Four lessons to let go of the Past

Throughout your life, you most likely experienced events that shook the foundation of your very being. We all have our share of painful memories, moments of suffering and periods of hardships. Perhaps you made decisions you wish you’d never been made or recall the times you should have done something but didn’t. Nobody makes it out of this world unscathed but the choices you make and the way you behave during and after these difficult events shape the person you will become. There are those who complain how bad they have it while others turn adversity into the opportunities that propel them to new heights. If you live every day wishing your life had been better, it’s time to stop looking backward. Let go of the past and move on the bigger and better things with these four lessons.

You Don’t Control the Past

First, be aware that you have no control over the past. What’s done is done and you can’t go back. No amounts of coulda, woulda, shoulda will make it go away. Accept it and move on. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, make sure to be prepared to make a difference next time it happens. If you’re not working hard at making a difference, whatever you tell yourself is only a delusion. Don’t expect a different outcome from repeating the same thing over and over again. You’ll have to prepare yourself to step out of that comfort zone and create the change you want. It’s not easy. It never is. It might be the most painful thing you’ll ever do but you must do it and never give up. Take control of what you can today and stop wasting your time thinking about what you could have done yesterday.

Learn to Face Yourself

While you are your greatest ally, you are also your greatest enemy. Understand this, who you are is a direct result of the choices you made in the face of adversity. Hard times forge character. Unfortunately, certain events of your life left a scar. It affects your confidence, your joie de vivre and can instill fears so great it paralyzes you whenever you encounter an uncomfortable situation. It’s not all hopeless. Don’t be afraid. Believe you can overcome anything. Stop convincing yourself you can’t. Confidence can be regained and fears can be shattered. Your mind can be a powerful enemy that gets in your way.

Every day of your life, your mind will inject doubt and try to prevent you from stepping outside your comfortable cocoon. Don’t listen or give in to it. This will never go away, learn to ignore it. The more you do, the easier it will become and the more confident you will be. I have learned over the years to ignore this voice in the back of my head that kept telling me I’m not good enough, that I shouldn’t do this or that I should care about what this person says. Even to this day, it’s there, trying to hold me back but I simply do not give my mind the satisfaction of getting its way with me. You should do the same.

Don’t Play the Victim Game

If you want to be a winner in life. Don’t play the victim game. You will always lose. Blaming others, your health, your situation, society, your age, your luck and generally feeling sorry for yourself will do you no good. Stop being a martyr and take a long look at the mirror. You are the sole responsible for how you live your life. You don’t always have control over the events in your life but you always have control over the way you react to them. Accept the fact that you may not always be prepared to face what’s out there. What doesn’t kill you should make you stronger, not more fragile. No matter how difficult the ordeal, you must face your fears and come to terms with what happened. It is the only way to keep going.

I could be a victim. I don’t play that way

Born in a household in constant turmoil and fighting, I grew up to be a shy and quiet kid. I was bullied physically and mentally, ridiculed, insulted, taken advantage of, cast aside and isolated almost every day. I let that happen to me and, every day, I lived in fear of what would happen next. Teachers and parents told me I would never amount to much in life, that I was destined to mediocrity. Not finding much support from my parents, I eventually closed up and found solace in the comfort of my room which I would rarely leave.

Afraid of the outside world, I let others affect my confidence and my ability to believe in myself. Add to the mix constant trips to the hospital because of acute asthma, chronic migraines, and fatigue, an irritable bowel, and narcolepsy. Sometimes I blamed others or my illnesses for my situation but I knew deep down that I was responsible for this. I knew that one day, I would have to face my fears. It wasn’t until I fully recognized that I was responsible for what happens to me that I was able to create the life that I wanted for myself.

Do not Fear Failure or Live with Regrets

Failures and regrets can be debilitating. Regrets will only cause you grief and failures aren’t the end of the world. Own up to your failures and the decisions you made! There’s not enough time on this earth to spend it on regret. Learn from your failures and strive to be better next time. Don’t be scared to make decisions or take actions that could backfire. I used to be afraid of trying new things or to take the wrong decision. No matter how much time you spend thinking it over, if you’re unable to take action, you’ll never get anywhere.

It’s not because you made a mistake or failed at something that it’s all over. Keep coming back until you stop failing. You can’t always correct a mistake but you can make sure it never happens again. You will always face situations that will leave you stunned but you will need to make a choice and accept the consequences of that choice. Do not live in regret or in fear of failure. Use them to fuel your way towards a better tomorrow.