By Bill Auxier, Ph.D.
You had a controlling mother, which explains why you freeze up around authority figures. Your parents doted on you, that’s why you don’t concern yourself with the rules and do whatever you want. Your parents never said you were good enough, that’s why you constantly seek approval. Most psychologists contend that we can understand our current behavior by understanding our past. Understanding the past can be an excellent tool, but if you want to evolve and change for the better, understanding the past may not help, it depends on how you deal with it. The past cannot be changed. You can. Accept the past, learn from the past and move forward.
Living in the past is something that many of us do, myself included. The past lets us blame someone else for the stuff that goes wrong in our lives. If you ever catch yourself starting a sentence with, “When I was a kid…” or “When I was first starting out in this business…” or “If my old boss would have caught you doing that…” you just might be guilty of living in the past and using that as a crutch to blame short comings on.
Some use this same technique as a subtle form of bragging. “When I was a kid, we couldn’t afford a vacation, let alone going to Europe like we are.” Using the past to highlight our success is just as annoying as using the past to blame our failure.
Don’t live in the past, learn from it to become a more effective leader. Stop blaming others for choices you make that result in success or failure.