Change Your Perspective of Time

Tool #2:
Change Your Past, Present & Future

You can place all your behaviors and circumstances into three categories; past, present and future. The perspective you hold on each of these time frames impacts your thoughts and feelings. Here are some useful perspectives that will encourage you to become more self-accepting.

Accepting Your Past:
You Are ALWAYS Doing Your Best

always doing your bestYou are always doing the best you can, based on your current beliefs. Every single action you have ever taken thus far in your life was based on what you thought was true at the time, what you wanted to happen, and what you feared might happen.

You have made profoundly logical choices that were your best effort to satisfy a legitimate desire. In a sense, you had no choice but to choose what you chose. Any person that held the exact same beliefs, fears, and desires as you, would have made the same decisions. You may not have been aware of the beliefs that fueled your choices, but they played a significant role.

There are always reasons for the things we do. Most people have not spent much time investigating those reasons. If you were to trace your thoughts from behavior back to belief, you would see a logical progression of reasons. Sometimes it doesn’t always appear that we’re doing our best to others, like in the case of suicide.

Suicide – The best choice?
Is the person who kills themselves really doing their best? At that point in time, ending their life appeared to be the best option to escape the pain they were experiencing. If they had believed there was a better way, they would have certainly taken it. It's only logical. No one wants to die, but when you believe you have exhausted all means of escaping physical or emotional pain, death can look mighty appealing. Some believe survival is instinctive, but suicide defies that assumption. If we were born with any instinct at all, it’s to repel from pain, and move towards feeling good. It's in all its creatures, big and small.

So what’s the use of regret? You can’t go back in time and change your beliefs. You should have known better? Well, you didn’t. So don’t punish yourself for not knowing or believing something you didn’t know or believe. Accept the decisions you have made thus far in your life and work at better understanding your beliefs from here on out. Cut yourself some slack.

Accepting Your Present:
Nothing is Permanent But Change

One of the challenges of accepting ourselves is thinking whatever it is we don’t like is a permanent state of being. Very little in life is guaranteed with one exception; change. It’s the only thing we CAN count on.

Take some aspect of yourself you don’t like. Can you accept how things are for now? What if you knew the future would be better? Viewing what you don’t like as temporary state can be extremely useful at feeling at peace about it. Remember, we can ride out the Winters and Spring shows up eventually.

Let’s say one of the things you don’t like about yourself is the fact that you smoke. If you thought you were going to smoke for the rest of your life, you might find it difficult to accept. But if you accept the fact that you are a smoker for now, it will relax the tension around this behavior you want to change. And when you’re desire for change is powerful, you can closely examine your reasons for smoking and flush them out. Then you can build the dream of what it will be like to be a non-smoker, and begin the process of changing this habit by adopting new beliefs.

Hope for the Future:
Anything is possible.

optimisim and pessimismUnless you’ve been gifted with some type of psychic power, you can’t know what the future will hold. You could pretend that it will be bad or pretend that it will be good.

Since it’s an unknown, why not make it up that it will be great? Some people act as if it’s more practical or realistic to pretend it will be bad. That’s nonsensical. Neither unknown is more realistic. So why not imagine a future that generates feelings of hope, inspiration and excitement? You can really have fun with this. Picture a future that that includes everything you’ve ever wanted and leaves you feeling high as a kite. The more real you can make it feel, the more stoked you’ll feel to take action.

Optimism verses Pessimism.
Optimism and pessimism are an attitude towards the future. It’s a belief about an outcome that hasn't happened yet and unless you have some form of ESP you just don’t know. You’re guessing. Therefor neither of them is "more right". They're simply perspectives. But we can look at the effects the different perspectives have on our attitude and behavior. I actually find using a bit of both of them is extremely useful. I am extremely optimistic about the future AND I think about what could go wrong and take action to alleviate those possibilities.

Optimism does not equal carelessness. There’s an assumption may make about “positive thinking”. And that is one of carelessness. There are REASONS for our pessimism. Sometimes we anticipate the worst so as not to be disappointed. Sometimes we use it to take action against catastrophe. If you lean more towards the “glass half empty”, it would be useful to look at your reasons.
Neither a positive or negative perspective is true but you get to pick which one will help you or trip you up.


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Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.

― Marilyn Monroe

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.

― Albert Einstein