//Ep #51: How To Change Your Past

Ep #51: How To Change Your Past

There are so many people out there who are hanging onto the past and defining themselves by what they did or did not do or what happened or didn’t happen to them as kids. It can be so easy to get wrapped up in thinking about the past, which is why in today’s episode, we are talking about how to get rid of it.

The past can be 30 years ago and things that happened to us as children or it could be something more recent, such as choice we made five years ago that cost us the job of our dreams. What is so important to understand is that it is not the past that affects you, but rather the story you tell yourself about the past.

This is a fresh approach to looking at the past that is different from conventional therapy, where you spend a great deal of time talking, but very little time taking actionable steps to change your life. By choosing to focus on the present, rather than the past or even the future, the only pain you are experiencing, is the pain you are creating now.

Looking at the past in this way is life-changing because once you realize that you have the power to change your own life, so many opportunities suddenly become available to you. Rather than dwell on the past, understand that it has no control over you and that you absolutely have the choice to be happy, no matter what has happened to you.

Want to know more about what I do and how I can help you? Sign up for a free 45-minute session with me, and I’ll show you how this works!

What You’ll Learn from This Episode:

  • What’s Kevin’s experience of psychotherapy has been.
  • Why repetitively talking about your past is not as helpful as many people believe.
  • All we have is the present moment.
  • It is not your past that affects you, rather, it is your thinking about the past that affects you.
  • The past is highly subjective because it is constructed, rather than being the reality.
  • If you feel pain from thinking about the past, it is not the same pain you felt when you had that experience.
  • You can change how you feel by changing how you think about the past.
  • What you choose to focus on defines how you see your past.
  • If you perpetuate the story that you are a victim, you will remain a victim.
  • Everything that has happened in your past, happened in the exact way that it was meant to.
  • How Kevin has reframed what many would consider being a very difficult past.
  • Life has its ebbs and flows and what we focus on is what our lives become.
  • Why you should think about how your past can make you happier and stronger.
  • You can choose what to bring from your past and what you choose to leave.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • Learn how you can enter to win one of five FREE coaching sessions here!
  • Sign up for Unleash Your Alpha, your guide to shifting to the Alpha mindset.

Full Episode Transcript:



[0:00:09.6] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to The Alpha Male Coach podcast. The only podcast that teaches men the cognitive mastery and alpha mindset that it takes to become an influential and irresistible man of confidence. Here is your host, certified life coach and international man of mystery, Kevin Aillaud.


[0:00:32.6] KA: What’s up my brothers. Welcome back to the Alpha Male Coach Podcast. I am your host, Kevin Aillaud. Today, we’re going to talk about how to change your past. And there are a lot of guys that are hanging on to the past and defining themselves today by what they did or didn’t do in the past and by what happened or didn’t happen to them as kids.

And I decided to do this podcast now because I have guys in the Spartans who are dealing with this in one way or another. The past can be 30 years ago and what happened as kids, it could be five years ago with a choice that we made it work, that led to us losing the job of our dreams or even a year ago. If it was a relationship that changed and we have trouble reconciling that change in our brain.

I want you to know and be very attentive to the word change. I said we are going to talk about how to change your past and that’s a cool thing to think about, right? I mean, think about all the things in your past that you want to change. Snap your fingers and it’s done. And guess what? You really can do that brother.

This is some of the most important work that I do with my students and in fact, there’s an entire month dedicated to this concept in the Agoge which is the 12-month Spartan training program. One of the things that really separates life coaching from therapy, the entire podcast on this but just very briefly, one of the things that separates coaching from therapy is how much time we spend talking about our past.

Now, I’ve been to therapy my friends, at an early age, I went in my late teens at the requirement of my mother who based on observing my behavior and making it mean that she had done something wrong as a parent and the guilt that she felt about her own past, she decided I would be better off if I saw someone or talked to someone.

And I’m not going to go into all that on this episode. Just know that I have had my own experiences with therapy and with therapists. And so much of therapy, let me be clear, so much for Freudian psychotherapy spends a lot of time talking about the past. I used to go into thee therapist’s office and he would say very little. He would just kind of sit there and nod and I would talk about my past and he would ask me a few questions about my past, you know, here and there, he’d throw in a question and I then would just talk about it some more.

