Make your future more compelling than your past
You may have noticed that you or other people you know, love to sit in their past! They love to regale stories of past achievements and will relish in the stories of failed marriages, lost loves and other such sad things. Who do you know who does this? Do you do it?
This is sitting in the past and kinda loving it to be honest! Yes, I know – us humans are a bit sick in the head I reckon.
Again, I can already hear you say ‘how’ do I change this? There are a few ways actually, so here goes:
Let go of past failures.
Seems obvious, doesn’t it? But we love to do this! Sitting in the shit of our past heads us straight back to that victim mentality we were talking about earlier. Again, refer to the back of the book and read the bit on getting over yourself. This will totally help.
Let go of past successes.
Yes, you heard me. Let that shit go.
Can I remind you that it’s in the past. It’s gone. It’s behind you.
The number of people I have met over the years who regale stories similar to this:
How they played first-grade soccer when they were 17 years old, had a six-pack and could run the four-minute mile. They tell the story with great detail and emotion and if you watch them…you can see in their mind that they are ‘there’. You get caught up in the story they tell it that well!
But for f*cks sake – that was 30 years ago, and now you are 47 years old, and you sit on your arse all day in a job you hate, you have a beer belly and barely walk every day…let alone run.
Cruel? I don’t think so. It’s a reality and if you are living in the past and loving it – then your future isn’t compelling at all.
You are no longer the person you were back then. Why hang on to that? Circumstances have most likely changed too. So, what about letting it go?
This is all about forward momentum.
Stop trying to predict the future and let go of the controls.
I think we all like to control as much as we can in our lives – wouldn’t you agree?
From wanting to control your partner, your family and your work colleagues (I know you want to) to controlling the weather for that special day that’s planned…we all do it at some level. Some more than others, too, right?
If you are still reading this far, you get it, right?
Do you realise that when you are living in the past, you want to control the things in your life even more?
When you are living out of survival (refer to the reptilian brain coming up shortly) you want this even more.
However, ultimately all you can control is you.
How you react.
How you relate.
How you process situations.
Another way to consider this is to realise that by trying to do things perfectly, we create a certain version of ourselves. This can mean we really do get in our own way. Which brings us back to that topic of getting the f*ck over ourselves.
When we aim to control, we overthink.
We over analyse.
As a result, we get frustrated and impatient as we try to predict the future. Just noticing and being aware that this is often all you need to let go of this.
Accepting where you are right now – and being ok with it
I suppose you have probably heard people say ‘Just be grateful for *insert thing here* and look on the bright side…’. I know that when I first heard that stuff, I screamed inside my head. ‘Why should I be grateful for the shit in my life? I see nothing to be thankful for right now!’.
This was throughout a particularly rough time in my life. I was full of anxiety and worried about my situation and was on ‘edge’ all the time.
Reluctantly, I started a gratitude journal before I fell asleep every night. I would write down the ten things I was grateful for during that day.
Oh, man! It was tough at first! I would struggle to find something to be thankful for.
In fact, most of the list went a bit like this:
The car spot I got near the shops as it was raining.
My arms and legs.
My lungs for breathing.
My eyes as I can see clearly.
I have a place to live.
This place has a roof and is warm.
I have food in the fridge.
I have petrol in my car.
I have a job.
Your brain cannot physiologically be in ‘stress’ at the same time as ‘thankfulness’. It’s impossible to have both of these emotions at precisely the same time. Yes, you may swing back and forth, but understand that you can’t do both. So please try the gratitude thing. It will start working after a few weeks of consistent effort and action. In fact, you will begin to look for things to be thankful for throughout your day so you can add them to your list.
Also, get this!
Did you know that if you are in a positive frame of mind, your brain works up to 31% better? I’d say give that a whirl, my friend. There is no reason not to try it, hey?
A part of accepting where you are right now is focusing on the positive stuff…however small that is.
Take responsibility and own your shit – this is such a big deal!
Also, knowing that this circumstance is just where you are right now – but that you have the power to change this. It’s just as well that you have read this far because I have even more to share on creating these changes within you.