The only certainty is uncertainty. Our lives are full of ambiguities with every twist and turn we take in life. When we come into this world we are filled with extraordinary possibilities and as we traverse the path that is our life we will encounter relationships, disappointments, successes, loss, love, the list goes on. Through all of these happenings we will along the way inevitably make decisions about ourselves, others and the world as we perceive it to be. However when we do this we tend to make global statements and meaning that may not necessarily be true and possibly to our own detriment. Although it’s quite natural to be influenced by our journey it’s important to make the distinction that our past does not necessarily dictate our future. You are not your history, your history is just a series of events that happened and you are still the same person, with the same potential that you were before. The question then becomes are you who you really think you are or are you just behaving in accordance with the decisions you have made? Is it really as easy as just deciding who you are? Well yes and no. You will also need to believe in that decision for it to influence you but what if I was to tell you that you’ve made it all up. None of it is true or untrue. Our stories don’t define us. The truth is that you get to decide who you are and how you are in any given moment. What story have you imprisoned yourself to?
The past and our memory of it serves a fundamental purpose and that is to learn from it, not to define yourself because of an experience but rather to use it as a point of reference to grow and evolve from. Insight and wisdom create better futures for us so instead of using it to catastrophize into the future use it to create a better tomorrow. Humans have an amazing ability for growth and evolution. Viktor Fankl once said “ Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Everything changes and we always have choice. The good news is that it’s never too late to steer yourself in another direction, to ask yourself is this limiting belief really who I am or have I just made that up because of something that happened. The truth is you can be anyone you decide to be, you just have to decide.
Although you may have encountered numerous setbacks or failures in the past, that is not an indicator of what your future will be. Failures and setbacks are part of the journey to success, they go hand in hand. You will not succeed without failing. In fact it’s more than likely that you will fail far many more times than you will succeed. The only people I know who have never really failed are the people who have never really tried. Successful people fail often, they just don’t make it into something insurmountable, they take the lesson and they keep on going. Resilience and consistency are what is required in overcoming obstacles. You get to choose here what you focus on and what you decide. The power of your decisions is probably far greater than you may have realised. Every decision you make is quickly followed by another and another and these are the pillars that prop up your reality and create your future. It’s not your past that creates your future, it’s your choice in how you respond to your past, and what might seem like a small and rather insignificant decision can have a profound effect that dominos out into your reality in a much bigger way than you might expect.
The best way to start making decisions that serve you well is to set some goals. Get really clear about what it is that you want for yourself and then make a plan about how you are going to achieve it. Break this down into small achievable steps so that it’s not overwhelming and remember that small steps consistently lead to big achievements. Consistency is key. Use your past to learn from, identify from the past whatever you need to in order to move forward in a productive way to get the best outcome as you work toward a better future for yourself.
As you continue to grow and evolve there will be an element of discomfort because growth requires change and usually when we go through change we experience some discomfort. The important thing to remember here is that not all discomfort is bad. When it’s about growth and evolution we are required to step outside of our comfort zones and rather than fighting for our limitations we can perhaps recognise that although the familiar feels safe, it also cuts off opportunity. Taking responsibility for our actions and decisions is essential but remember that your past does not define you, mistakes are there to be learned from and taking action is key. Perhaps you can just give yourself permission to fail as you work towards the success, towards the future you desire, the future you deserve. No matter what has transpired in your past it’s the choices that you make today that determine your future.