One day, a man was weaving all over the road until a highway patrolman stopped him. “Sir, do you know that you were weaving all over the road,” the officer asked.
“Yeah, I think I was,” the man said.
“Well, sir, are you drunk? Are you on drugs?”
What is wrong with this guy, the officer wondered. Why is he driving like this? Finally, the officer stuck his head inside the man’s car and saw twelve rear-view mirrors. “What are you doing with twelve rear-view mirrors?” he asked the man.
The man responded, “I’m trying to drive by where I’ve been.”
Like this man, many people are basing their present and their future on their past. They are trying to drive by where they have been. Crippling beliefs almost always originate in the past.
Your past does not have to rob you or define your future. You may say, “That’s easy for you to say. You don’t know where I’ve been or what I’ve done.” I don’t need to know. God knows, and that is enough.
So, if you feeling stuck – unable to get ahead because you keep thinking about the past – I suggest you take the following steps to grow and change.
5 Ways to Think about the Past to Get Ahead
#1 CHANGE YOUR FILTER
Your beliefs act as a filter for your life experiences. Two people can go through the exact same circumstances, yet respond in different ways because of their beliefs. They see things differently on the inside.
Only you can decide how you’ll see life. Will you view circumstances in a paralyzing way or in an empowering way? Will you use the circumstances of your life as stepping stones, or will they be stumbling blocks to your progress? Faith chooses to look at things positively. So, consider changing your belief filter in order to get ahead.
#2 FOCUS ON POSITIVE MEMORIES
Many people do not purposefully remember their good memories and experiences, but instead stay focused on the negative experiences. This is how people end up living their present out of their past. They may have experienced physical, verbal, or sexual abuse. They may have been wounded in a relationship. Memories from these two areas—past experiences and past relationships—can be replayed over and over again on the theater screen of the mind. Watching these reruns affects how we interpret things in the present.
If you want to heal from your past and get ahead in the present, it’s time to focus on the positive memories and experiences of your life. Maybe these memories seem few and far between. Choose to focus on them anyway.
#3 WISELY CHOOSE YOUR FRIENDS AND BUSINESS PARTNERS
Breaking free from the past sometimes means letting go of past relationships. Your community makes a tremendous difference in your personal growth. You can put well-behaved teenagers with some bad friends and within a few weeks, those teens will find themselves making bad choices.
You’ve heard it said that you become the average of the five people you spend the most time around. Take that statement, remember it, and allow it to influence your peer relationships.
#4 OVERCOME EXTERNAL, WORDLY PRESSURE
Your faith is a weapon of victory. It is supernatural. It comes from God. When the pressure of the world – and negative past experiences – starts to squeeze you, your faith comes to the rescue.
You must have a conviction on the inside of you that the Word of God is true. It is the only thing that always works. When a banker says you are going bankrupt or when the doctor says you do not have long to live, you get serious about what works. Only your faith can help you overcome in those darkest places.
#5 SILENCE THE ENEMY
Ephesians 6:16 says to take up the “shield of faith” in order to “quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” Your empowering beliefs of faith are a shield against the devil’s darts of unbelief.
The devil like to throw darts at us by invading our thoughts, especially about our past. The enemy is not omniscient. He does not know what you are thinking, but he can whisper thoughts in your mind. He dangles these tempting thoughts in front of you like a fisherman put worms in front of a fish. Will you bite? Satan tries to alter your thinking. He knows that if he cements his thoughts into your beliefs, he has won the battle.
Fight against these thoughts and invade your own mind with truth.
It’s time to overcome your past in order to get ahead. You can achieve true success in your personal life, business, and finances. Don’t allow your past to keep that from happening. Start here with these five tips.
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