughts about it, you will be surrounded with negative emotions. The actions that you will take from that negativity is not going to get you to a better place, or to a place you desire. And you will create the old results in your life over and over again. 

I love the example from our childhood. Remember when you are learning to ride a bicycle. Do you recall that the very key thing you need to know is to look further ahead rather than just in-front. Obviously not towards your back. It is quite similar to our resolution with our past. When you focus on your past and try to move forward, it is just not going to take you far.

How will you deal with your past?

Should you just let go of your past?

If you have difficulties to get over your past, the best way to move on is identifying your thought pattern and resolving it. Identifying your thought pattern is understanding your thoughts and the feelings that it is creating for you and observing if those feelings are helping you to reach your goals. 

Let’s say that you are working as a manager at a company. Meanwhile, your college mates are already at a director level at the company that they are working for. You may think about your past like, “I couldn’t take the right decisions so I couldn’t have a successful career. My college mates have done a better job”. This is a thought. This thought will create a certain feeling. In this case, a feeling of weakness. What would be an obvious consequence of feeling weak at your job? You will probably lose your motivation in your professional life. Your lack of motivation will likely cause you to underperform and this underperformance will simply reinforce your thought of not having done a great job. This is just how important your thoughts are in designing your future.

Once you identify your thought pattern, you can move on to the next step which is deciding how you want to process your past.

Processing your past is being curious and looking for alternative ways to describe your past and deciding on another perspective that is positive and giving you extra energy to look forward to creating a better future. 

One perspective can be having the thought, “I own my past in my career. It was meant to happen this way. What I want to focus on now is my future.” By having this thought, you create the emotion of empowerment that will move you into a positive and constructive mindset.

Your past is something that you cannot change. But you can always change the way you choose to look at it.

Think about your past and identify your thought pattern and process it like I described above. Those are the first steps forward in order to overcome your thoughts about your past that are not serving you in building your desired future.  

Let me know about your thoughts on this in the comment section below.

Have a great day!

Ferruh Tumer

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