Are You a Prisoner of Your Past?
Do you feel hounded by memories of the past, especially unpleasant and inconvenient ones? Do these memories limit you from utilizing your full abilities? Are you usually skeptical in the way you view the present and what lies ahead? Probably then, you are enchained by your past. What poses a challenge for you therefore is to first understand why you feel so, and work towards coming out of the feeling.
Although the human mind functions seamlessly, switching from recall to futuristic visualization mode with no conscious effort from you, but it does require you to consciously train your mind to view the present objectively, and the future optimistically. We must not live life by limiting memories, but through inspiration around us which life gives us everyday.
Why do people feel captured by their past:
Holding on to bad experience
The most important reason why people do not live with complete freedom and vigour is because they cannot put an unpleasant experience of the past behind them. Holding on to bad memories is like re-living the unpleasant negative moment many times over. When you keep reminding yourself of the injury, you are actually disrupting the natural process of healing. If you have learnt the lesson from the experience, you must be ready to move on and let the past remain in the past.
Experiencing guilt unnecessarily
Whatever took place in the past, must be evaluated against your abilities and understanding at that point of time. We learn from moment to moment. Meaning, each moment that passes by, we grow wiser. Hence, even if you are certain your fault, accept the fact that you are wiser today than you were when the event took place and then – instead of feeling guilty, you must forgive yourself. Read more on How to deal with Guilt
Incapability of acceptance
There is a thought related to the above two reasons which people commonly have, i.e. “Why did it happen to me?” They feel bad things happen to only them. Or, they feel entitled to the fact that only good things should come there way endlessly. Of course, there is no rationality in this thought. Rather it is an unrealistic expectation from life. Bad things can happen to anyone – the best people, and to the blameless as well. Accept that fact.
How to you help yourself to come out of this feeling:
Make a list of things to look forward to
Even if a lot of things in your life went wrong, since life is going on, there must be a lot of things that are going right as well. Sadly, the good we often discount, and the bad we immediately grab. If you are making a conscious effort to free yourself from the grip of the past, then make a list of everything that is going the way it should. Be thankful for that. Further make a list of positive and fruitful things that are going to come your way, either by your efforts or through the effort of others. This way you would be able to begin each day with a positive enthusiasm.
Share what you can
The task of putting the past behind is surely not a tangible task. However, since we have a fair understanding of how our mind works, there is a simple solution for you to implement. Instead of reminding yourself ‘what not to think about’ give your mind new things to think about. The most noble of all such thoughts would be to reach out to someone in need and participate in creating a better life for others. Soon you will be creating happy memories for yourself and at the same time. It will help you to feel free of the guilt of your wrong doings. The gratitude you would receive will give you the joy and courage to forgive those whom you consider to have wronged you.
Build a positive self-image
Consistently and consciously try to rise in your own eyes. Earn respect by doing things that are good for everyone around you. Collaborate unselfishly. Rid yourself of limiting habits, however minor they may be. You will feel renewed. You will feel cleansed. Small victories in your private world make a huge difference to how you deal with the external world. So no effort you put is too small. A positive self-image is the key to a positive attitude so start right away. Read More on How to deal with Low self-esteem
The time to be fully alive is now. Life with inner freedom, life your fullest. All the best!
About The Author
Think Inc. is a leading name in the field of corporate trainings and publication of books on self management, how to keep your family happy, selling & customer service skills.