History often repeats itself, yet the past can be the key to preventing more of that painful repetition. If we take the same action without conscious thought, we will find ourselves repeating and reliving the same scenario. You’ve likely heard Albert Einstein’s quote, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If we want our future to be different from our present, we must interrupt the repetitive patterns that lead to the undesirable result and change how we are behaving in the now.
With the close of another year, it’s natural to become more reflective. It’s a good time to take a closer look at our past. I hear statements such as “Don’t look back, you are going forward”, or “Forget the past, you can’t change it”. But our present life situation, whatever that may be, is a result of the past and that past has value provided we don’t dwell in it, but instead explore it and learn from it. Without this reflection, we are missing out on valuable opportunities.
Anxiety for example, is the unconscious (or sometimes conscious) prediction of doom. It is a present feeling of discomfort caused by something that happened in the past and our anticipation of its recurrence. Often we aren’t fully aware of what this event from the past is as it’s been like a rolling stone travelling life’s journey with us throughout the years. But what kind of future will we create if we try to just control or avoid this rolling stone? It will continue to roll with us, perhaps growing larger and possibly rolling over us. At the very least we will stay stuck in procrastination by trying to avoid it. At the very worst we will be paralyzed with self-doubt and fear. But, if we have the courage to stop this stone from moving any further and explore where it came from in the first place we will have an opportunity to empower ourselves to break down the stone and leave the pieces of it behind.
Choose a scenario you would like to alter or eliminate from your future. Examine past choices that have created this present situation. What different choice(s) can you make now to interrupt your pattern, alter the result in the future and free you from unconsciously repeating history?