I was 17. I mean, I didn’t really have much of a past to talk about. I mean, I was 16, 17. So, I really didn’t have much of a past to talk about at all, but I went to therapy and I went twice a week and I talked about my past for 60 minutes. One of the things I really learned through that process was that talking about my past over and over and over again was not helpful for me.

Now, I do believe that discussing your past, telling your personal truth about something that happened to you to another human being. I really do believe that that can be powerful. I think sharing our version of our story with someone is helpful. Reiterating it over and over and over again without changing it. Just talking about the same way over and over. I don’t find that useful. It’s how I approach all the work I do with my students.

I don’t believe in rehashing the past over and over again and I don’t believe that it’s useful to explain our current condition based on something that happened to us in our past. I have a lot of reasons for this and I’m going to share some of them with you on this episode. So, if you are someone who struggles with your past, whether it’s your immediate past, maybe it’s something you went through something traumatic.

Or, it’s your past in terms of your childhood. It’s something very important for you to know that you can change it in whatever way you want. Here is why. The past doesn’t exist, bro. It’s gone, it’s all in your mind. I know that you may have heard me say this before, you probably heard me say this a lot.

All you have is the moment, the past is over and the future is in your imagination. Now, I’m a future focused person. I like to plan for the future and I love to dream about the future. The way I look at it is all you have in this moment right here and now are your thoughts that you are thinking.

If you are thinking about your past, that isn’t your past, that is a huge distinction, your past is over. The only way your past exists, at all, is in your thought about it. Otherwise, it doesn’t affect you in any way. Your thought right now about your past does affect you. All your thinking affects you deeply in this moment but what happened to you in your past does not affect you. Then there’s your past that’s over, right? That’s the part that doesn’t affect you.

Then there’s your current thoughts about your past and that definitely does affect you. Your past no longer exists but in your mind and that is a huge concept.

So, what is your past? What is it? When I ask you about your past, what is it?

It is your story about your past. That’s what your past is to you. If you had amnesia and you had no memory of your past and I asked you about your past, it would have no influence on you, right? In terms of your current thinking. So, when I ask you about what happened to you when you were a child, you’re going to tell me your story, you’re going to tell me your version, you memorized story or account about your past.

Now, here’s the interesting thing. I could ask your mother or your father if they were alive about your past and they would have a different story, right? They’d have a different version. Your past exist in their mind, in their way and your past exist in your mind, in your way.

If you have any siblings, we get really crazy, right? Because sometimes I talk to my brother about stuff that happened in our past and he’s like, “what are you talking about? That never happened, that wasn’t my experience of it, that’s not what we did.” And I think it’s so fascinating, right? There are the facts about what happened that can’t be verified in most cases, unless there’s a recording of the events and even then, the facts are only what’s on the video.

And then there’s your story about what happened. There’s what you made it mean about yourself, what you made it mean about your life and what you made it mean about the world. And I know I keep repeating myself here but this is a concept that many of my students have a hard time wrapping their minds around, so all through this podcast. I’m just going to keep repeating it over and over. Your past is over.

The only thing you have right now are your current thoughts about your past. All you have is cognition. Students will say to me, “I have old wounds, right?” They say, “I have an old pain, I have old thoughts, there’s these old thoughts that plague me every day.” And I got to tell them, I’m telling you, there is no such thing. You have a feeling that you experienced in this moment, it’s not an old feeling bro.

It’s not a feeling from when you were 10 and you’re feeling it now because that’s impossible, right? Unless you’re like, time traveling. There’s the feeling that you had when you were 10 and that’s over and then there’s the feeling that you have now. The only way you can have a feeling now, is if you can think about something that causes you to have the feeling now. You’re not experiencing pain from your past.

You’re experiencing present pain, right? The pain that you are creating with your mind, today. So, when you think about your story, about your past, you may cause yourself to feel pain, right? It may be similar to what you felt when you were 10 years old but it’s not the same pain. It’s not the same chemicals in your body now, the chemicals of emotion, it’s not the same chemicals of emotion in your body now that were in your body when you were 10 years old.

