Far too often I come across people that say addressing their pasts will disable them from healing from their pasts... But this just isn't true. When you suppress the wounds of your past, you give it power over you, and you hinder yourself from overcoming it.
In this episode we're going to talk about how you can take your power back to create your limitless life, by addressing your past experiences.
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What is up you guys. Welcome to the beautifully you podcast! The podcast that will inspire you to live audaciously and unapologetically love yourself.
I’m your host, Kayla Mctaggart. I’m a social worker and professional mindset coach, and I help people eliminate anxiety, self-doubt, negative self-talk, people pleasing, low self-esteem and self-sabotage so they can create their limitless life that’s filled with abundance, meaning, passion and authenticity.
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In today’s episode we’re going to be talking about How your past significantly influences the person that you are today.
So, this is another highly stigmatized topic, so before diving in, I want to ensure you are aware that I’m not discrediting, undervaluing, or invalidating anybody’s experiences within this episode. My intention isn’t to insinuate that people who come from very difficult backgrounds, will continue to live difficult lives in their futures.
Now as much as I love the idea that “your past does not define your reality”, which ironically used to by my life’s mantra, it doesn’t tell the whole story. While it’s true, to a certain extent that having a past that was filled with adversity, does not directly mean that your future will be filled with adversity as well, your past does extremely influence the perceptions that you have of the life you live. Ultimately though, you have a choice. And this choice is what defines whether your past is going to positively influence your future, or negatively influence it.
In episode #7 we talked about Belief systems. But rather than talking about WHERE they come from, we talked about WHY they can negatively impact your future. This week, we are going to be bridging the gap between both topics and discussing HOW your belief systems (that you developed in childhood), significantly impacts your future.
So, let’s dive right in!
Now I’m going to start this episode off by stating the reason why your past significantly influences the person that you are today. The reason for this is because if you haven’t acknowledged, addressed, and healed from the negative experiences of your past, these experiences will continue to manifest themselves into your presence and future, until you’ve overcome these hindering experiences.
Now although your past doesn’t directly define who you are today, it does significantly impact your beliefs, values, and perceptions of the way you perceive the world today. Why? Because our brains are highly impressionable in our childhoods. Now I’m not just talking about the things we learned from home, but also at school, in the community and yes, on TV and social media. Everything we experience from birth to the time we turn 18, has a significant impact on our mindsets.
It's important to note here that if a 6-year-old walks in on their parents watching someone shoot a gun, this doesn’t mean that the kid’s going to grow up and want to use a gun too. But the more a child is exposed to something or surrounded by something, their mindsets are going to become more adept to favouring what they’re around… whether it’s positive experiences, or negative experiences.
When a child grows up in a family with emotionally or physically distant parents… in the future this child will find themselves pursuing relationships with people that either don’t treat them well or require lots of physical or emotional support. The reason for this is because that child has now been unconsciously conditioned to believe that they’re not worthy of reciprocated love, so they accept one-sided love, which had been taught unknowingly in childhood by their parents.
Some examples of what this could look like could be the child then investing in romantic relationships when the other person cheats, pursuing relationships with people who put them down, constantly break promises or put them into compromising positions, or having relationships that require lots of their emotional and/or physical support.
A person remains in one-sided, and oftentimes unfulfilling relationships where they don’t feel respected or loved, because these relationships are all they’ve ever known, and it’s all they think they’re capable of having, so they continue to surround themselves with, and settle for unfulfilling relationships. And by them continuing to invest in these unfulfilling relationships, they’re actually trying to fill a void within themselves. This void, is them trying to protect the other person from experiencing the same thing they did growing up – feeling invalidated and alone.
And it’s extremely unfortunate because majority of the time, people that fall victim to these patterns, are completely unaware that it’s happening in the first place, and this self-sabotaging cycle will continue manifesting into their futures, until they decide to break this limiting cycle, and heal from their pasts.
And if you resonate with this self-sabotaging cycle, it’s a good thing. Because you’ve now taken the first step towards rewriting your future… And that’s acknowledging that you have adversities of your past that you’re still yet to overcome.
And that’s okay if you do. Everyone has things from their pasts that they still need to work on to overcome to this day. And yes, I mean everyone. And it doesn’t make you weak, naïve, or ignorant for not being able to have recognized this cycle sooner. It makes you human.
You are the sum of the top 5 people you spend majority of your time with, so you need to be extremely consciously aware of who you keep inside your inner circle, because if you don’t like the people that you spend majority of your time with, then they are probably hindering your growth, more than they are contributing to it.
Majority of people are unconsciously aware of some, or majority of experiences from their pasts that they’re yet to overcome. But a huge way to empower yourself to identify if you still have yet to overcome experiences from your past, is to look at how the people around you treat not only you, but other people. I want you to take some time now and write down the Top 5 people that you spend the majority of your time with. It doesn’t matter if they’re friends, family members or coworkers.
Now, after you’ve done this, I want you to reflect on what your relationship is like with these people. Dive deep, be honest. Nobody is going to see this, but you. Do you feel comfortable around these people? Do these people regularly do or say things to upset or hurt you? Do their values align with yours? Do they consistently start drama? What’s their work ethic like? Are they lazy? Hardworking? Family oriented? Do they talk negatively about other people? Do they blame others for all their mistakes? All of these things are so important to help you determine whether the people you surround yourself with are empowering you to grow or are hindering you from becoming your best self.
After you’ve journaled about this a bit, I then want you to reflect on how long you’ve known these people for, and whether they’ve supported or hindered your personal growth (at least to the extent that you’re aware of).
If you’ve noticed that some or all of the top 5 people you surround yourself with the most, don’t align with your values as a person, then this is a key indicator that there’s experiences form your past that you still need to do some inner work on to heal from. Why?
Because we surround ourselves with the love that we think we deserve.
And if you have experiences from your past that are still negatively impacting you in present day, then you’ll be able to easily identify this by reflecting on how the majority of the people that you surround yourself with treat you, and how they make you feel.
See whether we’re aware of it or not, our pasts have the ability to be either our greatest asset, or our greatest liability… but what most people fail to understand, is that that choice is yours to make… and we have the ability to make the choice to better our lives and ANY given moment.
And because you’re listening to this episode right now, this is a sign from the Universe that’s pushing you to not only take accountability for your past, but also take accountability for your future. Because it’s YOUR choice whether you choose to let your past empower your personal development, or whether you’ll fall victim to the self-sabotaging cycle of letting your past define your future.
And I don’t know about you, but I definitely do not want to be defined by the person that I was 10 years age, 5 years ago or even 1 year ago.
I know that my greatest personal development has occurred within the past 2 years during Covid, believe it or not… and whenever I run into someone who says or implies, that “I’ve changed”, I’m ecstatic, because we’re not meant to be stagnant and un-evolving, we’re meant to grow and flourish into the people we were always meant to be and learn how to let go of traits and versions of ourselves that no longer serve us, that we’ve outgrown.
And with personal growth comes overcoming obstacles and adversities, and hardships. They’re all a part of life, and they’re impossible to avoid. And going through struggles in life doesn’t make you weaker, they make you stronger. So, when someone says, “you’ve changed”, thank God you’re not the person that you were 5 years ago. Because whether you know it or not, through the many up’s and downs of life… you’re growing, and you’re evolving into the most beautiful version of yourself.
Your past doesn’t have to define your future. And if you’ve caught yourself walking down a road lately that isn’t leading towards feeling empowered by your past, but is leading you towards feeling defeated by it, remember, you have the choice at any given moment to take a different path.
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- I appreciate you. And don’t forget to audaciously and unapologetically love yourself today. See you next time beauty.