Irrational Belief #2: The Past has a lot to do with determining the present
No one would question that the past influences who we become. But there’s a great deal of misunderstanding about exactly how it can affect us in the present, and how much our current state of mind is to blame for our current suffering. The idea that the past is in control of our present is a common irrational belief that cognitive psychologists spend a great deal of time combating.
First, let's look at the validity of this principle. One child can suffer a brutal, violent rape, then recover in a matter of months with little or no psychological side effects, and go on to be a successful, bright, energetic, and caring individual. Another can endure the same thing and have it (seemingly) devastate their entire life. If past experience alone is what dictated our future, if we were all destined to be held captive by the ghosts of our childhood, such disparities wouldn't exist. The reasons such disparities DO exist is because this theory about the past determining the present is utterly and completely wrong, and past events have very little, if anything, to do with our present happiness. It may seem like it, because we like to draw neat lines between cause and effect, but what occurs in-between that line is where all of the action is. Some people look at bad past events as some of the best things that happened to them; experiences that made them stronger and gave them greater clarity or perspective on life. It seems that whether a person grows or shrinks from negative events is more about adopting the right attitudes and proper perspectives afterwards than it is the negativity of the events you experience.
Myths about childhood trauma
Even negative neuroplasticity brought about by a childhood that contained ongoing pain or abuse can be mostly overcome in the present and eroded over time with the proper determination and hard work.