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Prisoner of the Past

Prisoner of the Past

We deal with the past primarily through memory, the present through perception, and the future through imagination. None of these is perfect, nor even necessarily accurate.

The past differs because it has happened. We can check sources and references, but often not when we’re dealing with imperfect memories: over-emphasizing victories or defeats, misidentifying who did what to whom, misinterpreting our own role. When we lie consistently about the past we come to actually believe the lie.

We can’t afford to allow ourselves to become hostages to imperfect and erroneous memories. They create self-limiting beliefs which negatively inform out behavior today, especially since many of them are from childhood and reactions from parents and others which were not accurate then, much less now. Many people continue to believe they’re awkward or unimaginative or not bright because they were told that by angry parents or hostile playmates.

Focus on who you are capable of being and becoming, not who you mistakenly think you are. Don’t allow the past to hold you hostage in the present.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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