Many people, whether they are aware of it or not, are still significantly being impacted by relational, thinking, and/or behavioural patterns from their pasts. These patterns are highly defensive in nature. They keep blocked and stuck from further personal growth and personal development if they are not realized, recognized, and actively worked through.
Are you still living in the past or allowing the past to negatively influence your present and future? Take the initiative to free yourself from the past and all the restrictions you’re allowing it to impose upon you. Live your life in the present and look forward, rather than backwards – only after you’ve truly worked through past pain and patterned personal defensiveness. You can free yourself from the hurt and negativity of your past by setting an intention to do so whether that means self help or counselling or Life Coaching with myself or someone else.
Each individual has 3 states of self and being that make up the EGO. Following the model of Eric Berne’s Transactional Analysis of a healthy (EGO) self, “parent”, “adult” “child” – it is important to understand this and work through what the various parts of (even and integrated) self are invested in emotionally. These three aspects of each individual that are not always on the same emotional page in many areas of and situations in life.
Often, for example, the inner child, or “child” part of self, is still burdened, to varying degrees, by past unresolved emotional pain and the defensives built up to try to escape that pain. That can be what explains a series of unsuccessful or painful toxic personal relationship regardless of career success, for example.
Who are you emotionally? Is your Inner Child on the same page as your “inner parent” and your “inner adult”? Any disruption in the mind balance between these parts of your ego, of yourself, can drastically block you and keep you from the personal development, personal growth, and healthy adult here-and-now relating that you hope for, believe you have, or very much want more consistently in your life in relationships, at work, in any interaction or situation.
Getting beyond negative patterns from your past that may be subconscious first requires you coming to a conscious awareness about anything unresolved emotionally from your past. Secondly, after coming to realize this if it applies to you, it is then pivotal that you do not ignore what you may be hiding, feeling shame about, feeling like a pretender about – that you don’t ignore what truly hurts inside. Past negative patterns of unresolved childhood pain can and do very negatively effect many people’s ability to interact in satisfying, effective, and successful ways in the here-and-now that are very desired. In other words, unaddressed past patterns of pain and defense against such pain are roadblocks to your personal growth and development and to inner peace, satisfying and truly rewarding healthy interpersonal relationships and your authentic relationship with and to yourself.
I write a lot about, and work with clients with what is commonly, though mistakenly, really, referred to as “personality disorders” or “mental illness”. The difference between someone diagnosable with a “personality disorder” and someone like yourself, who may have unresolved issues getting in your way now, from your past, is the intensity and degree to which you were more resilient, not overly sensitive, and able to still make it though most of the early stages of childhood development.
The difference is truly found in whether or not an individual’s mind is in balance or out of balance.
It is important for every person to understand the dynamics between these parts of self. If you have been diagnosed with a “personality disorder” or suspect that your negative patterns from the past may be more intense and pervasive in your life than in most people’s lives, I have an audio program (effective for those who may meet criteria for Borderline Personality, Dependant Personality, or Narcissistic Personality – or what used to be referred to officially as Histrionic Personality – called From False Self To Authentic Self in Borderline Personality – Getting In Touch With The Inner Child
Are you in pain? Do you feel blocked? Is there an area, emotionally, in your life, that no matter how successful you are in other areas of life, just hurts, and at times may pull you out of the here-and-now and drastically or significantly change your mood and feeling about yourself and others? For some people the above is true and that is more indicative of some deeper work that needs to be done. For others, there can be unresolved issues from your past – your childhood – that need to be consciously realized and worked through that may not be as deep or that were not as wounding and do not pose over-reaching impact on your life today. However, past patterns that usually originate from unresolved childhood pain and/or trauma are more common than people think. They are important to identify in your personal development and personal growth journey so that you don’t get stuck and end up frustrated or feeling hopeless.
Living in the past can mean reliving either your previous victories or your defeats. Neither is a very enjoyable way to live. Both will block your ability to truly be authentically you in the here-and-now. The past does not need to be a limiting, self-imposed prison. Avoid letting your earlier years taint the future. It’s unnecessary to continue reliving painful experiences. However, for many, more than self help is required to get through the work of freeing yourself from negative past patterns of limiting or cognitively distorted thoughts and beliefs that may mean you have a part of yourself deep inside that is living in a (now) self-imposed prison.
The past is largely responsible for who you are today. Often, for some, that’s a positive that adds to your life. But for many more it is a painful negative that takes away from your sense of self and your life now because you are triggered often back to past feelings that impact others and yourself in ways that make sustaining relationships very difficult. Are you allowing your past, or past patterns of defensiveness to define you? Not an easy question to reflect on, but, one that is pivotal to your personal growth and personal development process.
