Your Past Does Not Define You

Investors are well aware that past performance is not indicative of future results. Yet, this concept is fitting to our every day lives.

How many of us are hung up about the decisions or the events that have occurred in our past?

  • If only I did this …
  • If only I had …

Or perhaps you’ve been let down by others so your narrative is similar to:

  • I wish they had been there for me
  • I wish they hadn’t …

Often times replaying the situation over in our head but with a different outcome – what we would’ve done had we had the knowledge and insight we possess today. You see, we have to come to the realization that the past is actually our best teacher. How we perceive our past plays a huge part in how we live our lives today. Have you developed a victim mentality? Are you hurt or afraid as a result from what you had to experience in the past? Scared to act due to repeating narratives and past mistakes? It’s common to feel trapped by our past.

Our perspective of our past can cause us to really limit ourselves.  Many of us struggle with our past but what we need to do is change our perspective.  It is our perspective of our past that has the most bearing in how we currently approach our lives today. In order to move forward, we must embrace our past, make peace with it, recognize that we are not the events that unfolded – we are forever changed by it and we must find gratitude in it and take it as a lesson learned.

Everyone makes mistakes in life, but that doesn’t mean they have to pay for them for the rest of their life

When given the time and space to reflect on the past, you gather awareness of what will aid you now.

Recognize that your past does not define you, merely your perspective of the past is what is shaping you and your current frame of mind, including your expectation of others and yourself. The beauty with perspective is that it can be changed.

Here are some strategies you can use when you find yourself running old loops of the same old story. These strategies will help you take on a new and more positive perspective:

Practice awareness

Practice inner awareness whenever you feel yourself about to criticize yourself or someone else. Recognize the common triggers that keep you replaying the past and reinforce your perspective. These could be people, situations or places.

Entertain another point of view

When someone expresses a differing point of view, listen. Refrain from imposing your position and instead counter, “Thanks for sharing.” It’s easy for us to say change your perspective but in practice, this works on several levels. In order to change our perspective there has to be the willingness to be aware of others autonomy and to accept differing perspectives.

Take responsibility

No one has the power to make you feel any type of way without your consent. Take responsibility for how you choose to respond to anything or anyone. Change the way you choose to perceive the power that others have over you and you will see a bright new world of unlimited potential for yourself.

The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence

When you change your perspective, your reality will change.

Shyra Smith