As most of us get older, we begin to recognize our past mistakes. Sometimes we don’t realize how negatively our past decisions will affect us until years later. How can you recover and move past them?
Accept where you are in life. Be grateful for the things that you have. Be grateful for the people in your life. If you feel like you have no one, take a closer look. My guess is there’s someone in your proximity who is willing to be your friend. Relationships are a two way street, and if you don’t put forth effort in making friends, well… Friendships as adults are more difficult to maintain, but if you value having friends you’ll make the time and the effort. Be grateful for the opportunities that lie ahead, the chances you’ve been given (even if you messed some of them up), the skills you’ve acquired along the way, and the lessons life has taught you.
Don’t dwell on the past and regrets. Don’t ruminate on what you thought your life would be like by now. Just learn how to not repeat mistakes, focus on a plan to course correct, and implement the necessary changes.
If you did blow some amazing opportunities, is it possible you weren’t ready yet to receive the gifts? Many of us have a long journey of acquiring wisdom before we are presented with our gifts, and the lives that we dream of. Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, or lack there of… we simply will not be rewarded with the things that we desire, until we are ready for them. Sometimes we are presented with opportunities, but fail because we aren’t ready. These opportunities can be seen as a preview to a possible future opportunity and can be a great motivator to GET READY. Restructure your beliefs around failure as opportunities to learn and do better next time.
Admit where you made mistakes. There’s no shame in admitting you didn’t have it all figured out, and as a matter of fact you’re more likely to earn respect from those around you by being completely honest, and acknowledging accountability. Having the courage to be vulnerable is what creates deep and meaningful connections. Give apologies to those who deserve them and tell the people who are important to you how much they mean to you. After all, meaningful connections are what create happiness.
As I am about to celebrate my 40th birthday, I choose to celebrate my successes rather than beat myself up for not being where I had hoped to be, because there’s just no sense in it. I am perfectly happy to be exactly where I am, right now. I still have dreams of growing more, because life is a journey full of lessons, and opportunities. And if I can offer one bit of advice: You’ve got to learn how to roll with the punches, and as we say in the military, “Adapt, and overcome.”