Using Past as Fuel for Future
“Who we are in the present includes who we were in the past. Mr Rogers
We all have them – life is a journey and those past struggles we’ve been through that both seem to confine us, hinder us, frighten us, and bog us down. And, however we wish they wouldn’t – those memories influence how we interact with the world around us.
“…your ability to envision the future is strongly influenced by your memory for the past,” says Art Markman, Ph.D. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ulterior-motives/201108/your-view-the-future-is-shaped-the-past
The places we’ve been, the things we’ve seen, the relationships we’ve had; those are a part of who we are.
They don’t need to dictate who we become as leaders and coaches. They don’t need to dictate what we accomplish.
Use the Springboard…
“It’s not your circumstances that define your future,” said Michele Obama to a room full of high school students in 2013, “it’s your attitude.” http://fusion.net/michelle-obama-to-10th-graders-don-t-let-your-past-de-1793840096
She may have been talking to an auditorium filled with students, but the sentiment is the same. We get to choose how and when our pasts – whatever they contain – shape our futures. We get to be the kings and queens of our own lives. Never rewriting our histories, but confidently shaping the days, weeks, months, and years to come.
As leaders and coaches, it’s our job to remember our pasts; to use our wealth of experience to inform our understanding of the world around us, and to enrich our interactions with others – especially those we coach.
Walk the Tightrope…
If we’re dogged by memories and haunted by fear, we can’t help our clients overcome their own struggles, and embrace their true potential, yet, if we forget the challenges in our pasts, we risk losing valuable insights that make our coaching just that much more effective.
It’s a fine balance – and it’s your job to walk the tightrope.
Remember that where you come from and what you have experienced is a valuable part of you.
Most importantly though, however intense, informative, or haunting those memories are – remember that you are in power, and you get to choose whether they hinder or help your life.