More likely than not, there’s a memory from your past that bothers you, or maybe puts you in a specific state of mind.
I’m telling you right now, you can take back the power that your past memories hold over you.
Your past is over.
What happened, happened.
The past experience that you have feelings about right now are the present.
You’re taking what happened in your past and creating a feeling to accompany it in the present time.
Don’t worry, this is a good thing because it means that you have the power to change it.
You have the power to change your past and take control of your future.
It’s time to build your present from your future and create the life of your dreams!
You no longer have to forget your past in order to do this.
If you want to listen instead of read, here’s the podcast episode that goes along with this post — How To Change Your Past.
How To Change Your Past
Your Past Only Exists As Sentences In Your Head
The events of the past are over.
What exists now are thoughts you have in your mind about those events.
You can’t experience pain from the past.
Isn’t that crazy.
Just think about it.
There is no such thing as old pain or old wounds because the feeling that you have about your past childhood is a current feeling.
The feeling you had from childhood is over. The feeling you have now is caused by a current thought that you associate with what happened in your past.
The pain may be the same emotion, but it is new pain.
When you feel pain and blame a past event for it, you are giving your power away to that person when really you’re recreating new pain today.
Say you feel guilt or pain surrounding someone in your life who has passed. This is your thoughts causing you to feel a certain way.
This is GREAT news because it means you don’t have to feel this way anymore if you don’t want to. 🙂
For me, just knowing this is so powerful. Knowing that the past literally only exists as sentences in my head gives me a weird sort of freedom to decide how I want to think about everything myself.
- How To Process Emotions And Feel Better (blog post)
- How To Pull Yourself Out Of Negativity (YouTube video)
- Why Emotions Matter And How To Feel Better (podcast)
- Conquering Anxiety Free Course (training)
The Story You Are Telling Yourself About Your Past Is Made Up
The human brain loves stories.
To make sense of events and the world, we make up stories.
Here’s the great thing about these stories — you have a choice.
You get to choose what story you tell.
Have you ever noticed that the story of your childhood has evolved as you’ve gotten older?
These events haven’t actually changed, but instead, the sentences in your head about those events have changed.
Your mom, dad, brother or sister — all of their stories will be unique because of how they experienced the past.
Everyone has the power to choose what story they tell about the past.
This means that the past has no power over what will happen in the future unless you give it that power.
You Can Create Your Thoughts From A Future Focus Instead Of A Past Focus
The past is not a predictor of what’s going to happen in the future.
The only reason we look at it this way is because people recycle their old thoughts. It’s so easy and your brain loves to do it. But the great news is this is not the only way to do it.
You can create new thoughts from your future instead.
Consider what life was like before electricity, air travel, or even the iPhone.
Before electricity, no one had lights in their living rooms to flick on with a switch.
Before flight, no one flew a plane.
And before the iPhone, no one carried phones.
The creators of these life changing inventions had to create completely new thoughts based off of something they thought about from the future perspective.
In fact, you’ve done this many times in your life without realizing it.
You learned to walk and drive. You may have gone to college or possibly started your own business.
Not only can you do this with your future that hasn’t happened yet, but you can rewrite your past.
- How To Stop Repeating Your Past And Design Your Dream Future From Your Future (blog post)
- How To Live An Intentional Life (YouTube video)
- Visualizing Your Future Self (podcast)
Your Childhood, Even Yesterday, Is Over And Ready For A ReWrite
A rewrite is possible for your childhood, last week, and even ten minutes ago.
Just like World War II, what happened yesterday and what happened when you were a baby are all equally as over.
Here’s some more good news — you no longer have to think about the past a lot in order to change it.
Too much mental energy is spent on what happened in our past because you may think that your past determines your future.
Your past means nothing about you or your future unless you want it to.
The problem happens when you forget that the past only exists as sentences in your head.
In addition, telling yourself that your past is the reason why you can’t create the exact future that you want is a complete lie.
This lie will keep you stuck because your brain will keep rethinking old thought patterns and you will create a future that is just like your past.
- Resource: Emotional Childhood (blog post)
Examples of how rethinking old thought patterns leads to creating a similar future:
Here are some examples of how rethinking old thought patterns leads to create a similar future…
Landing your dream job:
- Limiting belief: You think a certain degree limits you in what job you can take in the future.