Here are 7 Points of Awareness To Help You Access More Insight Into Whether or Not Your Past is Holding you Back:
Developing Self Awareness and Creating Personal Life Change
Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life – 19 Coaching Exercises – End Negative Thought Patterns
A.J. Mahari’s Coaching Guide/Ebook/Workbook – Quest For Self Awareness & Creating Your Story of Success Audio
Personal Change and Coping
Learn from your past missteps. The great thing about your past is all the opportunities to learn. You can look back and take note of your strengths and weaknesses. Even better, you can note the types of errors you tend to make and then decide how to best go about eliminating them.
- Accept your mistakes. Mistakes really are personal growth opportunities. Past failures are merely undesirable results. Learn from them and let them go. They no longer exist outside the confines of your mind. They can only live on and affect you if you keep them alive. Success is failure turned inside out, that’s the good news.
- Focus on the present moment. An effective way to let go of the past is to focus on the present. While you’re washing the dishes, think about getting those dishes clean rather than focusing on the inappropriate comment you made years ago. The present is the only thing that’s real. It only makes sense to give it your full attention. If you are focused in the past in your thoughts or feelings or both, at times, or very often, practice mindfulness, mindfulness to the moment of NOW, letting your focus on past thoughts and feelings go by consciously and actively detaching from those thoughts. When you find yourself thinking about the past, make an inventory of the items in your immediate environment. It will bring your focus back to the present. It is the “describe” aspect of practiced mindfulness.
- Create and value a life for yourself in the here-and-now. You might be focusing on the past because your present isn’t interesting or inspiring. Be bold, be brave, be self-aware, and create a here-and-now life that’s worthy of your focus and attention. If your life is exciting enough, just about everything in the past will be boring by comparison. For some, however, this will not be possible without Counselling or Life Coaching. Value yourself enough to reach out for help and support if you can’t create the changes that you seek on your own.
- Contribute to and value others. Giving your time, money, and energy to a worthy cause is a helpful way to bring your attention to the present moment – from yourself, inner-focus, to others, outer-focus. Enjoy the process of making someone else’s life better. You’ll be less likely to dwell on your own challenges, too. That’s a way to achieve mind-balance. Add meaning to your life and personal growth and development by finding someone else to help and care about in a volunteer capacity. Giving to others is rewarding and also helps us learn more about ourselves.
- Expect progress to be uncomfortable. Change is frequently uncomfortable. And, it is not ever a straight line. It has it’s ups and downs. It’s a part of human nature. Even climbing out of bed can be a chore some mornings. But, the more discomfort you’re willing to endure, the more quickly you can move your life forward. Advancing your life is one way of freeing yourself from the chains of the past. Please don’t be ashamed or afraid to reach out for help so that you can be supported and guided through the uncomfortable change in as comfortable and reassuring way as is possible.
- Remind yourself that you’ve grown and developed over the years. Our opinion of ourselves, if we are not blocked by past pain or trauma will become stable in our early twenties. If you are 30-35-years-old, or older, and don’t have a mind-balanced stable consistent and accurately stable knowing of who you are, your core identity, your personality traits, your moods and so forth, that opinion is certainly an alarm bell that in your personal growth and personal development you would benefit from counselling or Life Coaching. It is a sign of strength to reach out to someone like myself to talk about what difficulties are blocking you from stable, content, and consistent satisfying here-and-now living and feeling worthy and able to esteem yourself.
Personal growth and personal development are not a straight line or the change associated always comfortable at all. Sometimes people really need to hit past pain, see it rise in the middle of your here-and-now, maybe in a way that is painful, or painful and shocking in order to realize that they may need a little help along the way in their on-going process of being fully human in their lives.
Being fully human means being able to live in the here-and-now, manage your emotions and/or thoughts in a positive balanced way. Know who you are. Be self-aware. The journey in life if the past is not still presenting negative patterned thoughts, feelings, and/or behaviour in your present-day life then you are not yet able to be living from a mind-balance outside the box healthier and more rewarding relationship with and to authentic self, firstly, and to and with others, secondarily.
Exercise courage and self-awareness in taking an inventory of where things are in your life. Do you know who you are? Are things in your life and relationships progressing as you wanted and want now? Or are you blocked? Are you pretending to be a “you” that will pass and help you carry on in spite of pain and the need of some changing that will bring relief?
© A.J. Mahari, March 21, 2015 – All rights reserved.