It’s easy to look back on your life and define it around the struggles you have had so far. It’s true that you are formed by the things that happen to you, and your beliefs about yourself come about from a combination of circumstances and how your choices in those times worked out (or not). But at the same time, you are not defined by your issues and struggles. They affect you, and you spend energy on them, but they are not you. You’re actually seen through your resulting actions. For example, I am disorganised and forgetful. If I was doing my affirmations properly, I wouldn’t say that because I don’t want that to be reinforced as part of my identity! But at work I have a system that makes sure I don’t forget things. I don’t think anyone at work really knows I’m disorganised. Well, maybe. But they don’t know the true extent of it.

In the same way, the fact that you have had struggles in your life, and the things you’ve learned from them, are not the defining element to your life. How you act now is what your life is. If you’re always finding it hard to be on time, but you put things in place that get you there on time, are you a late person or an on time person?

The point is, just because something has happened in your life does not mean it defines who you are or has any future say over your life, actions or behaviour. If you were an oak tree, the fact that you’d spent the first part of your life with not enough water would hold you back, sure, but you are not a ‘not enough water ‘ tree. You’re an oak. That doesn’t quite make sense!

Finally, having struggled with something in the past does not mean you will never beat it. It does mean that you will need some better strategies and that you have to be careful of your default, what you do when you’re not thinking. That’s where habits come in. Your previous experience will naturally take over, and it takes a bit of work to fight against that. But you can beat it.