- Limiting belief: You think a certain job limits you from working in a certain field the way you want to.
- Truth: Your past education and job choices have nothing to do with your future work if you don’t want them to.
- Limiting belief: You think you’ll never lose weight because you’ve never been able to before.
- Limiting belief: You think the only way to be happy with your weight is to get back to what you weighed when you were 18 years old.
- Truth: Your past weight has nothing to do with your future weight.
- Limiting belief: You think your past relationship determines what’s going to happen in your future relationships.
- Limiting belief: You believe you only attract one type of person.
- Truth: Your past relationships and partners don’t determine how your future situation will play out.
Building a business:
- Limiting belief: You think that you can’t make money online because you’ve never started your own business.
- Limiting belief: You think you can never be good at technology, so you never will be.
- Truth: You have the ability to start from where you are right now, regardless of your past with business related experiences.
- Limiting belief: You think that because you make a certain amount of money now, you’ll always make the same amount of money in your future.
- Limiting belief: You think that being rich is for certain people, and you’re not one of them.
- Truth: The amount of money you can make is not directly related to how much money you made in the past.
- Limiting belief: You think what happened in your childhood determines what happens in your future.
- Limiting belief: You think that a weakness you have that stems from childhood is something you have to carry with you for the rest of your life.
- Truth: You have the power to create your future from your future thoughts and not your childhood.
See the magic here? It’s super fun.
You no longer need to make past focused decisions to dictate your future.
Get Rid Of Past Focused Decisions And Start Fresh
If you’re using your past to dictate your future, I want you to consider forgetting the history bias, wiping the slate clean, and starting fresh.
Ask yourself if you were to completely start over RIGHT now, what would you decide?
I was recently speaking at a conference when a woman raised her hand to ask what to do about her current job.
She was grateful for what she had learned but didn’t see the job as the right fit for her future.
I asked her if she were to be offered the same job right now and she had the choice to take it or not if she’d choose to take it. Her answer was a resounding no. She already knew what the answer was before she even asked the question.
Just because you did something in the past is not a good reason to stick with doing the same thing.
I like to say, you can make any decision you want, just like your reason.
Just because you did something in your past, doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it in your future.
Remake all your decisions from a future focus and stop the cycle of having your past repeat itself.
Here’s some more good news — the past happened exactly the way it was supposed to.
Yes, I’m serious.
Understanding The Way The World Works Helps You Come To Terms With Your Past
Everything happened in the past exactly how it was supposed to happen.
We know this because it wouldn’t have happened that way if not.
This does NOT mean that “everything happens for a reason.” Personally, I don’t think thinking everything happens for a reason is useful. I don’t like to think that thought, so I don’t. But you can make anything mean whatever you want.
You can make any circumstance mean whatever you want.
Horrible things happen in the world all of the time. This is also how the world was designed. It’s always been this way. In fact, it always has and always will.
We know this because the world was created with good and bad. Bad things have happened since the beginning of the world.
This doesn’t mean be apathetic or that standing up for what you want to be different in the world doesn’t matter. It just means that while pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.
It simply means everything happens exactly how it is supposed to happen. So, it’s okay to feel and experience the negative emotion (and you should unless you have mental illness), but you don’t need to add suffering on top of it.
Pain is “I’m devastated he died.”
Suffering is “Something has gone wrong; he should not have died.”
There is no way to change the timing of when someone dies. That person was always going to die then, we just didn’t know it. (This is such a helpful thought for me to have!)
That being said, learning how to process negative emotion will help you move through tragedies so you can come out on top.
- Resource: Scarcity Vs. Abundance (free course)
How You Reacted To Bad Things From The Past Is Right, No Matter What
When bad things happened in your past, you did exactly what you needed to do (or didn’t need to do) at that time.
You may have been a victim in the past. But you’re not a victim now. In fact, the event is over.
The difference between being a victim and adopting victim MENTALITY is everything.
Typically, I see clients who have been a victim in the past perpetuate victim mentality thinking in the future (not always, but often).
You may have been a victim of horrible things. I’m not talking about that here. I’m talking about the mentality — the thinking pattern.
If you’ve had horrible things happen to you, this doesn’t mean you have to make them mean anything about your future.
In fact, when you’re a victim and you hold on to the victim mentality, you give your power away to the person who victimized you well after the event is over.
