It's not just for relationships. We all carry with us our past experiences. For better or worse those interactions from past lives come with us to new opportunities. It's annoying. There you are sitting there trying to do a great job - and you stop yourself from taking something further...
Maybe "it didn't work last time". What a fuckin' waste. It's the right time, the right place - and your struck frozen because all your brain can do is remember the shitty situation from six years ago.
We do this all the time. We argue imaginary points, fight made-up battles, and fabricate false risks. In reality, every single workplace has a completely different dynamic. A different way of:
- Evaluating ideas
- Making decisions
- Dealing with conflict
- Rewarding employees
- Assigning blame
- Assembling teams
- Defining success
- So on, and so forth...
No one workplace is the same. So that past experience (you know, that one that got you laughed at / yelled at / thrown out for?) might be the exact right thing for a different culture. How do you know?
We'll you don't, because you're carrying around a preconceived notion on how people will react - otherwise known as baggage. It's time to chuck the baggage and check yourself.
Are you reacting to a past experience? Or are you hearing the conversation for what it is? Are you self editing, or are you being chicken because this didn't go well the last time?