Some of the greatest excuses in life come from our inability to forgive ourselves for past mistakes. That’s a shame and an incredible waste of energy and time. And, we all know how limited and what a precious commodity time is in life.
It typically begins with these words: if only.
If only I had taken that job.
If only I had money.
If only I hadn’t chosen this career and instead followed my passion.
Here’s my advice to you today. Forgive yourself. Move on. You’re not getting yesterday back, so stop beating yourself about it.
Think about today this way: with each new day, we have an opportunity to leave the excuses (and self-absorption, by the way) at the door. We can choose to look around and see what’s happening in our neighborhoods, our communities or the world at large. We can also look within ourselves and make a choice to change things in our lives.
If you know me, then you know that I always tell people to stop looking in the rearview mirror. There’s a reason why the windshield is the largest window in a car. And think of the car as your life. Sure, you have to take a look in the rearview mirror, the side mirrors and out the back, but the majority of your focus has to be in the windshield––seeing what’s coming ahead of you.
We have to learn from the past, stay present in the now and aware of what’s happening around us, and move toward the future. In doing this process, you get to see what’s worked and what hasn’t. Sometimes, that’s a tough conversation to have with yourself, but it’s necessary. Failures are part of life. Learn to live with them and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Once you start looking in the mirror and stop looking only at the past and the decisions that you’ve made about your career, money, where you live or do, you’ll start to change your brain. Getting rid of that negative talk that keeps coming to mind has to be swatted away like a pesky fly. And, with time, your brain and the synapses begin to change.
The concept of stopping the ruminating about the past is the easiest thing to talk about, but it’s one of the most difficult things to implement in many lives. Believe it or not, sometimes we’re comfortable in where we’ve been, even if it’s painful and the unknown can be disconcerting and uncomfortable. Not knowing, for many, is too difficult. So, it’s simply easier to stay mired in the old story that we know.
If you’re looking for an excuse on why you can’t do this or that or things are this way or that way, you’ll find a million of them. Humans have an enormous capacity to delude themselves. We can each take charge in our lives and for others and be ambassadors of hope.
If you want an easy strategy to change your life, then begin by looking outside of yourself. In helping others, you’ll start to gain new perspective and awareness. And when the moment arrives, you’ll have the opportunity to do the internal work you have to do to change your circumstances.
Author of “Get Off the Couch: Grip & Rip and Break the Barriers Holding You Back in Life” (Free Digital Download)
© 2017 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.