Have you ever looked back on some parts of your life that you wish you did differently? Even after all this time somehow there is still a hint of guilt and regret where you wished you could’ve done better because then, maybe things would’ve been different.
I’ve been through it too. I got used to burying past failures and bad memories in the back of my head because confronting them is just too painful and difficult to accept.
I have come to fear failure because I didn’t want to look down on myself than I’ve already had. This greatly affected my self-esteem which then hindered the way I challenged myself.
My world slowly got smaller before I knew it. I didn’t know how to stop it. I was trapped inside my own mental cage.
If you’re like me, I’ll tell you something I wished someone told me: The truth is, burying past failures and bad memories will never make it go away, including your negative perception of yourself. The more you bury it, the more it will be stuck with you and consume you from the inside out.
The only way to do it is through acceptance and self-compassion. Easier said than done, I know.
When looking back on something, it’s easy for us to think along the lines of “if only I did this or was like this then maybe this would’ve happened”. We start to doubt ourselves if we even did our best, or worse, thinking that our best wasn’t enough.
We forget to factor in the circumstance that prompted us to act in such a way in the first place at a time when we didn’t know any better.
What we don’t think about enough is that all of us are always doing our best no matter what we do, including that moment that you keep replaying in your head.
“Trying your best” doesn’t mean being a “10” all the time. It means doing everything that you can at the time given the circumstance. Some days your best is a 10 but there are also days where you best is a “5” or a “1”, and that’s okay.
I think in understanding this, you can start to look back on such failures objectively. You can start to forgive your past self for something you’ve done or could’ve done.
The mere fact that you are looking back at such memories and knowing what you could’ve done to make things better showcases your growth. It means that you now know what you can do when a similar situation arises.
No one can ever change the past but what you can do is learn from it. The only way to do that is to process what you can learn from that situation instead of hiding from it. The more you learn, the more you increase the chances and frequency of giving it your 10.
You are not the past version of yourself anymore. It is time to look ahead to the world and the exciting experiences you’re about to face, and continue to let yourself evolve into a person that you want to be.
Once you realize this, you’ll know that you don’t have to be afraid anymore because you’re doing fine. You are in the right track on building your character.