TIME TO PLAN FOR 2019 – BUT CAN WE STILL CHANGE 2018?
It’s December and many of us have started planning the New Year ahead. New resolutions, new intentions and new targets. But what do we make of the year we’re leaving behind?
They say we are the authors of our own life stories, in which case can we edit our stories as much as we like? Our life, our story, 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?
Findings from psychological research and neuroscience studies show that memory is not 100% reliable – and 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.
When recalling past moments, we tend to either be harsh on ourselves by over-emphasising 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 view 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.
CHRISTMAS GIFT OF FREEDOM FROM THE PAST
As we prepare for a new year, this is a perfect time to clear anything that still lingers in our minds.
So this Christmas, 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 pen and paper so you can go really creative with notes and drawings too, but you can also create a blank new file on your PC, if you want to have fun using track-change.
Here are some simple examples.
Current Memory: “I wish I hadn’t done that, I made a fool of myself” and “I wasted so much time on that person, I will never speak to him again”.
New Positive Version: “I did what felt right at the time, it was such a brave thing to do!” and “I am so glad for the time spent on that person, I learnt so much and feel grateful for the lesson”.
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 positive 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!
[Bonus: This exercise also works wanders to emphasise even further an already fabulous moment of your life. Enhance the positive experiences you’ve had.]
As we review our revision a few times over, our brain will keep on auto-saving the changes.
So do play this game with due care and attention, because the changes will become more and more real in your mind. 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, memorising our past with negativity is something we already do too often unfortunately.
Your gift is to FREE yourself from those negatives by giving those bad memories a lovely festive seasonal Winter-clean.