For many of us, past mistakes haunt us – failed business ventures, marriages, childhood hurts, relationships gone wrong, and so on. We allow past experiences to determine the outcome of our current and future results. The stories from the past continue to rewind in our head and become ingrained in our thinking. We become our own worst critic. That critic is a stealthy operator, that we may not even be aware of, dictating the outcome of our current decisions and actions (or lack of).
The key to moving forward and embracing our full potential lies in the ability to release the binds of the past and live for today. When we are living our lives in the now, we can honor past experiences, and understand that we are better today because of them. We can see today’s situations with a fresh perspective that will bring a different outcome. We may still feel an occasional pinch from the memories, but it becomes just a thought or a reminder that does not hold us back. Living in now, allows us to move ahead and create a life that is productive and meaningful. That can begin today.
How does one break the patterns of the past to embrace the “now”? There are many theories and practices to get there. Here are some ideas to consider:
There are many ways to begin the journey of living in the now. Here is one that I use to help bring a new perspective when I feel stuck. I use it with clients as well:
- Acknowledge the hesitancy to let go. Give yourself permission to be where you are right now.
- Write down the thoughts you have about that situation. Let the thoughts flow. Continue writing until your mind has dumped all the thoughts out. Notice the internal critic telling you that something is wrong, that you are not safe, etc. Perhaps there is a perfectionist rearing its head in your thought creating an unrealistic ideal.
- Next, take 3 deep breaths, take a walk, or hug your pet, watch a funny video, or listen to uplifting music. This can help shift your mindset.
- Now, write down the thoughts that you have about the situation. This is a new writing exercise about the same situation. Let the thoughts flow. Notice any differences between these thoughts and the thoughts from your first writing exercise. Are they more positive, solution-oriented? If so, take the next 3 steps. (if not, give me a call)
- It’s time to design a plan. Start by visualizing what a new outcome to be. How do you want the situation to unfold this time?
- Identify 3 steps you can take to achieve that.
- Start today, one step at a time.
Life presents many obstacles and hurdles for us to maneuver through and around. Each incident and situation provides an opportunity for us to grow. Forgive yourself for not moving forward sooner. Realize that the decisions you made back then were based on the knowledge and life experience you had at that time. You are a different person now; smarter and wiser. Once we have moved through pains from the past we may find a place of gratitude. We may find that life is simple when we don’t allow the past to dictate our future.
You can create the life you desire if you are willing to play the game.
As my spiritual teacher says, “Life is Short, Make It Sweet”.
To learn more about Laurie and how she coaches individuals to their own definition of success, visit http://www.nowandnext.co/coaching-process/