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Learn From Your Past, But Don’t Let It Be What Determines Your Future

May 17, 2021

Too often I see clients holding themselves back because of their past. Whether it is because of messages they received about themselves from others, past failures, how they grew up, or what things have happened in their lives, I have seen too many people restricting their future based on their past.


Let me explain this further. Your brain wants you to stay safe and comfortable. Because of this, it will try to keep you where you are, rather than pushing you to try new things or pushing you outside the bounds of where you currently are. It will restrict you from seeing that there are possibilities beyond those that you have already seen or experienced and it will remind you of past failures and past messages you heard or created about yourself that tell you that certain things are for “other people” but not for you. It is not your fault that your brain does this, it is the way all of us are wired.


Just because you are wired this way, however, does not mean that this is the way you need to be wired ongoing. I think there is value in looking to your past to remind yourself of things you have learned, and even more value in looking to the past to remind you of how far you have come. However, there is not value in looking to your past to remind yourself of why you are not worthy or capable of things that you do not presently have or do. If you allow your mind to do this, it will, and you will likely miss out on opportunities, experiences, or achievements you could otherwise have.


For this reason, you can’t allow your past to be the predictor of your future. You can’t allow your beliefs to go unchecked and assume that they are facts. If you think you may be allowing your past to hold you back from what is possible in your future, there are some things that you can do to make sure you are being intentional about creating the future you want.

To help you examine your beliefs and uncover whether you are using evidence from your past to predict your future, consider the following questions. With these questions, we will start from the finish line and work our way backwards. If you want to get the most out of this activity, get my free guide, “Don’t allow your past to predict your future” by clicking here. This guide will take you deeper into this process with additional prompts so that you can challenge yourself and break through from any beliefs that are holding you back.


  • If there were no limits, no barriers, and no resource issues, what would your dream life look like? Take your time and really consider what your life would look like.

  • Once you brainstorm the list above, ask yourself why you do not have all those things? Don’t censor your list, just write down all the reasons why you think you do not have everything from the list above. Be sure to include thoughts in this list. What thoughts do you have about yourself or what is possible for you that may be keeping you from having any of the things you identified from your list above?


  • Ask yourself, what things from your upbringing limit you or hold you back from achieving everything you wrote down in response to the first question? This could include messages you received from others about what is possible, failures you may have had, lack of resources, or lack of exposure to certain things, people, or opportunities.


  • Next, put a big “X” through everything you wrote down in the section above. These things are in the past, they do not define you now. They do not control what is possible for you in your future. They no longer need to hold you back from what is possible for you.

  • Now, go back to the second question and read through each reason you gave for why you do not have the things from the first question. For each item you wrote down, ask yourself “do I have any control over this reason?”. Be thoughtful and really consider if you have any control at all over any of the reasons. For those where you do have control, put a star next to them.


  • Take each of the reasons you starred above and write down 1-3 things you can do to change them. What can you intentionally do to change those things from holding you back? Be sure to include alternative thoughts if you wrote down thoughts as one of the things that is holding you back.


  • Finally, remind yourself of all the areas you have more control than you may think you do. Remind yourself that your past does not need to define your future or hold you back from having the future you desire. Then, pick one of the items from your dream life list and write down what 1 thing you are committed to doing in the next 48 hours to move you closer to having it / achieving it. Once you do that, repeat, repeat, and keep repeating this process so that you continue to intentionally create the life of your dreams.


Nobody else is going to do this for you so it is 100% on you. You’ve got this and you deserve this! Did you get the 12 page guide that will help you dive in even deeper? You can get it HERE! 


Live your best boss lady life!

~ Karen

Karen Vincent Solutions

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