Let me take you back a bit, to when I was about 7 years old.
My parents lived in a pretty village (that goes back to Roman times, so I’m told), which had all sorts of fun things for kids to explore: woodland, streams to fish for minnows, and most importantly a huge green open space where we could go bike riding.
Now I remember when I first tried mastering the bike riding bit: I was somewhere between 6 and 7 years of age, and I was falling off the bike quite a lot.
You can see where I’m going here, I hope.
Every day when I arrived back home during that summer, it was with a fresh graze on one knee or the other…the scabs never had time to heal up: I’d just keep getting new cuts every day from falling off.
But my mum never complained. She never said "well, I think you should just give up…you’re just not meant to ride a bike".
Nope. All she did was dab my cuts with TCP (I can still remember the stinging even now!).
Now, for some reason, it seems as if something weird often happens in school:
when we don’t get it first or second time around, the teachers give up on us.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not blaming teachers here (I have come from that profession myself, and I’m not into shooting myself in the foot – it’s just far too painful).
All I’m saying is that there something seems to go wrong with the learning system, to the extent that some kids end up hating school because it keeps telling them they are failures.
Does that ring a bell with you?
So, what if this, or something similar from other important people in your life, happened to you?
How are you going to shake off some of the incorrect thoughts you have rattling around your head about who you are, and what you can and can’t achieve in life?
I’m not going to claim that a single blog post alone is going to make that massive shift for you.
But if you are struggling with your past, I do want you to re-consider my bike story for a moment.
What if you could decide, today, that the next time you fall off your ‘bike’ – whatever that now is, in your adult life – instead of criticising yourself for failing, you just dust the grit out of your knees, get back on, and get on with learning to balance effectively, so you can cycle better?
To increase the chance that you might think in this manner, remember the following: your past actions do not have to determine your future ones.
The past is the past. It has gone. The past does not determine your future.
As human beings, I believe that we often confuse the past with the future. By using the trends of the past, in our minds, we then say to ourselves: “Ah! This is what happened before, when I tried this, so I should expect the same outcome again the next time I try…..”
It’s a reasonable assumption. BUT – it’s also a limiting belief.
The future does not have to look like the past.
When I learned to cycle, all I did was keep failing my way to success.
And in many, many cases, it’s possible to change the way you think about yourself, resulting in the possibility of a very different outcome in the future.
The reason for me banging on about this so much in this article is because I see so many people stuck when they don’t have to be.
Leave the past in the past, and don’t let what has happened before determine the way things can be from now on.