According to Ajahn Chah, a Buddhist writer, letting go a little will give you little peace while letting go a lot will give you a lot of peace.
Some of us hold on to past mistakes committed long after they happened. Some even hold on to them for years. Instead of focusing on the things that work well in our lives, we keep on dwelling on our past mistakes which permits feelings of regret and frustrations to affect our present actions. We cling so much to these negative emotions, compromising our immune system and leaving us weak to fight diseases. We punish ourselves for the committed mistakes and label ourselves as losers. Definitely, this is not a formula for a happy life.
Doing something you wish you did not do makes you feel guilty. But whatever was lost because of your actions must have opened another door. It might be a message that will teach you on how to be more productive and happier in life or it might be a possibility for whatever you did not even imagine will happen to you. We must recognize and accept within ourselves that holding on to past mistakes can definitely restrain us from realizing our full potential and ability. In any way, it is acceptable to grieve for what you have lost; however, you must accept the circumstances and let go of your past mistakes when they start overpowering your sense of optimism.
Every moment is another chance to change the course of our lives. Every instant is a chance to let go of our past mistakes and let ourselves achieve serene mental peace. Here are a few ways on how to let go of these things and have a happy life.
How To Let Go Of Your Past Mistakes
1. Change your context of mistakes into positive
Always remember that mistakes do not exist, but lessons do. Every time we commit mistakes in different aspects of our lives, we welcome an opportunity for learning and growth. By then, we will know the things that we like, we value and the things that pull us backward which must be disposed. Keep in mind also that these mistakes that we had committed neither define us nor represent our being, thus, let go of these past mistakes to have a happy life.
2. Mistakes can lead to something great
Just before Thomas Edison invented the incandescent bulb, he tried 10,000 ways but still it does not work. If he considered it as a failure, he probably did not pursue the study. Keeping more mistakes means getting closer to a breakthrough. You have more chances of reaching your goals than those who do not even try at all.
3. You did the best that you could do
The way we deal with things usually depends on our ability, our state of mind, and how we look at the situation at that very moment. Probably, you do not know how to respond very well at that time and acted poorly. Maybe you had stress that contributed to poor strategic planning. Anyhow, whatever factors there may be, you know within yourself that you did the best that you could do at that very moment, hence, should not blame yourself for committing mistakes. Besides, you have learned a lesson because of the circumstance.
4. Replace you negative thoughts
Replace you negative thought and behavior with appropriate thoughts and behavior which are in accordance with your values and morals. By doing so, you become confident that you can handle situations the way you want to and that you are a good person. Practicing this develops a sense of pride, a big part of building self-esteem.
5. A sincere apology
Letting go of past mistakes includes making a sincere apology to people whom you may have wronged with no other reason aside from clearing your conscience. However, this will not guarantee forgiveness from that person, but it does not also mean you cannot forgive yourself for doing the mistake.
6. Be honest with yourself – accept the failure
Be honest with yourself that you committed a mistake and accept within yourself that things went down the way they did. Face it. Admit your role in the situation. You will have regrets. That is understandable, and that is acceptable. The result was not what you expected. Accept the failure. As long as you do not accept what really happened and keep on hoping things had gone differently, you cannot move on.
Accepting what happened in the past gives us mental peace. We should recognize that past is past and we cannot undo it. This will eventually heal our emotional distress caused by over thinking and dwelling too much on negative emotions. It is now time to turn the next page of the book, let go of your past mistakes and write the next chapter of your life – a happy life this time. There is nothing more rewarding than learning and growing from our mistakes.
Let go of your past mistakes. Do not let yourself hold on to guilt, shame, frustration, sadness, regret and self-humiliation. It does not serve you well to keep on suffering by dwelling on the past issues. Letting go of past mistakes means forgiving yourself. Help yourself let go by re-framing the situation and linking it to positive emotions.
7. Remain positive
When you have already moved forward from your mistake, you will always have the risk of falling again into the same mistake. You have to remain firm and positive-minded by using your own momentum from the previous mistake. When you feel like you are falling into a groove, just take a step backward and assess your actions using the lessons from the past. This will help you make a good decision.
Remain positive no matter how challenging the circumstances are. Past mistakes are meant to make us wiser, stronger and more focused. Having an attitude like this, it is easy to view mistakes as a natural part of our lives. It is easy to pick ourselves up once we fall again.
Letting go of past mistakes is never easy but it is possible. Avoid using being stuck in the past as an excuse for not improving ourselves and not reaching our full potential. All of us are capable of making choices to live a happy life.
Photo: Steve Smith