It’s a new pain in this moment, it is the pain in this moment that you are creating with your current thinking. That is a life changing thing to know, you cannot experience pain from your past, you can’t. What happened to you in your past is over, the only pain you’re experiencing is the pain you are creating now. And I know some of you believe, you’ve been through this horrific thing and how can I possibly sit here on the other side of this podcast, right?

With my headphones on while I’m talking to you and say it’s not affecting you now. Well, here’s how I do it bro. I say it’s good news. I say it’s good news for you because that person that did that to you then cannot affect you now. Even if it’s something you did to yourself and you’re feeling guilt over, right?

The only way the past can affect you now is if you think about it. If you think a thought that creates pain, if you create a situation where you’re currently a victim, that’s how you can feel that way. If you feel shame now, that emotion, it’s not because of what happened to you in your past. It’s because of what you’re currently thinking about what happened to you in your past. Do you understand it? It’s not coming from then bro, it’s coming from now. It’s coming from your brain and that’s why this is great news. Because the past has no more control over you, it has no power over you.

You cannot control the past but it has no power over you. I have worked with students who have experienced extreme abuse when they were children. The worst part is that they are continually abusing themselves now. That abuse s long over the physical or sexual abuse that’s gone, it’s long over. But they are perpetuating the emotional abuse with their mind and they don’t even realize that they’re doing it.

They’re giving so much power to this person that abused them and many times, that person has already gone where he’s not a part of their life anymore. And yet that person’s continue it in their mind and continually torturing them over and over again. Now look, I’m not blaming the victim, I want you guys to know I’m not blaming the person who was abused.

I know that sometimes people can say, how can you possibly say that this person’s creating their own pain? I’m saying that because it’s the truth. I’m saying that because it’s absolutely 100% scientifically true. Something that happened to you in your past is over. The pain of that is over. The only pain, emotional pain that continues is the pain you’re creating in your mind when you think about it. And the great news, the best news is that you can change how you think about your past and you can change how you feel because of changing how you think about your past.

The only way you’re past that finds you now is in the way you choose to think about it. When I hold webinars or workshops on rewriting your past, I often use the following exercise. I present two different stories to my audience. And in the first story, I’ll say that this person had this kind of life, they grew up with this experience. They had all these things happen to them.

And then at the end of the story, I’ll ask, “where do you think this person is now in their life?” I’ll give another example of another past, I’ll tell a different story. I’ll say, “this is the experience that they had and this is how they grew up and this is what happened to them?” Then I’ll ask the audience again, “what kind of life do you think this person has now?”

Now, of course I’ll listen to the answers and I’ll get all the answers, but at the end of the course, I’ll show the audience that the two stories were from the same person. The audience would never recognize that because the stories about the past is two stories, I was telling was so different and yet, it resulted in the exact same present, the exact same life for this person.

What I choose to focus on in one of the stories is to prove that this person had a horrible life and then in the other story, the other example, I choose to focus on the same person, but accentuating all of the wonderful things that happened to them in their life. And this is true for all of us. If I ask you to make a case that you’ve had a wonderful life, like to write a story, a one-page story and fill up the page, you could go through your life and focus on everything wonderful that happened to you.

You can pull out all of the wonderfulness of your life, you can tell me a story of your greatness, of your amazingness. And if I asked you to tell me a story about your horrible life, you’d be able to do the same thing. Fill up a page, you’d be able to go and pick out all the horrible things that had ever happened in your life, all the horrible things that you’ve done and you’d be able to make a case for that.

The story that you tell about your past will depend on what you’re choosing to focus on. If you currently believe that you’ve had a horrible life, you will tell me the story and you will tell yourself the story of your horrible life. If you decide to tell me that you’ve had a wonderful life and if you believe that you’ve had a wonderful life, then you will tell me that story.

What you choose to focus on and how you choose to tell the story of your life matters. Why does it matter? Because it creates your thinking about your past and how you currently feel and act. That’s the model guys. That’s the universal truth.

If you believe you’ve had a horrible life and that you were a victim and that has shaped you and now you’re destined for certain life because of your past, you will create that life for yourself. And it will show up in so many different ways. All of us know someone who identifies themselves as a victim.

