When I ask most people what makes them who they are right now, they respond, “My past experiences. My education. My environment. My genetics.” These are things that either happened in the past or that you were born with–things you carry with you from the past into the future.
And when it comes to the experiences you had, you made decisions about those experiences that you also take forward with you. In fact, you project them forward into the future. You expect those decisions–those thoughts–to continue being true. Thoughts like:
- I’m not good enough.
- People don’t like me.
- I should have been a boy (or a girl).
- Men (or women) leave me.
- I never have enough money.
- I’m not worthy of earning more money.
- I make bad decisions.
- I’m unlovable.
- I’m ugly.
- I’m stupid.
With these thoughts projected out into the future–with you expecting them to be true tomorrow, the next day, next week, a month from now–you perpetuate yourself being that same person you believe yourself to be in the future. You recreate the same experiences over and over again, proving to yourself over and over again that you are, indeed, this person.
When you stop expecting to find yourself in that same situation over and over again–expecting to find poof that you are that person, you will stop having those experiences. For this to happen, you have to leave all of these experiences and decisions in the past. Stop bringing them with you into the future.
I learned all of this long ago when I was doing a variety of self-help, personal growth and human potential workshops and seminars, like the Loving Relationships Training. It can be hard to remember these lessons though, when you aren’t around other like-minded people who also know these principles. The other day a colleague invited me to a preview of the Landmark Forum workshops. There I was reminded of this idea.
It made me stop and consider what decisions I made because of past negative events or experiences that I place in my future and then create that same unwanted outcome. If I can become aware of the experience and the thought, or the decision I made about myself, I can then affect my future outcomes, I can begin changing them. If, for example, I believe I am unworthy of earning more than $50,000 per year because I’ve never been paid more than that before and I’ve had many experiences where I was told I would not be paid what I thought I should be paid based on my experience or worth, I can change that thought, that expectation. And I can expect to earn $100,000 per year or more.
By being conscious of the decision made in the past about myself, I can affect my future and change who I become. I can become someone who earns more money.
Byron Katie, an author, says we should always ask if we really know something is true. I would have to ask myself if I really knew it was true that I was unworthy of getting paid more. If I can’t answer, “Yes, it’s true,” then it must be true that I am worthy of getting paid more. So I have to ask myself if this is true. Can I answer yes to that question?
Can you think of a decision you made in your past that is affecting who you are now? Do you know if the decision is based on truth? Can you change your mind so you can affect your future positively?