How to Neutralize Past Negative Experiences
By Tania Kotsos
Past negative experiences tend to influence our daily thoughts and actions long after their event. Life is supposed to be a wonderful collection of always new experiences but too often we focus on the negative experiences of our past and so live our life in their presence and create our future in their shadow. Each of your experiences has taken place only once but you may have re-lived them a thousand times in your mind, thereby giving them a thousand times more power than they are due; a thousand more places in your life than they are due; and a thousand more strings to pull you with than they are due. Ultimately, negative experiences can be transformed into positive lessons and so can become the ticket to your success rather than the excess baggage that prevents it.
The Deception of Perception: Know that everything you experience in life is in itself neutral. It is your perception that labels your experiences as good or bad, positive or negative, happy or sad in accordance with your beliefs, which themselves are a product of your perception of your past experiences. Perception, therefore, can be very misleading because it colours your experiences and reinforces your beliefs, irrespective of whether they serve you or not.
Re-Experiencing the Experienced: You cannot experience any reality other than the one you perceive based on your beliefs. So you create something of a cycle, where your experiences validate your beliefs and your beliefs your experiences, with the cycle being virtuous or vicious depending on the nature of your beliefs. This is why most people tend to repeat their experiences whether it is in their relationships, their health, their finances or in any other area. Ask yourself how many times you have drawn the same experience to yourself over and over again. The people or the setting may change but the fundamental experience, or how you felt as a result of it, is the same. This is not coincidence or the luck of the draw. You are always the only common denominator and your inner world the only cause.
Three Steps to Neutralize Negative Experiences: You may find that a specific experience from your past has negatively affected your general outlook on life or your belief in yourself. You may have even forgotten how you felt about life and yourself before it. The influence of a past negative experience may feel very real to you today but this is only because you have carried it with you beyond the one time that it occurred without learning its lesson and the longer you carry something, the heavier it becomes.
To easily free yourself from the grip of a negative experience follow these three steps: 1. Learn its lesson by finding your belief; 2. Change your perception; and 3. Leave it in its rightful place on the imaginary time-line of your life. Each of the steps can be used independently or you may find that one step is more suited to specific experiences. However, using the three together is by far most effective and will yield the most permanent results.
Step 1 - To Learn the Lesson, Find the Belief: Whenever you have a negative experience that causes you pain, it is telling you that something is "wrong" - not with your outer world but with your inner world. Just like physical pain alerts us to a physical problem and allows us to correct it, so mental pain alerts us to a mental problem that needs correcting. Think about it. When you touched a hot flame or stove as a child and burnt yourself, the pain you felt taught you not to do it again. Were it not for the pain, you would have been severely burnt. In the same way, the pain in the mental world is trying to prevent you from getting severely burnt in your life. Learn to see each and every one of your so-called negative experiences as a dear friend coming to tell you what is wrong.
So, What is "Wrong"?: You can discover what is "wrong" in your inner world once you recognise that you create your reality. The truth is that you attracted the negative experience in accordance with your subconscious beliefs. The experience is doing nothing more than letting you see your negative beliefs so that you can change them and hence not repeat the experience. This is growth. Mentally collect your similar experiences together and look for the common thread. You will usually find that one or a number of negative beliefs come up repeatedly, whether it is that you are not good enough, not clever enough, not attractive enough or perhaps that wealth is only for the lucky or that you are not cut out for success; the list is endless.
Finding the Culprit: If the underlying negative belief is not obvious to you, then look at how you felt or reacted during the experience and work backwards from there. Ask yourself why you felt and reacted that way. You can also examine your daily habits, your fears and those outcomes you desperately want to avoid at all costs or that you are otherwise desperately attached to seeing manifest in your life. Your subconscious beliefs drive them all.
Create a Belief List: Alternatively, make a written list of both your positive and negative beliefs about yourself and life. Examine all areas and write down everything that comes to you. Start with your "I ams", e.g. "I am stupid", "I am a failure", "I am attractive" and then add more impersonal terms like "money is", "relationships are", "love is", "life is" and so on. The words that come to you first are usually most accurate. Be honest with yourself.
Look closely at your beliefs because the innocent may in fact be most guilty. For instance, a belief like "I am competitive" may look innocent enough but its influence can be negative because it can make you compare yourself to others and to experience life as being either "a winner" or "a loser", both of which drain you of your authentic power. Once you have your list, it should be easy to match the negative belief to the negative experience. Keep your list in a private place, make notes next to your beliefs and add new ones as they come to you. Use it to assess any experience in your life. Just remember to keep it light.
Take Charge of Your Beliefs: By finding the belief behind a negative experience, you can easily understand how and why you perceived it to be negative. The experience is then positively transformed because you have learnt something about yourself that you can change. Even if you attract that experience again you will be able to instantly see the lesson without the associated pain and take steps to change the belief. Again, the most effective way to change your beliefs is by re-programming your subconscious mind using creative visualization, affirmations and prayer, knowing that you are one with the All-Powerful, All-Knowing Universal Mind for which nothing is impossible. Once you change the belief, the experience need not be repeated again in your life.
Article continued here: How to Change Your Perception about Negative Experiences