We all carry around a past with less than positive experiences. We were probably responsible for some of those experiences but certainly not all of them.
The important thing is how we interpreted those experiences – what we took away from them.
Everyone has a choice – experiences can either refine you or define you. We all have a choice on how we deal with things.
There are many signs that you are letting your past define you:
- You repeat the same mistakes. Past experiences should be educational. If you interpret the experience correctly, you should learn what worked well and what did not.
- You have many of the same attitudes and behaviours that your parents did. For example, your mother was a notorious gossip and you find yourself doing the same thing. Have you picked up your father’s judgemental attitude? Do you feel that people who are rich must have done something illegal? These are attitudes and beliefs that you didn’t choose and they can limit your future.
- You believe what negative people say about you. Did your parents, relatives, teachers say negative things about you? Did you let those things sink in so deeply that you also believed them?
- Did one simple negative event poison your view of yourself now? For example, when you tried to do public speaking in school and you were ridiculed by your classmates and today you won’t get up in front of a group to speak because you feel you aren’t good enough and you won’t put yourself out there to be ridiculed again?
All of these can limit your future success – in your personal and professional life. You may limit who you associate with. You may not apply for a new better-paid position because you believe you aren’t good enough. It may put a strain on relationships.
You feel that this is the way you are and it’s not going to change.
You create limiting beliefs.
Louse Hay has said, ““If you accept a limiting belief, then it will become truth for you”.
Take charge and work towards overcoming those limiting beliefs. It’s never too late. I’d like to share an experience I had when I was in high school.
When I reached grade 10 I had the option to drop French which I had been taking every year since the third grade. I had the choice to continue taking French or I could take typing. I chose to take typing.
That year did not go well. The typing teacher wrote on my report card that “Julia lacked the coordination to type”. And for awhile I believed it. And I failed that course that year.
But I knew I didn't lack coordination, that I wasn't useless or stupid and was going to prove it to others. So I took the course again the following year. And I not only passed, I did well enough that I received an exemption from the exam. I'd also like to add that a different teacher taught the course the second time around.
A couple of years later I took a secretarial course and ultimately had a typing speed of almost 100 words per minute and worked as a secretary and word processor operator.
If I had allowed myself to permanently believe that I “lacked the coordination to type” I would never have taken that secretarial course or gotten office jobs.
Now over to you, I’d like to hear how you overcame beliefs that were limiting you. Please share them in the comments section below.