Writers’ Blokke
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Writers’ Blokke

5 Ways to Stop Beating Yourself Up Over Your Past Mistakes

It’s in the past, and it’s time to let go.

Photo by Hadija Saidi on Unsplash

“There is always tension between the possibilities we aspire to and our wounded memories and past mistakes”.

— Sean Brady

We are either ruminating about the past or anticipating the future. The present seems to fly off the window. Why? Because the past hurts, and the future seems like a vacation that doesn’t have an end. But while being in another dimension, we are constantly reminded that what we have is now.

It’s natural to think about past mistakes. Some we cannot reverse, or we cannot right no matter how much we try. That best friend we hurt, that person we lost due to our unforgiving behaviour or a quarrel with our parents, caused a scar so deep that there is a permanent space left for pain. Past mistakes then strip away our self-worth so much that we feel like shutting ourselves in a dark closet.

However, no matter how painful our mistakes are, we get to live. We get to breathe and possess a healthy mind and a healthy body, and that is a gift in itself. Countless people would kill to be in our situation; therefore, we must switch on the present button and take small steps to heal.

1. Write a Letter

There are moments when we are so angry at people that we forget the painful words coming out of our mouth. The result is that we will never meet that person anymore. But mistakes aren’t just a one-person phenomenon. It’s a result of a conversation that is designed to teach us a lesson.

We do not want to meet that person anymore, but we need to release the pain we feel, and most importantly, we need to let go. Write a letter and vent out precisely how you feel. It’s therapeutic, and you need to forgive yourself. A letter is free but gives you long-lasting results.

2. You Aren’t the Only One

Your mistake is not yours alone. Countless people have done the same so stop beating yourself up for it over and over again. Instead, sit patiently and analyse where you went wrong. Ask yourself can you do something about it to make it better. If not, it’s time to move on.

3. It’s All Happening for Your Greater Good

We are often too harsh on ourselves. How could I do this? I can’t believe it was me? I cannot let this happen; these and numerous other memories keep haunting us. But if you observe where you’re at, right this moment, these same mistakes helped you grow and evolve. You now realise whom to trust and whom to give your time, and it wouldn’t have happened if you didn’t cry over your mistakes.

4. You Didn’t Lose, You Gained

People leave. It’s a fact of life. But your diminishing friend circle doesn’t mean that you’ve got fewer people in your life; in fact, it’s associating you with those who genuinely want you to grow and will be happy when you achieve your dreams. So if people leave, let them go. With time you’ll realise you didn’t lose; you gained.

5. Everyone Gets a Second Chance — Choose Wisely

We all get a second chance to right the wrongs. But before taking that chance, analyse if it will make things better and, more importantly, help you grow. Is rekindling that relationship going to help you be a better person, or will it make you question your self-worth? If not, dump the chance and focus on creating new avenues where you can grow. It may seem scary to try something new, but nothing is achieved without taking a chance. Everything you have achieved has started with you embracing the unknown.

“We have a hope of succeeding if we learn from our past mistakes and pull together to make the hard choices”.

— Carl Levin

Yes, we all slip into the past or the future. But what’s important is what we choose to do with it. Do we learn from the past and make our present better by learning from our mistakes, or do we spend hours thinking about the future but not take the first step in the present to get working towards the things we desire.

The choice is yours, and I know you’ve made the best choice already.

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Sujona Chatterjee

Sujona Chatterjee

Living life the only way I know how — one day at a time.