Unfinished Business, Part I: How Making Peace With Your Past Creates a Brighter Future

“You can accept or reject the way you are treated by other people, but until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed. You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex, but eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life. You must find the strength to open the wounds, stick your hands inside, pull out the core of the pain that is holding you in your past, the memories, and make peace with them.” – Iyanla Vanzant

When we have unfinished business, which can sometimes be unaddressed past trauma, it is impossible to live life to its fullest. Making peace with your past is essential if you want to reach your goals, whether those are fitness, financial, emotional, mental, spiritual, or relationship-based goals. Let’s explore how unfinished business affects us and how we can uncover hidden things we are holding onto, setting ourselves up for more success in the future.


What Is Unfinished Business?

Unfinished business can often be unaddressed past trauma.

Let’s take a moment to look at two types of past trauma: Small “t” and large “T.” We all know about big trauma – things like sexual assault, childhood abuse, or experiencing an armed robbery. Many people don’t realize there is also small trauma, which can also hold you back from achieving real victories.

Even if you think, “I didn’t have any ‘real’ trauma in my younger years. My parents didn’t abuse me, and I didn’t use drugs or alcohol. I haven’t had anything major happen to me,” there could still be small trauma lurking in your past.

Whether you have small “t” or large “T,” your mind reacts similarly. As a result, you are left with self-sabotaging thoughts, flashbacks, over-reactions, and negative emotions that can affect your daily life.

We must dig deep to see if any unfinished business – even if it is small “t” like childhood bullying, a divorce, or past interpersonal conflict – is holding us back from reaching our goals.


How Unfinished Business Affects Our Lives

Sometimes people make the mistake of letting the past define their present. If we’re not careful, this sabotaging thought process – even if it is subconscious – can ruin our future too.

One of the biggest mistakes in goal setting is not making peace with your past.

Let’s check out an example: If you want to get healthy and finally lose those 30 pounds, but you have unresolved trauma of childhood “fat shaming” and haven’t forgiven yourself for your past health mistakes, do you think you will be successful in achieving your goals? Probably not.

However, if you deal with your unfinished business, make peace with your past, rebuke your self-sabotaging thoughts, forgive yourself and others, and develop a newfound self-love, you will set the stage for reaching your health goals.

While this is just one example of how unfinished business works, countless others exist. What is your unfinished business? How will making peace with your past set you up for more success in the future?


Sneaky Thoughts Hiding Behind Unfinished Business

As we alluded to, unfinished business creates self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviors that keep you from reaching your full potential. Have you ever had any of these thoughts?

  • I won’t achieve my goal because I’ve always failed in the past.
  • I could never be successful in that line of work – I’m too afraid to approach people.
  • This relationship will probably fail because I’ve had so many past breakups.
  • I feel unworthy of love because my parents were too busy to spend time with me as a child.
  • I can’t lose weight because I can’t stop thinking about food. (Quick note: This thought pattern is called “scarcity mentality.”)


How Making Peace With Your Past Creates a Better Tomorrow

“If there is a first step to this process of self-development, it’s looking inwardly and laying all the cards out on the table, so you can be honest with yourself. Acknowledging your baggage, learning to forgive yourself, and finding the silver linings will help you heal and move forward instead of being stuck living in the past. We’ve all endured a series of storms, some big and others small, but they all make an impact and leave an impression. Pretending they didn’t happen or trying to forget won’t undo any of the damage done. The past can be painful, but it’s something we all must confront if we want to improve. We all have regrets, and the faster we can make peace, the sooner we can clear our minds and move on.” -Excerpt from Thriving in the Storm: Nine Principles to Help You Overcome Any Adversity.

Dealing with unfinished business is a surefire way to put yourself on the path to achieving your goals. Addressing these past issues also helps provide closure, which is necessary for complete healing. A healed past creates the ideal environment for a happy and prosperous future!


Final Thoughts

“Unfinished business” is sometimes thoroughly ingrained. The first step is recognizing it and making peace with your past. But you don’t have to go through the process alone. Trusted friends and family members, trained coaches, and professional therapists can offer support.

You can also explore biohacking to help you deal with past trauma by journaling, meditating, or reading inspirational material like my latest book, Thriving in the Storm: Nine Principles to Help You Overcome Any Adversity.

In my book, I share helpful tips for dealing with unfinished business and explore my unique journey of making peace with my past. Be sure to pick up your copy today – I’m sure the content will help you thrive through any storm!

  • Be sure to check back for my next blog, Unfinished Business, Part II, which will be released in the coming days.

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