Here's how to free yourself from what no longer serves you, to make room for what you actually need to kick-ass in 2019.
Aaah, January. The motivation to stick to our new year plans is still high. We feel excited about our new resolutions, new intentions, and new targets. But what do we make of the year we’ve just left behind?
As the authors of our own life stories, we should be free to edit them as much as we like.
Our life > our stories > our script.
We all experience life differently, through our unique perspectives built on a combination of individual characters, beliefs, external influences we pick up along the way, and much more.
Perspectives are subjective and changeable, hence we can potentially tweak our experience of the past, too.
After all, what are experiences if not a collection of thoughts that create our perception of events, which we then file in our memory folders?
Our Memories are Unreliable and Changeable
Findings from psychological research and neuroscience studies show that memory is not 100% reliable – but is, in fact, susceptible to distortion.
We use our own knowledge and experiences to reconstruct a memory (known as memory's ‘bias’), and it can change further as we receive new information and feedback from others.
How often have we shared a story with friends only to find that they see it totally differently, whether they were a part of it or not? We listen in awe and think: “I didn’t see it that way!”.
As a result, our own feelings for that story change and without even noticing it we amend it as we tell it again. Our recollection of it is revised because the knowledge and emotions we attached to what happened are no longer the same.
The good news is, you can benefit from this “memory glitch” to free yourself.
When recalling past moments, we tend to either be harsh on ourselves by over-emphasizing what we think went wrong or did wrong or else we remember only what makes us feel good or the parts that work in our favour (often called selective memory).
There is no right or wrong. There are simply different ways to experience the same situation.
Each one of us views the world with the knowledge they have and attach their own thoughts and emotions to it. To some that situation meant nothing at all; to others, it meant the world and they lose sleep over it.
Give Yourself a Gift of Freedom from the Past
As we embark on this new year, this is a perfect time to clear anything that still lingers in our minds.
So why not gift yourself the freedom of changing your memory of anything that no longer serves you in a good way. Instead, update it with a new positive outlook.
Pick an event that you wish to change. This would be one that you don’t feel too good about and that keeps repeating in your head, creating negative feelings that stop you from moving forward.
This may also be a much older belief or memory that still cropped up over the year. You can go as far back as you wish.
Write it all down, ideally using a pen and paper so you can go really creative with notes and drawings too. Alternatively, you can create a blank new file on your PC, if you want to have fun using track-changes.
Write it all out as you currently remember it. Be as honest and detailed as you can, include imagery and feelings in so far as you can recall.
Where were you, what were you wearing, who else was there, what else was going on around you, how did you feel? Add as much detail, colour and experience as you wish into the picture.
Now put on the magic positive glasses, the ones that force you to see it all in a brighter and kinder light.
You have no choice now but to amend, re-write and/or delete events to how you’d prefer to remember it. Turn it into a version that will no longer make you feel down, but a new version that will empower you and FREE you for 2019!
How does it work?
As we review our revisions a few times over, our brain will keep on auto-saving the changes. Turning the changed memory into your new reality.
Here are some simple examples of creative re-writing:
From: “I wish I hadn’t done that, I made a fool of myself”
To: “I did what felt right at the time, it was such a brave thing to do.”
From: “I wasted so much time on that person, I will never speak to him again”
To: “I am so glad for the time spent on that person, I learned so much and feel grateful for the lesson”.
From: “Everyone knows so much more than me, I will never be good enough”.
To: “Everyone's knowledge was so inspiring, and my own experience will add value.”
Bonus: This exercise also works wonders to emphasize even further an already fabulous moment of your life. Enhance the positive experiences you’ve had.
This technique is only recommended to change our past for the better, to serve us and others in a positive way. We have all seen what happened in Back to the Future, when we tamper wrongly with our past!
Plus, memorizing our past with negativity is something we already do too often, unfortunately. Let’s change that habit.
Your gift is to FREE yourself from all the negatives by sprucing up all those memories and thoughts that limit your progress.