They may have had a good reason, right? They may have been tremendously abused when they were a child. They may have been victimized them anyways. Then, you will see how it perpetuates in their adulthood, they may not be a victim now, but because of their mind, it perpetuates, they’re creating that, the reason it perpetuates in their adulthood is not because they’re a victim, right?

Not because they were treated as a victim when they were younger. It’s because they are currently thinking in that way and creating that in their own lives, whether it’s on purpose or not. Now, I’ve worked with a lot of guys and I’ve heard a lot of stories, right? I’ve heard, “my parents died when I was young.” I’ve heard, “I was abused.” I’ve heard, “I was in foster care.” I’ve heard, “I was in prison.”

All of these guys are focusing on all the things that didn’t work in their life. I was talking to a student about this one day and I said it depends on who you’re comparing yourself to, right? Everything’s relative. If you compare yourself to someone who is blind, if you compare yourself someone paralyzed, you compare yourself to someone who doesn’t have food or water, clean drinking water.

Who doesn’t have a way to take care of themselves. How about the people who live in constant torture and abuse throughout their entire life? If you don’t think that there are people that do, then you got to get out of the United States. There are people all over the world that live daily, kids live daily in warzones.

You can look at your life however you would like to look at it. It’s your choice. Everything that has ever happened, happened because it was supposed to happen and couldn’t have happened any other way than it did happen because if it could have happened, a different way, it would have. And we know this is true because of the present moment.

The present moment is perfect. We are here because the past is perfect. If the past wasn’t perfect, if something happened that shouldn’t have happened it wouldn’t have happened and we wouldn’t be here. That is what I have found in my own life to be true and when I look at it from a way that everything is meant to happen exactly the way it is supposed to happen in order for me to have a life I am meant to live, I feel freedom. I feel liberated when I believe I have the exact parents that I was supposed to have in order to live my most important life, I feel great.

I have an alcoholic father who is very unreliable and physically abusive to my mother. I had a mother who was emotionally detached and really non-functioning, to be honest with you guys. Not able to really care for my brother and I in any deliberate kind of way because of her emotional state and she ran into the arms of a man who is physically abusive to my brother and I and when I look at it like that and I think, “poor me, right? I am a victim.”

My mom should have gotten her act together and paid attention to the bruises on her kids. My dad should have quit drinking and stop hitting my mom and a better father. You know they should have been more available to me as a child. They should have taken better care of my brother and I, right? When I focus that way I feel angry and upset and frustrated. Now, when I look at my life and I think, “geez, I had the perfect set up.”

“I had the perfect parents that required me to become independent. I was really challenged to figure out what was going on with me so I could survive. I had to have the self-inquiry. I had to look within and find fortitude and resilience. I had to go searching in order to make through and thank goodness, I couldn’t have picked better parents to prepare me for the life I am living now.” Now, my mom still deals with her own issues.

She still deals with depression and emotional childhood people pleasing and when I think of her, I feel happy and so much love for her because of what I choose to focus on. I choose to focus on how funny she is and how fun she can be and many of the things that she said to me and how she was kind of in her way and doing her thing and how she was really suffering at the time and trying to find her way in the world and really struggling with making her mistakes.

And I am still able to think about her and love her and not feel like a victim of her negligence and not feel like she did me wrong or that she intentionally hurt me in any way and that sets me free. I love being able to think about my mom that way and same with my dad. I like to believe that everybody is doing the best they can. Everybody is really doing the best they can and yes, I wish they could have done better in giving them the perfect childhood but, “hey, check this out.”

But then I think, “Hey wait, no maybe I don’t wish that because maybe I wouldn’t have turned out the way that I am now and have the life that I do now.” I want you guys to really consider that. When we wish we had anything different in the past, we are really wishing we were different people now and that is a form of negative self-talk. Who you are is unbreakable, completely whole, indomitable and amazing. Where you are is exactly where you are supposed to be in your journey.

And sometimes we look at a partial image and think it looks like one thing. Then when we get more of the image. It turns out to be something else. Life is the same. When we look at our life in sections, we can easily judge it as good or bad taken as a whole, life tells a very different story. I know you guys have heard the story about the farmer and maybe, maybe not. I am going to quickly tell the story again because it is telling you the same thing.

