A very powerful mis-identification (incorrect identification) that each one of us indulges in, to different extents, is identifying with our positive or glorious actions of the past. This identification is so strong that almost every day it comes to the surface of our consciousness when we switch on the movie of this story of these actions on the screen of our minds. By rehearsing this story repeatedly we love experiencing the same emotions and feelings that we felt at that time, emotions that we had enjoyed very much. We not only re-experience that pleasure but we also love to share the pleasure by persuading others to see that movie by broadcasting that movie in front of whoever we come across. This is normally done in the form of words by speaking about our professional or personal achievements, our educational qualifications, our experiences, actions for which we gained recognition, our history, etc., all a thing of the past. But this is not talking about the real self, this is just a story, thus it is a false identification with something we are not. Every time we indulge in this type of identification, we strengthen the incorrect belief that we are talking about our self. We believe the past is us. This is the incorrect identification.
If someone were to ask us to describe ourselves in a few words, instead of talking with humility about our spiritual self, our virtues, powers, strengths, etc., which is the real self, we quickly mention all of the above features of our past, thinking this will give the other an impression of our credibility. Even when we communicate with people over email or some other mediums, we are quick to mention all these things in our signature, etc. believing this is our story and portraying that we are in love with it and other people should identify us with this story as we do and love us for the same. To remember and identify with any memory of action that we created yesterday is to identify with what we do. And we are not what we do.
But shedding off this type of attachment is not easy and first requires the realization that this attachment is incorrect and damaging. The next step is sitting in silence and becoming aware of how you lose your identity in a story of past thoughts, feelings, emotions, attitudes and actions and then disassociating or detaching yourself from that story. You do not need to suppress or deny or fight with this story; otherwise its memory gets stronger and more overpowering. You just need to simply see and realize deeply that your past is just a record of a particular set of actions, which you committed at a particular point of time, it is a series of images of previous events that you witnessed and that you were a part of, all of which have left a record in your memory, and in the memories of others, but they are not what you are. This type of practice of disassociation with spiritual understanding fades the excessive memory of the story in your consciousness over a short period of time and these actions then cease to influence you in any way in the present. Here we are talking about an influence, which we have for long deceived ourselves into believing to be a positive one, but which in reality is not.