Why Your Past Does Not Predict Your Future (the latter of which has every potentiality of being what you dream)
Sunday January 7, 2024

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A perplexing paradox of manifesting the vision we have in our mind’s eye about our life in the future involves letting go.

Letting go and enjoying the journey, trusting that we, due to our clarity pairing it with behavior and choices that nourish our intention, will manifest what we now imagine to be possible, or hope will be possible, but is not yet our reality.

So when it comes to understanding that our past does not predict our future, we demonstrate our trust in what we cannot know for certain, but we when we realize with certainty that our future will not be our past, we are already clearing the path forward of unnecessary obstacles. Why? Simply by forging a different path forward we are acknowledging that the past didn’t fulfill us, or won’t fulfill us as we now have grown from the person we once were.

Awareness of this life truth, our past does not predict our future, gives us the first step toward attaining the intentions, hopes and dreams we set forth with the beginning of this new year that is 2024.

As I shared in the first post of this year, over these first two months of 2024 here on TSLL, I will be sharing posts and episodes to provide inspiration as well as tools to give you the best possibility to bring to fruition what may now be a dream but can absolutely be your reality (the first episode of this new year shared last week was a favorite of listeners – have a read/listen).

Let’s first begin with why we fear the past will predict our future: Our lizard minds needs to know, and unless we understand how our mind works, we will forever remain the passenger in our lives rather than the driver.

Our mind is an amazing tool, but until we understand how it functions and how we can optimize it to be our ally, it can cause us to feel defeated even before we begin. However, the lizard mind doesn’t present such fear as a defeatist truth. Of course not! Rather, the lizard mind presents the fear or doubt as a way of protecting us from the unknown. Why? The lizard mind needs to know, and if it doesn’t know, it retreats to what it does know even if that is an unhealthy or limited way of living.

~We have talked about the mind many times here on TSLL, so I will refer you to these posts — how to master the mind, taming the overthinking mind, how to change your brain so your mind (and thus you!) can thrive — as they provide specific tools, research and practices to retaining the gift of your mind so that it is your ally, not mastering you which prevents progress toward your most fulfilling life.~

Roxie Nafousi reminds, “fear and doubt often mask themselves as friends trying to protect you from [perceived] inevitable disappointment, when, in reality, they are actively holding you back from unlocking the abundance of the universe.” It is important to note the difference of fear and doubt as they are rooted in key differences with ultimately the same goal – to stop us from seeking the change we desire. Doubt arises because our current situation resembles something that has occurred in our past, so it is dubious about whether or not we should do the same thing (or so it thinks is the same) because why would we? And fear is a response to the unknown, something we have never attempted or experienced before.

Both fear and doubt arise because each erroneously thinks they are protecting us, but here is where the guiding premise of today’s post comes in, your past does not predict your future. Once we understand why this is true, we set ourselves free to journey along the course of our lives knowing that when we will eventually reach the outcome we seek, and no unnecessary stress or energy will be experienced or expended.

How can we know this to be true?

Because we have grown, we are more awareness and the mere fact that we desire change due to knowing ourselves more deeply and completely is because of what we have learned from our past (explore my first book Choosing The Simply Luxurious Life where I write in-depth about how to get to know your true self). Our past lives didn’t possess such knowledge. How could it have? However, again, our doubt arises because ‘here we go again, trying to improve/change/etc. and we know how that worked out last time?” – at least that is what the doubt and fear want us to believe to be true. Well, yes, we do know how it turned out last time, but we have new tools now, we have more awareness about ourselves and the truth as to why certain desired outcomes in the past didn’t materialize (explore TSLL’s second book Living The Simply Luxurious Life for two detailed chapters on what those tools each of us can learn are and how they benefit our lives). We know more, we are wiser and the past provided us with this knowledge which is now being utilized to do better because we know more.

Nafousi offers pointed advice to combat fear and doubt when it arises as you begin to make the changes that will eventually lead to the cultivation of the life you wish to live and experience by simply saying this mantra, your past doesn’t dictate your future. Say it out loud to make sure you hear it. Say it again to ensure you trust the wisdom it contains.

I appreciate her verb choice, dictate, because when we let ourselves fall prey to falsely believing our past will repeat itself in our future no matter what our efforts, we are giving away our power, we are giving away what we can control – ourselves, meaning our mind and thus our actions. When in reality, we can never give away the capabilities within us, the tools we have cultivated, tools we didn’t have when the past played out as it did. We are not that person. We are more than that person could have been because again, we have grown, we are more aware, we are more self-loving as Nafousi reminds, and we now understand the power of manifestation (listen to/read this post that was inspired by Nafousi’s first book Manifest).

