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Seeing yourself through the eyes of the past and the limits that may impose

Do not let the past keep you from expanding your future
Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Whether you realize it or not, you are not the same person today as you may have grown up believing you were. Also, to the outside world, you are likely not the same person you perceive yourself to be. Spending however many years in the images we create of ourselves based on how family and friends view us and the achievements, or perceived lack thereof, of our past may truly not be how other people we meet along the way view us.

So much of how and who we believe ourselves to be comes from the images formed in and throughout our youth. The place we held in the family lineup, the parenting style (including degree of affection, positive/negative reinforcement, or abuse) of our families, and popularity in school go into forming the self-impressions we take with us into adulthood and into arenas, such as going away to college, getting grown up jobs, joining the military, or traveling abroad, that transcend the world in which we grew.

If opportunities arise that the you of days past would have enjoyed trying but would not have due to some self-imposed perception of being incapable or undeserving, then each and every one of these opportunities presents the chance to hit the reset button and expand your undertakings. If a project comes up at work that you feel would provide a spotlight for your talents or would be a stepping stone to the next level, then go for it. If there is something you would like to learn or has caught the interest of present day you, find an online or local class in the subject and become a person who pursues that study.

To a certain degree, you can reinvent yourself from the person you grew into with discipline and with the understanding that people in your new surroundings do not know the “you” you were at eight, or at 12, or at 17 and they have not lumped you into the box in which you feel you belong. If there are limiting or self-sabotaging habits or behaviors that you feel you keep repeating because of roles you held in your family, with friends, or in your school dynamic, you can set forth plans to work on broadening those horizons.

For all those things you would have liked to try but did not, take advantage of each related opportunity that arises and realize that every day offers you a new chance to get involved in something that sparks your interest. If you feel there is room for improvement in the way you would feel about yourself then there is absolutely no reason to allow old beliefs of yourself to block you from growing into the you of tomorrow.

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