By Lilian Wamaitha
How much time do you take dwelling on past mistakes? Maybe it was a job that went wrong a few years ago or an interview you wish you could have done better and you keep playing all these scenarios over and over again in your head.
Truth is, we have all done things in the past that we wish we could take back.
But nobody was born perfect and we are expected to have a few shortcomings once in a while. It is what you do after that that makes a difference.
Do you allow your mistakes to define you for the rest of your life or do you embrace the fact that you are just human and use those past failures and turn them into positives?
Well, here are 5 things to always remember when you get the “what if” feeling.
1. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger
No matter what happened in the past, learn to embrace what you used to be. Ignoring such feelings does nothing but keep you from moving on and growing from such situations.
I am firm believer that everything that happens to each one of us happens for a reason. Truth is most of the time we cannot control what happened but in some sense we can control what will happen in the future.
Sometimes things will happen to you and you will feel like giving up because nothing seems to make sense. But that is what life is all about. You will have fun moments and others that make you question your very existence, but happiness and sadness must coexist for the greater good.
So it’s not going to be a walk in the park but you might as well embrace everything and remember that you were more blessed than ever to be alive.
When you think about it, there are a lot of people who never made it out of such a situation but you did. Allow it to make you stronger.
2. Never play the victim
This is never a good color on anyone and you will be surprised at how little the world cares about your troubles. We are all going through stuff, fighting our own battles, so playing victim will not get you anywhere.
Truth is there is nothing worse that when someone uses their past as a justification of their actions. Yes, you may not have had the perfect childhood but that does not mean doing things that piss other people off because you think the world owes you a perfect life for once.
And while at it, don’t also use your past as an excuse to not live up to you full potential. When you think about it, someone somewhere is having it worse, and as easy as it is to blame others for our troubles, you just can’t.
What happened to you whether through your own fault or of others should only serve to make you wiser not bitter.
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3. Somehow, we all make mistakes
Call it what you want but it is true. Each one of us has messed up at least once; each one of us has done things that we would not even tell our parents. What you need to understand it’s that, it is okay and probably will even happen again.
As the old adage goes, Rome was not built in a day and your life will not be perfect just because you wish it could be.
Instead of chasing perfection to somehow make up for your past mistakes, understand that you were not meant to be flawless. Without bad stuff happening to us, good things would never feel so good now would they?
Instead of clinging on what happened just look back at it and laugh. It is through your hard work to get past those mistakes that you are where you are now and I don’t know about you but that is something to be damn proud of.
4. The enemy of success is the fear of failure
Do you want to turn all your past failures into success? Stop fearing to fail. If everyone feared to fail, can you imagine what a boring world we would be living in?
It is in failure that success is born.
5. Establish a better future
When all is said and done and when you are trying to work past your mistakes, it is your responsibility to define your future.
And although you somehow have made it past your mistakes and seem to be doing better in life, don’t make those same mistakes again.
Whether it means not going back to an abusive relationship or keeping those who matter close, be sure to continue doing what is needed to remain in that path you have created.
The mistake most of us make is getting confortable. While it’s not bad, remaining stagnant is. Always ensure that you stay focused on what matters.
It’s all up to you
Sure you have made a few mistakes or one too many but don’t allow that to dim your light. Your future is still bright. Look back at where you have come from and pat yourself in the back knowing that you have a long way to go and you are not flawless.
Lilian is a Communication Officer at Career Point Kenya and has a passion of improving other people’s lives through everyday inspiration. Leave a comment below if you agree with this article.