Hindsight is a wonderful thing: you have 20/20 vision of things that you have done and what and how you could have done them better so that you learn and develop. However, looking back at the past can make you feel a great sense of regret at some of the choices that you have made, and sometimes your past can haunt your present and affect your future. Here are tips to help you come to terms with your past so that you can move on confidently and successfully.
You cannot change the past, all you can do is accept that you made certain life decisions when you didn’t possess the same knowledge that you have now. Allow yourself to have a period of grief. Expressing your regret and mourning the lost opportunity is an important step to accepting the past for what it is. There is no shame in expressing yourself, however, you must not wallow in self-pity. Accept that the time has passed and endeavour to identify what you could have done better. Recognising fault is essential but learning from it is critical.
We are often our own worst critic, and your inner voice will go over the same situation using the same destructive language. Yes, you made a mistake, but rather than focus on the negative, reframe it to something positive – taking inspiration from the life lesson that you learned. How you talk to yourself is important to influence your self-esteem. You need to reflect on your life lesson and view it from a positive perspective.
If you have a way to right the wrong, and you are in a position to pursue it, be proactive in seeking resolution. You may have upset an old friend, and while the friendship may never recover to its former position, a sincere apology can go a long way to restoring your self-respect. If you were financially reckless in your youth, take the bull by the horns and identify how you can improve your credit rating – it is not impossible to do; you have options such as the Vanquis credit card that can be used to restore your financial profile.
The opposite of shame and regret is feeling good about yourself. Think about areas of your life that you can improve upon. If you aim to be the best version of yourself, you will feel happier and more content. Once you have developed your self-esteem, your past mistakes will remain in the past, and you will focus on the present and future. Join a gym and get strong and fit physically – your mind will soon follow.
Your past life experiences and your reactions to them has shaped who you are today. There will be aspects of your personal history that are steeped with regret and shame. However, it is important that you recognise that everybody has flaws in their past that they have difficulty coming to terms with, nobody is perfect. By coming to terms with your past, you are able to live for the today and for tomorrow and be the person that you deserve to be.