We all make mistakes, that’s a part of life. Some learn and adapt very quickly whilst others tend to keep running through the same old mazes, hitting the same old dead ends. Here’s a list to help you learn the lessons and stop meeting those dead ends.
1) Take Responsibility
You can blame your parents, your partner or some other individual for all your woes in life. When you do this, you give away all your power and control, effectively saying that unless they change, acknowledge you or do as you expect, your life will never be good. Big mistake. Realise, that you alone are responsible for where you are today. Happy or sad, glum or gleeful – where you are today is the sum total of your past thoughts and decisions. Some people say, ” But it’s not my fault that my partner was abusive”.
Of course, you cannot be responsible for the behaviour of others, but you still decided whether you would stay and keep experiencing the actions of your abusive partner or whether you would say “enough is enough” and move on. I know it isn’t that easy but the point I am making is that you are still responsible for you and what you decide to do about situations you find yourself in. If your parents weren’t as loving as you would have liked, there’s not much you can do about the past but you can learn to parent yourself and love yourself and undo any damage from your parents. Remind yourself that you are no longer that helpless child but an adult with freedom and choice. Allowing your parents to ruin the rest of your life is a double tragedy.
Life Lesson: Stop being a victim and take charge of your life. No one can do it for you.
2) Move On From The Past
You can have regrets and wish things had been done differently. The one thing you cannot do is change what has happened. Try to understand what went wrong and decide to handle future situations with the knowledge you have gained. Sometimes trying to do the right thing and being kind backfires. Live and learn. Sometimes others won’t want to hear what you have to say or adhere to your wishes but stay true to yourself. You cannot change others but you can look at yourself and find ways to live that serve you well. Stop holding grudges, let go and choose the future instead of holding onto the past.
3) Limit Time With Negative People
Some people will always believe what they want to believe, even in the face of contradictory evidence. Some people will find it difficult to get their lives on track and will drain you of your positive energy in order to try fix their own lives. They seek external validation and external answers and this can be a counterproductive strategy. Learn to be resilient and stand on your own two feet. If you find that there are certain people in your life who regularly drain your emotional resources, limit your time with them. Be brutal for your own sanity.
4) Choose Optimism
Some people wallow in a toxic soup of “poor me’s” and forever play the victim. They seem to have no clue as to how to generate their own happiness. More often than not, these people will be pessimistic and in all likelihood manipulative. They do not understand healthy reciprocation in relationships and change who they are in order to achieve their goals. Optimists know how to move forward with positive momentum. They have created internal thought buffers to help them build resilience. Choose optimism over pessimism. Do it for yourself. The less pessimistic your are, the less needy and dependent you will be. The more you believe in yourself the more you can access that positivity from within you instead of trying to take it from others.
5) Deal with Reality
Denial is a dangerous mindset and it will keep you stuck in the maze of dead ends for eternity. Deal with what is really going on in your life instead of pretending things aren’t really unfolding as they are. When we daydream and try to find ‘escapes’ from life we delay dealing with the reality that exists. Take a long hard look at your life and start to make positive changes. Do it for you. Don’t feel entitled and expect others to do it for you. Figure out what isn’t working, decide what you can change and work towards these changes. Be kind, send out positive energy and question negative thinking that promotes anger, resentment and bitterness. These negative emotions confirm that you are going ‘off-track’.
We all have the ability to find our best possible life – one that helps us to reach our potential and fulfils our positive energy and contentment reservoirs. Your happiness and how you deal with life’s lessons is in your hands.
Photo by The hills are alive*