Positive thinking : Dealing with your past.


Often, you’ll have un-resolved issues from your past that will affect your everyday life, and ability to think positively about the future.  I’ve developed a simple exercise you can perform in 10 minutes, and that will help you moving forwards.

OK, grab a sheet of paper and a pen.  I’m serious.  Stand up and go get some paper.

Now, write your first name in the middle.

Around the outside, draw three stars. Next to each star, you should write a negative experience from your life thus far.  They can literally be anything.  A bully you ran into at school, the death of a relative, a memory of emotionally hurting somebody in a relationship, the time you were a bad friend; anything.  Just make sure they’re things you’re not proud of, or things that you had a hard time dealing with.

Now sit back and admire your simplistic masterpiece of bad experience.  Beautiful, isn’t it?

Next, you need to go through the 3 negative experiences, and do an honest appraisal of them. This includes your behavior during those times, how those experiences made you feel at the time, what you learnt from them, and how you’d deal with the same experiences if they happened tomorrow.  Thinking about these things may take a few minutes if you’ve never done anything like this before, but bear with it – trust me.

Finished?  Good.  Now, in the third person, write a short paragraph and include all three experiences.  Your paragraph might go something like this…

In the past, James has sometimes over-reacted in times when he’s felt disrespected by another person.  He has learnt that it’s important to be assertive & confident, but that it’s important to always be in control and think before he acts.  James once had a relationship where he wasn’t entirely faithful & ended up hurting a really nice person.  He learned a lot about the importance of honesty, especially where the feelings of others are concerned.  In the future, he is going to be honest about his feelings with everyone in his life; especially the important people

… and so on.

You can repeat this exercise as many times as you want, as and when you feel like it’s important.  I like to do it every month or so, just to really honestly look at what I’ve done in that month, and the decisions I’ve made, and what I’ve learned from the good and the bad experiences I’ve had.  It’s important to be able to deal with past issues, so that you can look to the future from the best vantage point possible.

You should remember that everyone has regrets, and that it’s OK to forgive yourself for them, so long as you learn from them moving forwards.  It’s okay if you want to keep it private, but if you’re brave enough, put your paragraph in the comments section below… you never know, you might learn something from the others.


About the author: James



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  • luke moss

    Luke placed too much pressure on himself being good at everything and perfect at what he wants to do. He began to feel never good enough and constantly a failure. He has learnt that he was the one who created these unreachable perfections and that no-one else was judging him, except for himself. He began to accept that sometimes it is okay to fail, to learn mistakes and to find great acceptance in that failure. Most importantly to be able to say, I have done enough. I am enough. Luke lost someone very special to him which caused him great heartache. It broke his heart to find out that person had lied and cheated on him. That they no longer felt the love they once felt between them. He blamed himself. He blamed all the future possibilities of love and he blamed that person. He is still learning to trust people again, that everyone is different and love isnt something which is the same everytime. Maybe some people do care. Maybe some people can be trusted. Maybe people arent all in it for their own gain?? Its something he is still trying to get his head around

  • Aysh has sometimes trusted the wrong people, which in the past has wound up in her getting hurt. However, she now isn’t so quick to trust and has a better judgement of character when meeting new people. Although she had a declining relationship with her Mum, Aysh has learnt the importance of family and forgiveness. Negative thoughts have also caused problems in the past by overtaking Aysh’s mind, but she’s learnt to channel the anger into productivity in order to aid her career. In the future Aysh aims to remember that there are positives in everything and not to let individual negative events play such a big role in her life.

  • lauren

    lauren felt as though she had no one to talk to when these things happened. she has a funny way of putting things off or blaming the people around her, and the way of dealing with these things was bad and she can’t get over that. she was bullied from a young age which made her feel sensitive and feel hurt by people easily as well as develop terrible trust issues for everyone she becomes close with. however ‘easily’ people believed her to cope with her nan dying and the incident last year means that though people believe she is strong, she isn’t as strong as she may make out to be. However, she is learning to grow up and to get on with her life with a positive outlook, to help people and to be there for people but not forget how important it is to every so often think of herself and how she feels about things too. and maybe one day she will feel that she is able to fully trust someone without the fear of being hurt.

  • In the past, Mena has sometimes purposefully blinded herself in situations which she felt she could not deal with. She has learnt that it’s important to face these problems directly with confidence and with the trust that she has reassurance from others around her. Mena also used to provoke others as a reaction to being provoked by others. She has learned that this is not how things will improve and in the future/ since, it is best to be cautious of some people and think before you speak. Overall, Mena has learnt that it is normal to worry and that with time, things get better. Deep breaths also really help.

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