You had the perfect past to set you up for success in your future.
This is evident in so many of the people who serve as inspiration for millions of people all over the world.
Examples of people with a rough past who created their future from their future (not their past):
- Oprah was born into poverty by a teen mom, was molested as a teen and gave birth to a baby at age 14. But the baby died in infancy. She is now a media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer, and philanthropist.
- Tony Robbins grew up poor with a single mom who abused him. He is now an NYT Best Seller, business owner, life coach, and philanthropist.
- Brooke Castillo had an alcoholic father growing up, and she also joined a cult. Now she is a multi million dollar business owner, changing the world by teaching people how to be life coaches.
I have a complicated past as well.
I often talk about the support I had from my parents in my careers, but that isn’t the full story.
My dad was a dentist and also a very high functioning alcoholic, who was in and out of jail. We lost everything. He was a brilliant man. I’ve never met anyone like him. We’ve always been best friends and very close, even though he’s an alcoholic.
In fact, I could choose to look at my parents and my unstable childhood and say “poor me”.
My dad didn’t care for me in the way I thought a dad should care for his children. When I think this way, I feel disempowered and upset.
To rewrite my past, I chose to look at it and think, “I had the perfect parents that inspired me and required me to figure out life early on. I had to have curiosity, maturity, and grit. Thank God I had the parents I did. They also prepared me for this life. Now when challenges come up, I know how to handle them. I’m so thankful for my past.”
I have so much love for my dad and my family. This is a CHOICE I made.
Make the choice for yourself and rewrite the stories that you keep telling yourself about your past. It really is a life changer that feels so good when you do it.
- Future Self Letter (podcast)
- How To Write A Future Self Letter (blog post)
- How To Write A Future Self Letter (YouTube video)
How To Rewrite Your Past
Below are some steps you can start today that will help you rewrite your past. Remember, your past only exists as sentences inyour head. Everything in your past happened exactly how it was suppose to.
1. Identify what story you’re telling yourself exactly.
Do you tell the story of your past as it happening for you or from a victim mentality?
If you’re operating from a victim mentality, they you will think life is happening to you.
Your past will be the reason why you think you can’t achieve your dream future.
If you change that to your past is happening for you, you will move forward and use your past to your advantage.
This is the story that you need to sit down with and edit. So trash it completely if you have to.
2. Rewrite the story of your childhood with an abundance mindset.
You need to shift your mindset from scarcity to abundance. Everything happened exactly how it should have to get you to where you are today.
There is always enough.
Rewrite the story of your childhood or your past from the abundance mentality, where it happened exactly the way it should have and it happened FOR you.
- Resource: Scarcity Verse Abundance Mindset (free course)
3. Identify your thoughts about these moments from your past.
Understand that you have 100% control over what you think about them.
This is applicable to any situation from your past including college, your first job, or your first boyfriend.
Identify your thoughts about all of these moments from your past.
As Dan Sullivan said, “You get to take from your past whatever you want and leave whatever you want.”
4. Rewrite your recent past.
Not only do you have to rewrite your childhood, you also have to rewrite your recent past.
Rewrite every narrative from your past until it provides you with what you want and need to build towards your ideal future.
Edit and rewrite to your hearts desire and don’t let anyone tell you or make you feel anything about your past.
People Will Justify Your Mentality About Your Past
When horrible things happen, you will feel justified in holding onto a victim mentality, and the people you confide in will agree with you.
They’ll say, “Well, of course, that makes sense you’re like that — you had a very difficult past or childhood,” or “I don’t blame you at all, I would do the same thing and be the same way.”
Take caution when people justify victim mentality.
While it feels good in the moment to feel understood and validated, you’re the one who suffers in the end because you will continue to use your past to create your future.
By using your past to create your future, you’re only recreating more of your past.
- The Problem With Accountability (blog post)
- Self Accountability (podcast)
- How To Be More Accountable To Yourself (YouTube video)
A Final Note!
It’s time to take your power back from your past.
You have the power to change your past because you have the power to change your thoughts.
The past is over and cannot impact you.
The past can only impact you if you believe the thoughts you have about the past and take action on those thoughts.
What story are you telling?
What story do you want to tell?
Identify all the places where your stories aren’t empowering you and rewrite them to tell the story that you want to tell.
This is such a life changer!