As we move through life, our experiences shape us. We create patterns of behaviors based on those experiences, including unconsciously learning to fear things, especially the unknown.
Our past experiences play a large part in how we live in the present and create our future. While this is true, they can also keep us stuck in old patterns, behaviors and thoughts, at the root of which, lies fear.
While sometimes looking back can be beneficial to determine what shaped our reactions, we can also find ourselves staying stuck in the past and repeating old patterns in our present. If we keep looking back, we don’t move forward; we live in the past, recreating that life.
Holding onto past fears impacts the present and the future. When opportunities arise, we may find ourselves creating reasons why they do not fit us, when in fact they do. We do this out of a fear created from a past experience. Much like if you burn your hand on a hot stove, next time you exercise more caution and perhaps do your best to avoid the experience altogether. Fear can protect us in the moment, but if we allow past fears to remain, they can limit our power to create the future.
In what ways have you stopped yourself from going after something that mattered to you?
- Make a list of things you would like to do and the reason you have not done them yet?
- As you look at each reason, ask yourself if this is really the reason or if you’re associating this new experience with a traumatic past experience, thereby creating reasons for not going after what you desire.
We all do this. Sometimes these reasons stem from childhood while at other times a recent experience or something someone says to you, can trigger an old fear. It is not necessary to know which past experience made you create this limit, or whether it was created consciously or unconsciously. It is the knowing that something within you created this limit to protect yourself, that allows your healing and provides the power to move forward. Once you have the knowing, take another look at the opportunity and ask yourself if this opportunity or experience is the correct path for you now. If the answer is yes, take an action step in the direction of the opportunity to create a future that is no longer based on past fears.
We get to choose! It is time to see if we still need the protections our past fears created – they need not become barriers confining us to repeating our past.
- Close your eyes and go within.
- Thank your past fears for creating a space of protection to help you cope, then set them free. You don’t need to name the fears or know where they stem from.
- Acknowledge their existence and allow the thought that it is safe for them to dissolve and leave you now, making room for the new.
What new experience or opportunity feels possible for you to pursue now?