As you probably already know, remaining stuck in the past will negatively impact and determine our future. After all, we must move forward with our lives in order to really thrive. But yet, so many of us are stuck in the past, and that past is determining your future. We can hear it your everyday conversations and see it your actions or lack of action.
So, why are so many stuck in this vicious cycle? I believe for two maybe not so obvious reasons. The first being that there is little or no awareness that you’re even stuck. In other words, this pattern has been rehearsed for so long, it has become a part of who you are without you truly recognizing it. The second reason, for those of you who may actually realize it, you have no idea how to break free. Well, this article can help you break free and move forward in your amazing life in either case.
Here’s my disclaimer. I realize that we have all been through some tough stuff. This article is not focused on minimizing or glossing over your real pain, sorrow, failure, mistakes or disappointment. We all have some toxic drama somewhere in our lives. So, you are not alone. The intention here is to bring awareness to the fact that we have to be aware that not resolving our past and choosing to intentionally move forward will keep us stuck. Instead of soaring with the eagles and fulfilling our destiny, we will remain earthbound squabbling with the chickens. The purpose of this article is to shine a bright light on an area of darkness that may have you shackled, maybe even unaware.
The truth is that few people invest the time to thinking about how FOCUSING on the past can be detrimental to their present and future. Or batter yet, how their past might even be responsible for some of their present-day turmoil. In this article, I’m going to provide you with a few ideas that will help you to open your eyes and stop letting your past (situation, circumstances, drama, etc.) dictate your beautiful future that is full of awesome possibilities. Your life will get infinitely better when you decide to put the past in its proper place and give yourselves a clean slate.
What’s so bad about focusing on the past?
Focusing heavily on the past, whether in a negative or a positive way, is detrimental to you and your ability to move forward with your life. When you have distressing past experiences, it can cause you to hold onto unforgiveness and grudges. Holding on to a particular moment or event in the past due to a negative experience will stunt your emotional and mental growth.
The more you focus on that experience, the situation or person, the less vital attention you have to give to what’s happening in the present moment. You can’t fully appreciate or even enjoy all the beauty in your life or the awesome people that are you are surrounded with. You live on the surface. You spend most of your time distracted and those closest to you can feel it.
On the positive side of things, if you’re fixated on one particular positive event or amazing season of life that happened in the past, you’ll miss all the positive and great things happening in the present and possibly in the future. You also run the risk of comparing everything that happens from then on to that one “perfect” event or moment in time’s past. When you live like this, you become boring and listless to thise around you. No one wants to constantly hear about “the good ole days”.
This fixation can lead to a few negative outcomes in your future. The more you focus on the past, the less you fully experience the present. You have a tendency to miss special occasions or important events. You move through life in a more distracted manner. The worst outcome of them all, though, is that you stunt your personal development and growth.
How can focusing on the past destroy your future?
As I said before, focusing on something in the past can manipulate how you view each present moment. It can make you distracted during events you’d otherwise be fully immersed in or cause you to compare them to another moment in time from which you can’t move.
These fixations can influence you to resist down new opportunities either because you’re afraid they won’t live up to the past experience or you don’t want to be taken away from it. Focusing on the past can negatively affect every decision you make, destroying your future. Especially when you are unaware of the damage that you are creating in your own life.
How do you stop focusing on the past?
The first step in putting an end to this behavior once and for all is to resolve to let it go. I know, it’s easier said than done, but you have to first consciously decide to do it before you can actually successfully let the past go. Letting go of the issues or moments you’re holding onto will allow you to finally move forward with your life and grow as a person.
If you are fixated on a positive past event:
To stop fixating on a positive past can be trickier because it comes with a slew of positive emotions. Be aware that overly fixating on a positive event or season of life can be just as detrimental to your future as a negative past event can be. If you’re fixated on a positive past event, letting go doesn’t mean the same thing as it does for those who may be holding onto a grudge. Letting go in this sense means to stop comparing other events to this particular one. It doesn’t mean that you have to forget the moment you’ve held so dear, but it does mean that you continue to experience and enjoy each new moment, rather than comparing it to and being distracted by that past moment.
If you are fixated on a negative past event:
If you’re holding a grudge or fixated on a past event, letting go is typically forgiving the person and moving on from the event. This can be very difficult, but the only person that can put an end to your holding onto the past is you. You have to be the one to forgive, let go, and move on. Otherwise, you’re only hurting yourself and those you are closest to you. So make the hard decision and just stop it. If you find that you need professional help to break free, then do it. Don’t hesitate to invest in your future by doing whatsoever is necessary ti break free from your past. In the end, it will be well worth it!
Be well + prosper,