Looking at Your Past for Self Directed Habit Change

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Looking at Your Past for Self Directed Habit Change
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Today I just wanted to do a really quick video about looking at your past and to me I think there are a couple of different ways of looking at your past.

You can either look at your past as being something that you don’t like, that you want to get rid of.

That there are many mistakes that you made in your past that if you could go back you’d change them again, you’d alter things around and do things differently.

I think we all have this to a certain degree .

You have to look at this from a certain perspective

If you could go backwards and you could change what is happening in your past, then how do you know that you are going to like the person you become?

If you don’t like the person that you are now, how do you know that if you go backwards in time, change everything that’s gone on or change certain aspects of your life and you become a different person, you know?

I mean some of the best things in my life.

My Son, for instance, the Woman that I’m with now, Esther, where I am now in my life.

If I could go back and change certain aspects of my youth for instance, then a lot of these things might not have happened to me and that would definitely mean a lesser life than the one that I’ve got now.

It could mean that I have different things that are better, but why would I ever take the gamble?

Not that I can take the gamble, but I’m just saying if we could do that, if we could move backwards and change these things, then how do we know the outcome is going to be better?

The second way of looking at things is basically perspective. 

You can look back at your past and you can say well I’ve done these things in my past.

I can’t really help what has gone on – which is the truth – you can’t change anything that’s happened in the past, so this is all just a very mute topic.

We alter a lot of the things, we effect a lot of our present decisions or our future decisions, because of how we think about our past – the perceptions about our own past – so this is a very important point.

If you look at your own past with regret, or with guilt or with shame.

With thinking that – “I’d love to go back and change all these things”, then it sort of effects how you are going to move forward on a day to day basis.

You can only take it step by step.

You can only take it from now and move forward, in a step by step approach

And each one of those individual choices.

Each one of those individual decisions that you’re going to make now, can be affected by your past, will be affected by your past, not by the actual physically past – the things that have gone on – but how you think about them.

How you put your thoughts into your own past efforts.

If you look at it and you go “well, I shouldn’t have done that, I feel guilty about that and this just makes me a bad person” – then your perspective going forwards is of you as something less than what it should be.

In actual fact what you get every day is a new start, every moment you move forward you’ve got a new start.

You’ve got a new way of looking at things, you’ve got a choice to make, a decision to make and that choice is basically whether to go one or to go another way.

Whether to stop drinking or not to stop drinking.

Whether to eat shit food or not to eat shit food.

Whether to exercise or not to exercise.

Whether to do..  it’s all in your control.

And it’s all based – not on your past – but the decision that you make right now, in this moment.

Another thing is that anything that you’ve done in the past can be used in your present

To inform, to educate yourself, to help you make the decisions about your future and where you’re going to go from now on, if you look at it in the right way.

For instance: I can look at my thirty odd years of drinking as just a complete waste of time.

I often look at it now and I think well you know all the times that I used to drink – especially in the last ten, fifteen, twenty years of my life – since I got to maybe twenty-five and you start getting problems and you start dealing with your problems through drinking alcohol and it’s a slippery slope from then on.

But my point here is that I can look at that, the whole twenty-year period say and I can think to myself “well that was a complete waste of time”

As I said, a lot of the times I can look back now and because I drank for social reasons, because I drank for – that was my release at the end of the working week or at the end of the working day – that’s what I used to do.

It became like, what’s the best way of putting this?

It became like a Groundhog Day.

Do you remember the film with Bill Murray?

It was the same thing, it was repeated over and over and over again.

That I can’t really remember very many isolated, any individual instances, where I was enjoying myself.

Any individual memories.

It’s all sort of clumped together in this one big drink-fuelled memory, if you like. 

Since I’ve quit drinking, that’s completely different because everything that I’ve done – you know I might be working, I might be going out walking, I might be doing all these other things – I can remember individual things because it wasn’t alcohol-fuelled for a start.

So the memory is there.

It wasn’t just the same thing, whereas the alcohol was basically just drinking.

Maybe in a different place, so I may be drinking in a Pub, I might be drinking in a different Pub, I might be drinking at home, I might be drinking in a restaurant, might be drinking at somebody else’s house, but it was all alcohol.

But now it’s completely different.

Where was I?  The whole point is that once you quit drinking, you can use your experiences from your alcohol days, as fuel to carry on, so you can use this, all the twenty years, or the thirty years or the ten years or the fifteen years or whatever it is that you’ve been drinking.

I use my experiences now to fuel my onward progress.

To make sure that I never go back, because I know I understand what alcohol has done to me and what alcohol meant to my life and what it would mean if I brought it back into my life now.

From that perspective, I’ve learnt from that and I will never bring it back in again.

There’s also, it wasn’t just one big alcohol-fuelled life, where I don’t remember anything.

I remember lots.

And I learnt a lot of things about myself and about other people, so you can never discount an addiction and say “well you know that whole period was just a waste of time” because it wasn’t.

So again it all depends on perspective, on how you view these things.

If you look at it like a complete waste of time and you say “well, you know, I’m just going to sweep that underneath the carpet now and pretend it never happened” then I think you are losing on a massive opportunity to learn about yourself.

So in the days leading up to your quitting and afterwards, when you’ve stopped drinking, never discount those memories and those experiences that you’ve had because you can be educated by them.

You can’t change your past

The only way you can alter your past in any shape or form, is in your head and how you perceive yourself and your actions in the past, your thoughts in the past, whatever it is.

And you can choose whether to look at those things in a positive light or a negative light.

I’ll always encourage you to think about everything like this, in as much of a positive light as you can.

The negativity is in the doing.

The negativity is in the still drinking.

If you’re still drinking alcohol.

If you’re still picking up the alcohol and putting it into your gob, then that’s negative, because you are still carrying on, you haven’t learnt anything by it.

If you’ve stopped doing it, then think about the previous alcohol use and take out that positivity, as much as you can.

I’m not talking about looking at sitting in the pub, scoffing a load of pints with your mates as being a positive thing to do, because it’s not.

It’s a negative thing to do in your life because you’re poisoning your body for the sake of having a laugh or having a bit of fun and stuff and that’s never good right?

It should be nutrition first, caring for yourself first and entertainment second

So you first look at anything that you’re going to do and see if it’s going to benefit you in some way.

So either it’s going to give you a good education.

It’s going to be beneficial for you nutritionally.

It’s going to be beneficial for you, that you are getting out and you’re mixing with people and that kind of stuff.

Then entertainment.

That’s all I really want to say.

As with anything in life you’ve got a choice in how you view the past

It’s no point in viewing your past in negative ways.

Just try and take as much optimistic fodder out of your past as you can, to carry forward into your future, because the more optimistic you can be about yourself, the more you are going to build up you own self-confidence, your own self-esteem.

The easier your journey is going to be going forwards so.

If you’ve got any questions at all, any comments about this, then leave them down below.

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Until next time...
Stay Safe
Keep the alcohol out of your mouth
Take Care
Onwards and Upwards!

The past has given you the strength and wisdom you have today, so celebrate it. Don't let it haunt you

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About The Author

Kevin O'Hara

If you want help quitting drinking alcohol, I recommend you join our Mastermind Coaching Program. Here you will find all the help you need with daily exclusive informative videos, Q&A's, and monthly Roundtables on relevant topics. The Mastermind Coaching Group has many supportive members at various stages of their journey. Here you'll find non-judgemental motivation, support, and accountability. Click here for more information.

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