It’s one of those ironic contradictions about life. The past is in the past, right? It’s over and done with, it’s dead, it’s behind us. But somehow, instead of letting it go, we let the past affect us and define so much of our present and our future.
Every human on this planet has past stories, experiences and versions of themselves that they hang on to. Some of those experiences are major, after all, and contribute to who we are today. But does it really serve us to give so much importance to the past as we look to further ourselves? Wouldn’t it be more meaningful to envision our future selves instead, and make our present selves embody that future person?
The answer is YES! 100% yes. Your past does not dictate who you are or want to become. Who you want to become is already out there in the universe. You just have to step into that being and start operating from that place. It’s all about mindset, and yes, it really is that simple.
Here are 3 toxic habits to identify when you’re not operating from a future self and letting your past run your life instead. I’ve noticed these patterns through self-experience and a lot of self-coaching over the years. Awareness is the first step of change, so I hope these indicators help you notice some unfavorable patterns and identify how to turn them around!
You went through a bitter divorce years ago and thought you weren’t worthy of love, so you go on dates continuing to think you aren’t worthy of love and don’t connect with anyone. You used to be irresponsible with money in your teens and 20s, so you continue being irresponsible and rack up debt, even though you know better now. The examples go on and on. Call it self-sabotage, call it a self-worth issue, whatever. Just because patterns, habits, and mindsets are old and familiar doesn’t mean they are good for you! It’s okay to identify them and let them go, I promise.
The second you approach something new, you hold yourself back. You want to try a new hobby, but think “Lol, who am I kidding? Old me would hate this.” Or, let’s go a little deeper. You want to reconcile with a parent or relative in a healthy way but think “Why? Old me wouldn’t be okay with this.” Sound familiar? Let it go. Who cares what “old you” thinks. Do what is right for you today, and what is going to support the future you that you’re creating for tomorrow and the next day.
Newsflash: you, me, and everyone we both know has made mistakes and will continue making mistakes until the day we die. It’s a part of life. So what’s the point of dwelling on past mistakes or decisions when it’s guaranteed that you’re going to make new mistakes anyway? Are you going to dwell on those too in 5 years’ time? All this behavior does is hold you back and keeps your self-esteem at a low level. The next time you notice yourself repeating this cycle, think about the first 3 sentences of this paragraph. We have all made mistakes and will continue making mistakes. Mistakes are an opportunity for growth and learning.
No matter what kind of past you’ve had, it doesn’t allow for true growth and much as your present and future does. So pay attention to your behaviors, patterns of thinking, and your actions. Sometimes its the subtle, toxic habits than make the biggest impact on where you’re headed.
Personal coaching helps with shifting such mindsets and creating new, healthy habits. If you think coaching might be interesting for you, head over to my Services page, where you can get more information on my 1:1 sessions and get a free consultation session to try it out for yourself!