How to stop repeating your past

Have you ever had a rough year?

For whatever reason, you just really don’t want to repeat it again.

This was me last year.

I had a pretty horrible 2017.

After it was so bad, I intentionally decided that the next year was going to be my best year.

And the results are in… 2018 was my best year ever.

This year I…

  • Quit my job
  • Became a full time online business owner
  • Created 6 digital products
  • Took an $18k coaching program without paying for it
  • Became a certified life coach
  • Went to a few of my favorite business conferences
  • Paid off $35k+ in student loan debt
  • Started working for my dream business coach and mentor
  • Moved out of Ohio to Chicago
  • Started a podcast
  • More than tripled my business income

Everything I set out to do, I did.

But you know what?

2019 is going to be better.

And 2020 is going to be better than 2019.

Every year I live is going to be better than the last year.

And I want you to have that in your life, too.

Here’s how…

If you want to listen instead of read, here’s the podcast episode that goes along with this post — How To Stop Repeating Your Past And Design Your Future From Your Future.


You’re Wired To Repeat The Past

The first thing you need to know is that your brain defaults to repeating the past.

Your brain is programmed to:

  1. Seek pleasure
  2. Avoid pain
  3. Be efficient

This is called the motivational triad.

Your brain wants to keep you alive (so nice it’s programmed this way #amiright).

It knows that you’ve stayed alive up to this point.

It knows what you’ve done already. It’s preprogrammed.

Your brain reasons that by repeating what you’ve already done, you will easily stay alive. 

Except for one tiny little problem.

In modern times, you don’t need to repeat your past to stay alive.

There’s no lion about to attack you. You are doing just fine in your airconditioned suburban household.

But your brain doesn’t understand this.

It interprets emotional and physical pain in the same way. Fear of quitting your job and starting an online business is treated exactly the same as fear of getting attacked.

To avoid the discomfort, your brain repeats the past.

It continues to want to seek pleasure (Netflix, high sugar foods, etc.) and avoid pain (forget new opportunities, getting outside your comfort zone, or working too hard).

And thus, you end up repeating your past, quite effortlessly.

An example is as subtle as saying, “I can’t make six figures from my online business. I never have before and I don’t know how.”

This is fine if you want the exact same results in the future. 

You’ll likely end up trying to escape your life with over-eating, over-drinking, over-working, over-fill-in-the-blank because you’ll have unexplained apathy for your own life.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.


The Problem

We’ve lost our imagination along the way – through the education system of tests.

When you imagine your future, there are no steps. You can daydream whatever you want. This is JUST as real as imagining anything else. It’s all just in your mind.

What we do now is we project our past into the future. So, we create more of the past.

Most people haven’t even considered the future.

People say things like, “I’m not sure what’s in my future.”

People imagine their future happening to them instead of creating it.

I have the solution to this.

You don’t have to live from what you’ve already done. You can live from the future.


Living From The Future

You can create an entirely new and different future from your future.

Here’s how…


FIRST: You need to create your future in your mind.

Decide what you want.

Decide on a future year that is exactly what you want it to be like. Your dream.

You can decide anything you want for the next year.

No one can tell you’re wrong because it’s all in your mind.

Think about what you would think about as this person.

Write down what the person who you want to become thinks about. 

If you think about your future with unlimited possibility and creativity, what comes up for you?

Create thoughts that articulate exactly what you want in the next year.


SECOND: Practice feeling how it feels to have achieved your Dream Year.

Rehearse how it feels to be the person you want to be.

It’s not enough to identify the thoughts. You have to feel it.

When you feel the emotions of the person you want to become your body becomes that person ahead of time.

It’s by becoming the person first that you will create the result in your life (thoughts –> feelings –> actions –> results).

Spend time meditating, journaling, and being this person as much as possible.

Live from this new place. This new person you’re creating.

Instead of cause and effect – where you wait for your external circumstances to cause an effect on you internally, you will go to causing an effect – where you become the person internally and cause your circumstances to become what you are.

Most people think you get the result then become the person, but the truth is you become the person, then get the result.

You’ll know if you’re doing this right because you’ll be so excited. You’ll experience joy, openness, and higher level emotions out of abundance.

You’ll literally feel ecstatic as if you already achieved the result. Stay in this place.

You have to start to identify as the person who has the Dream Year you imagined.

When you do, you’ll take action as if you’re that person, which will lead you to taking action as that person, and ultimately getting that result.

The easiest way to create the result you want is to become the person who creates the result you want.


The Downside

There is no downside to doing this.

People will say, “well I’ll just disappoint myself” but the truth is you’re disappointing yourself ahead of time.

Why not at least give yourself a chance to imagine it?

Even if you do dream big and you fall short, what are you making that mean?

Falling short means nothing until you give it meaning. Why not make it mean you learned something?

The opportunities are endless. You can create more amazingness in the future even after you fall short.

Yes, tragedies happen. You could get hit by a bus tomorrow. But we don’t sit around imagining that. We imagine next year being about the same as this year.

A tragedy either will or won’t happen. That has nothing to do with what you imagine.

You might as well imagine what you truly want.


My Story This Year And Next Year

This year, I was a six figure blogger in my head and in my heart long before my accounting software showed me it was a reality.

That’s why when my blog coaches called me super excited I finally hit six figures, I wasn’t that excited. I was already the person who made six figures. And I had been for some time.

Every step of this last year I created first in my head and in my heart. Then, I practiced experiencing it as if it already happened.

I knew I was going to get into that $18k coaching program without paying for it. And I did.

Each step of the way this year, I became the person first, then caused the result to happen in my life.

That’s what I plan to do next year, too.

I want to triple my income. I want to make $1M in revenue in the next year or two.

Long term, I know I’m going to make $2M-$3M annually in my business. I know I’m going to work 3 days per week.

I talk about it as if it’s as good as done. When someone suggests otherwise, I correct them.

I am becoming her already.

I’m causing the effect.


Resources For Doing This

Here are some of my favorite resources for doing this…


A Final Note!

Don’t let your brain default to repeating your past.

You can intentionally create a new and different future from your future.

It takes thoughtfulness on your part, but it’s 1000% worth it.