Do we carry our ancient history around like excess baggage or do we use it as a productive and inspiring tool to free us from doubt, embarrassment and failure?

Well, that depends on each individual BUT whatever we normally do, we can change it to the productive and inspiring tool! Banish the excess baggage.

Why am I thinking about this you might ask? Because I have truckloads of ancient history and for a long time I let it sit around like excess baggage, getting dusty, smelly and totally unpleasant.

I have a wonderful best friend, we have known each other for ever and incredibly well. We are the type that can be distracted by other things in our life and not catch up for about 5 years and it carries on as though we spoke yesterday. We can say anything no matter how awful, indiscreet, shameful or downright horrid and we are still there for each other come rain or shine. We were talking about some of the problems we had from the past and how it had affected us, whether it still does and how we got over it, what we still needed to do to make it right… you get the idea, a real deep, painful, revealing heart to heart – ours involved our rather complicated relationships with our mothers and how we had reacted, our thoughts, emotions, insecurities and subsequent actions…

Not everyone has a best friend like mine, I know but there are other and equally effective ways of releasing the past and channelling the effects of it to a new and positive use for the future.

Think of the situations where you feel uncomfortable, unhappy, embarrassed, insecure, a failure… write them down – all of them.

Think of your childhood relationships, your upbringing, your teachers and what you didn’t like about any of them.

For both of these themes think about why, but not the superficial why, the deep down emotional why.

Did you do something considered ‘wrong’, did you ‘fail’, did you feel silly, hurt, worried, unsure?

Were they trying to make you someone you aren’t? Were they trying to force their beliefs and measurements of success on you? Were they cruel, was it humiliating, did they sneer, did they ignore you, did they misunderstand what you were trying to say or do? Did they have a different dream or desire in their life and push you aside?

Now instead of thinking “I should have done or felt x, y or z”, turn it around and think what it tells you about you. You can learn what you don’t like or believe in. You can see the situations that just don’t interest you or where you don’t feel energised. You can understand the type of people, mentalities, attitudes that don’t match with yours.

Go one step further and if you felt a real problem with a specific person consider that maybe it wasn’t you, it was them, they have something not good in their life or thoughts and you just happened to be at the receiving end of their pain.

All too often we take something to heart when it really is nothing personal and nothing to do with us…

Now look at all these discoveries you have made – there are some great lessons here that you can really use in the future to avoid or say no to things you don’t want to do or don’t like, and to understand complicated situations where you can turn the knowledge and experience gained into a productive and inspiring way to proceed.

Wouldn’t you rather be in this happier, more inspiring place?

Anna Letitia Cook
Anna Letitia Cook

Anna Letitia Cook - author, speaker, radio presenter - is passionate about mentoring women in finding clarity and fulfilment in their life choices. She created and became CEO of her first company in the entertainment industry at age 32. Midlife approaching, hungry for a dynamic change, she refocused her experience, founding WomenUP Ltd to help women shape their own future. Creator of the 'SCOPE' and '4Fs' processes for career, fulfilment and holistic success. Author of ‘Unstoppable Goddess: Every Women’s Guide to Freedom, Fulfilment and Success’. UN Women's 2016-2017 Global Champion for Change @ Empower Women. ...On the personal front: Mum, Granny, ‘flattie’ owner, horse lover, ballet fanatic, hiker! Into castle renovations, sculpture, farming, yoga. Drinks tea...