Mistakes happen. We all make them and to some degree we end up regretting them. It is all a vital part of life, we live and we learn. The latter is the most important part of that equation, we learn! When we make a mistake, regardless of how calculated or the nature of the mistake, if we don’t learn something from it then we are no longer living. Even though we
might not be dead in a physical sense failing to learn from our past transgressions dilutes one of the most important principles in life to the point of near uselessness. Neglecting to learn from our shortcomings is an oversight that is as serious as neglecting to breathe, eat, or bathe ourselves. Most of us would not be foolish enough to starve to death, we should all be as diligent when it comes to our mental and spiritual growth as well.
I can personally admit that I have made several decisions in my life that have hurt me and those who love me. I could make excuses. I could blame curcimstances for the outcome of my poor decision making. However what I have come to learn is; I have no choice but to own my part of my past. With that as my reality I could/should walk around with my head down but if I was to do that then I would be letting my poor decision making (or my mistakes for the purpose of this article) defeat me again. Why do that? It’s is one thing to be defeated, it happens to the best of us, it is another thing to choose to remain defeated. It is another thing entirely to be defeated twice by the outcome of one poor decision. Live and learn not live and lose.
How do I prevent my past mistakes or poor decision making from defeating me twice?
Great question! I am in the process of learning how myself and here is what I have learned so far:
Own your actions. Don’t paint yourself out to be the victim of your own decisions. Don’t make excuses because the truth is no one cares! I would suggest not wasting time explaining to people what you did. If they insist on talking about your circumstances redirect the focus towards what you are going to do moving forward. Or don’t talk about it at all, it’s your choice! At the end of the day that is what it all boils down to: decisions and choices. Only you can make your decisions so own them. Make wise decisions and don’t allow anyone to influence, change or make you doubt them once they are made.
Make Better Decisions
When a mistake or a poor decision is made it can’t be unmade. The next best thing to a do-over is to do the next best thing. Do the next right thing for the right reasons. That might sound like it is easier said than done (depending on the severity of mistake/poor decision made) and that might be true. Like anything in life it gets easier the more you do it. The same way poor decisions give birth more poor decisions and kills options, making wise decisions gives birth to easy choices and multiplies options. The more options we have the easier it is to do the next right thing for the right reason.
Silence The Critics
Even when you are doing the best you can people are going to critique you. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There are also going to be those who hold resentments towards you. They will mock your efforts, criticize your decision making process, and enjoy every second you allow them to be under your skin. Find ways to drown them out. Don’t allow people with malice in their heart against you into your circle of trust. Instead surround yourself with well wishers and accountability partners.
Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t dwell or become discouraged. Learning from life is good. Allowing the weight of your past to prevent you from moving forward is bad. That is allowing yourself to defeated twice. It is also poor decision making. To put it simply: something that hinders you is either a challenge or a choice. Get past your past.
It Won’t Happen Overnight.
Years of poor decision making won’t be fixed overnight. The truth is there are bridges we burn that won’t be rebuilt. Things won’t be repaired in the amount of time it took to destroy it. So when attempting to rebuild bridges and relationships don’t get discouraged when that process isn’t moving as fast as you would like. Continue to do the next right thing. As long as you try things will change.
Learning how to live life on life’s terms is a virtue. We are supposed to grow anything that stagnates our growth needs to be eliminated from our life. When life places obsticals in our path we should avoid them. When we get tripped up by any obsticals (which is ok it happens to everyone) we can’t allow it to keep us down. If we could learn to focus on what we think of us (what you think of you) and less on what others think of us (you) we will discover the only thing holding us back is us (the only thing holding you back is you) get out of your own way and discover your true potiental.