Another simple tip for taking the ‘scary’ out of our the fears and doubts that try to hold us back from changing our lives as we desire is to write it out: Take out your journal and write them all down. When we hold them in our mind, they grow exorbitantly big and seemingly untameable, but by writing them down, we put them in their place, we see them for what they are, and if we are willing to practice awareness, we can accurately pinpoint where they came from and why we have them so that we can heal ourselves. Nafousi’s new book Manifest in Action focuses on the practice of manifesting, sharing multiple exercises you can do, primarily, but not all, through journaling, and many you can do right in the book itself.

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For example in the chapter titled “Remove Fear and Doubt” she proposes these questions to ask ourselves (and the write down the answers in response) when fear and/or doubt arise:

  • What is the one thing you currently want to manifest?
  • What is something that happened in your past that has made you doubt its possibility?
  • How have I grown since that time and what have I learned?
  • What could I do differently to ensure a different outcome?

When we face the fears and doubts head on, we demand to see if they have any substance. Similar to Byron Katie’s four questions:

  • (1) Is [what I fear/doubt will happen] true? (if you answer ‘no’, then skip to #3);
  • (2) Can I absolutely know it’s true [provide concrete evidence, not just fallacies of worry]?;
  • (3) How do you react—what happens—when you believe that thought?;
  • (4) Who would you be without the thought? In other words, if we cannot prove that what we fear or doubt is true we are getting in our own way of traveling on the the necessary road that will lead to the changes we seek.

When I reflect on my own past upon occasions when the outcome I desired didn’t materialize, with the awareness I now have, I can be honest with myself and clearly identify why it didn’t work out. Let me share a few ahas I have discovered over the years:

  • I was impatient and the desired outcome didn’t happen in ‘my timeline’, so I stopped giving the effort necessary when I was already on the path that would have led me to where I wanted.
  • The outcome was not solely dependent upon my actions. In other words, I didn’t trust the universe to know what was best for me.
    • I write about this in detail in my recent book The Road to Le Papillon: Daily Meditations on True Contentment, even when we do all that we can, to the best of our ability, the outcomes that unfold are happening to help us even if at the time it isn’t what we hoped would occur. From relationships to career dreams, each and all of these involve other people, and we do not have control over them, and it is not our task to control them. We only have the responsibility of ourselves.
  • My intentions were not clear (to me, and therefore unclear to the universe as well) and so it was easy to be distracted, pulled off course or dawdle.
  • I didn’t trust that what I was working toward, giving my best efforts would involve temporary moments of frustration, at times feeling as though no progress was being made, and not realizing that growth/progress can happen in instant spurts seemingly occurring at a moments/day’s notice. I just needed to trust the process of growing/evolving/learning.
  • I focused, as I was working toward a desired outcome, on the future rather than enjoying the journey and savoring the everyday along the way. Therefore, eventually, I became exhausted because I wasn’t nourishing myself, giving myself the self-care regularly that I needed, thus why savoring, consciously being present and seeing and witnessing all that is going well around us, is a priceless gift that will help lead us to the outcome we have directed our life towards.

It is week two in the new year, and hopefully the first week began well, but if we as step into this second week or any week in the near future you find yourself letting your fears or doubts take the wheel of your life, today’s post is for you. Now you have three various approaches (Nafousi’s, Katie’s and mine) for thwarting fear and doubt and continuing forward, trusting yourself that so long as your intention is your own and you are pointed in the direction with clarity, eventually, when the universe and your timing align, you will arrive. And along the way, enjoy the journey. Savor, savor, savor.

Image: captured by TSLL – ancient rock ruins in the medieval ville of Vaison la-Romaine, Provence, France (2018)


5 thoughts on “Why Your Past Does Not Predict Your Future (the latter of which has every potentiality of being what you dream)

  1. Good morning! I wanted to let you know this post came at the absolute right time for me. Thank you. I appreciate all you do.

  2. I loved this post for the new year. And particularly recognised your points about being impatient when goals don’t materialise in my timeline and not savouring the journey towards it. My focus this year is going to be simply getting into a good routine in my new role and back to feeling like myself in terms of fitness and well-being, instead of setting a date I’d like to be “back in my jeans” for (or something similar), my intention will be to just enjoy taking what daily exercise I can and spending time with baby Hale each day.
    I have heard great things about Roxie Nafousi’s book Manifest so look forward to reading it,

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