If we are looking at small segments like the villagers, then we could be very easy to judge as bad or as good, but when we take it as a whole, it is really all neutral and we get to see it the way we want to see it. So, the story of the farmer is there was a farmer one day, he had a farm and he released one of his old horses. He let it go and the villagers came by and said, “You let your horse go. How are you going to be able to get your crops?”

“How are you going to be able to bring in the crops when harvest comes? “This is horrible. This is no good. This is not going to work out for you.” And the farmer says, “Well maybe, maybe not. We’ll see.” The next day, the horse comes back from the wild and it brings with him five young wild horses and then the villagers come back to the farmer and say, “This is amazing! You have six horses now. You have your old horse and you have these five young strong horses. This is wonderful for you!”

“You will be able to bring in six times or five times the amount of the harvest, what a wonderful thing” and again the farmer says, “Maybe, maybe not.” The next day, the farmer’s son goes out and tries to tame one of the wild horses. He tries to break one of the wild colts and he’s thrown from the horse and breaks his leg and the villagers come out and say, “Your son has broken his leg, he can’t help you with your crops. He can’t help you with the harvest. You’ll be behind.”

“Some of your crops will perish, this is a horrible thing” and the farmer says, “Maybe, maybe not.” The next day, the government comes to the village and the government is looking to conscribe all of the young abled bodies into the war for the Army into the war because the country is at war and of course, when they go to the farmer’s home they can’t take his son because his son has a broken leg, but they take the sons of all the other farmers in the village.

So all the villagers come and say, “Look, all of our sons have been taken and they are going off to war, but your son is still here. What good fortune you have,” and the farmer says, “Maybe, maybe not.” And the story continues. You guys may have heard the story before. I have told it on other podcasts. I told it on the podcast to show you the neutrality, the objectivity of the situation and it is true that the past is also a neutral objective circumstance.

But I also want you to see it in terms of time. Always in that moment, the villagers are reacting to what they think is bad or good. Taken as a whole, things go up and down, up and down and we really get to decide what our life is based on what we choose to focus on. We choose to focus on letting the horse go and having our son break his leg, then of course we are going to look at our life as bad. If we focus on, “Hey look, I just got all these five new horses.”

And hey, I didn’t continue with the story but the story goes on with many other good things then we’ll be looking and focusing on those good things. So, when you think about your parents, when you think about your childhood, when you think about maybe your first marriage or your first girlfriend or being in high school or college, what are you focusing on? What are you thinking about and what do you want to think about, bro?

You get to take from your past what you want and you get to leave the rest of it behind. It is your past. The only way the past exists is in your mind and you have 100% control over your mind. You get to decide what you want to think about when it comes to your past. You get to decide how you want to feel about your past and you get to decide what you are going to make it mean. You also get to decide whether it was an amazing experience that taught you so much.

And whether it part of your destiny or whether it is something that went terribly wrong and notice how you feel when you tell the story of your past. There is no pain in your past that affects you now. The only pain that affects you now is the pain that you have in the present. The only emotion you feel right now is the emotion you create with your mind right now. Believing that and knowing that sets me free to live in the alpha state.

It sets me free from something someone said to me yesterday. It sets me free from something happening when I was eight and it sets me free from something that I did when I was 20 and everything that I think about when I think about my past can bring me joy. All the things that I have done in my life that I could regret that I could beat myself up for that I could struggle and cringe at I say to myself, “Look it was always going to happen that way.”

It is all part of the plan. Now when I say it was always going to happen that way, some people will argue with me and they’re going to say that I think that we have some predestined life, right? That our future out there is already set and I don’t think about my future that way, but I do think about my past that way. And the reason why is because when you argue with your past, you lose but only a 100% of the time and Byron Katie said that and you know what else? What happened, happened and couldn’t have happened any other way and Morpheus said that.

Now, I don’t think I have a predestined future. I think those are all my choices but I think immediately when something is in the past that is how it went down. There is nothing I can do about it, I make peace with it immediately. It was supposed to be that way. I was supposed to do that. As soon as I believe that, it sets me free. When I argue with it, I never win and it never feels good.

