Both can be helpful!
I know that some articles advise you to look forward to the future, plan for the future and I agree. But looking back can also help you to see what influences you’ve had in your life so you are better equipped to use that learning and experience for a ‘better personal future’!
Lots of my client work is with people who are unaware of who influenced their choices and decisions throughout their life, who held them back perhaps from their own plans and why that was possible.
Sometimes people come to me ‘confused’, whilst that confusion is sometimes also self-blame – when in fact, it is because of their experiences and expectations causing the confusion from past and present clashing inconsistently with each other. And they learn to develop their own value system to live by as we all need to do, and check their belief systems actually match their values and expectations, and how experience might change this for them.
Counselling is renowned for ‘always looking back at childhood issues’ instead of looking forward to what might be. Well, yes it might be!
And hence the life coaching side of my work helps people – even in counselling – to perhaps look at managing changes step by step towards the life they want in the future. Counselling resolves past issues that affect your current situation, and only then can you move forward to be who you really are meant to be.
The confusion or ‘dissonance’ in your life is probably due to the fact these things are in conflict all the time – how you feel and how you act and the emotional impact on you.
As we grow we learn – as we widen our experience, our horizons, we learn even more and see different ideas in action and new options for us too. And this can create the dissonance – the mis-match between our beliefs and what we see and hear around us. This can create the discontent, the ‘confusion’ people feel. Something is ‘off’, things don’t ‘sit right anymore’.
We change as we learn and we grow and as we see new opportunities we decide if we can or should take them!
Our history, our environment as we developed from babies to children to teens and young people – these really do affect our adult lives daily! So understanding the effect of these – values imposed by parents, beliefs by religion, cultural ‘norms’ in our local environment all create our view of life and the world. The world around us and the wider world too, society and what is right and wrong. If this differs from how we were brought up, confusion reigns!
Counselling works by helping you to see yourself both as you see yourself and also as others might see you and relate to you. You can identify the problems and find solutions for yourself or with support, you can make changes once you have seen where things are awry in your life, or decide that the status quo is just fine too! It’s up to you. You are in charge of your life, you are responsible for the choices you make and the decisions that affect your future. So the more you know, the more personal power you have to make the right choice for yourself and the future you want! Make informed choices and effective decisions that get you where you want and need to be to feel happy, healthy and fulfilled!
Maslow's hierarchy of human needs - from survival to fulfillment and living life in the 'flow' of who you really are meant to be!