They say that those who do not learned from the past are condemned to repeat it. And while this is good advice, to be sure, while the past can be a useful place to visit, none of us should live there. While each of us has a lot that we can learn from our past, we should never let it dictate our future. Yet, many of us hobble ourselves by clinging to the past in a number of unhelpful ways. In some cases we can cling to the glory days of our youth, thereby failing to adjust the the changing pace of life as we age and evolve. Others, on the other hand may find their personal growth impeded by the trauma of the past.
In either case, while the past may seem either seductive or inescapable, clinging to it is rarely healthy. It can blind us to wonderful things that are happening to us in the here and now or stunt our personal evolution. Here are some effective ways to prevent your past from dictating your future.
Don’t compare yourself now to yourself then
We all have a tendency to look upon the past, especially our past selves with rose tinted glasses. We always imagine that we were smarter, slimmer, sexier, more popular and more fulfilled in our younger days than we are now. We can look back through old photographs and pine for the youthful looks and feeling of endless possibility that we once had. Nostalgia is an intoxicating drug, but it’s not one that makes for a happy or productive future.In an uncertain political and economic climate, it may seem appealing to yearn for a simpler time, but those days are gone. You can’t have them back. What you can do, is put the foundations in place for a healthier and happier you now.
Find a way to get closure on past traumas
Trauma can take a long time to overcome, whether it’s the end of a relationship which has lasted for years or the loss of a loved one. It’s up to you to find a way to get closure and turn a negative into a positive. Find the best wrongful death attorneys in town and seek justice. Raise awareness of an illness that took a loved one from you. Write your ex a letter (you don’t have to send it) to say everything that was left unsaid between you. Only by finding a way to get closure on yesterday’s traumas can you move into a better tomorrow.
Look to the future with optimism and hope
As we’ve said before, living in the past can be intoxicating. It’s even more appealing when it seems as though the future brings you nothing to look forward to… And in a climate of fear and uncertainty it may well seem as though there’s nothing to look forward to, but there’s always something good coming, you just need to know where to look for it. Even little things like the coming of spring or the release of a movie you’re looking forward to can help you to get out of the past and invest in your future self.
To put it simply… Don’t look back. You’re not going that way!