I am a future focused thinker and I rarely consider my past anymore. That may not work for you, but finding out what does work for you is important. How can you make peace with your past? How do you want to feel about your past? How do you want to use your past to make you stronger and better and more capable and happier? That is an amazing question to ask yourself. I use my past as strength. When I think about my past I feel strong.

I focus on my grandfather who was an entrepreneur, who built his life from poverty into business. He was an officer in the Army in World War two and when he got out of the Army, he created an advertising business from scratch. He was an amazing person. He was an amazing man and I love thinking about him that way. I love thinking that I have his blood running through my veins. I love thinking about my brother and how much fun we had as kids.

And how funny he is, now and I love thinking about my mom and how she really did the best she could and how much my relationship with her has shaped my relationship with myself in such a powerful way that I could not have even begun to develop had I not struggled in the way that I did. It all happened for me not to me. So, look at your past, how do you want to use it? It is yours bro. It is yours in your mind. No one can change it. No one can touch it, but you can.

You can do both. You get to decide what you’re going to make your past mean in your life. You’re going to decide whether you are going to be hero of that story or the victim. You don’t need to go into your past to heal it. There is nothing you can heal because it doesn’t exist. Now there are exceptions, right? If you’d had trauma like post-traumatic stress, those sorts of things, those are out of the realm of what I am talking about.

There are many healings that can be done by therapies that can take you back and let you experience that level of healing. I am talking about most people. The 999 out of a 1,000 people who come to me who are chained to their past. Chained to a painful story about their past and what happened to them and what it means about their life. That is completely optional and you can change that story.

If I asked you to write a story and you decide the way you want to feel about your past is you want to believe that it is made you strong. It has made you capable, it has made you worthy, you will go mining for that evidence and you will find that evidence. You will find evidence for that and then retell the story of your past in a way that ultimately serves you that gives you thoughts, that builds feelings of positivity and strength and wonder and energizes you and leave the rest of it out.

Just don’t take any of it with you. Don’t up take it into your brain, it is all up to you. It is like choosing a movie to watch, right? If you don’t want to watch a rom-com, why would you? If you don’t want to put violence and blood and gore into your brain, why would you want to watch a horror movie? If you want to put happy, silly, funny thoughts in your brain, try comedy. You know the past is the same. It is all neutral.

You get to decide what genre of movie you’re putting into your brain the way you want your past to fit you. If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts about your past, ask yourself why because that is definitely worth getting coaching on. You get to decide what you bring into your future. Your future is your property, right? You get to bring whatever it is you want from your past and here is the best news, you get to leave anything you don’t want to bring with you.

You can just leave it behind. It is over, there is no power over you. You can release it forever and move on. If you notice that anything from your past is causing you pain, it is because of the story that you are telling about it and you get to change that story. You may not be able to change what happened, right? You are not going to change the circumstance but you get to change what it means to you now and that will change how you feel about it.

There is no work that has had a bigger influence on me and my students than changing the story of the past. Changing what it means and how you focus on it moving forward. I highly encourage you all to do this practice. Sum it up in one sentence, do that. Sum it up in one sentence how will you define your past? It made me the alpha male I am today. What is the title of your past? I’d love to know and that’s what I’ve got for you today, brother.

Now check this out, if you are dealing with your past and believe it is holding you back from achieving your dreams, your desires and your personal greatness I want to invite you to join the Elevated Alpha Society Spartans. The Spartans are a group of men taking a 365-day Agoge into the wilderness of their mind. The training is aimed at developing cognitive mastery and emotional ownership and rewriting your past is one of the themes we cover over the year.

It is a 12-month program, month to month payment, 365 days of self-study where you do 20 to 40 minutes a day and in return, you will get limitless results. Check it out on the website, thealphamalecoach.com, it is right there. You just scroll onto the picture, you just scroll out into the picture, click on the button, it will take you to the page, it will tell you all about the Elevated Alpha Society Spartans.

And until next week my brother, elevate your alpha.


[0:30:30.6] ANNOUNCER: Thank you for listening to this episode of the Alpha Male Coach Podcast. If you enjoyed what you’ve heard and want even more, sign up for Unleash your Alpha: Your guide to shifting to the alpha mindset, at the alphamalecoach.com/unleash.


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By |2019-10-10T13:34:38-07:00October 11th, 2019|Podcast|0 Comments

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