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Although social media can make you feel otherwise, life can get a little rough for everyone. We all do things we regret, say things we wish we hadn’t or leave a situation or relationship imperfectly in one way or another. Reflection is important, but dwelling on these very human tendencies distracts you from building the future you want. When we start to fixate on past mistakes, we find these tips to be helpful for us:

  1. Focus on the lesson, not the mistake. You can waste all of your time wishing you had acted or spoke differently to someone, but it won’t change the past. Instead, focus on what you learned. The only way to give that mistake power, is to let the feelings fester, rather than grow from it.
  2. Acknowledge those involved. Remember there are always two sides to every story. Chances are, the other person has a completely different take on the situation, or interpreted the nuances of a conversation differently. Sometimes it’s best to air out a situation so that you can better understand and move forward. The most important thing here? To listen, not to convince.
  3. Dilute a bad interaction with good ones. We can’t go back in time, so the best thing that we can do is create new memories, new relationships or prove to others, but most importantly to ourselves, that we are more than just one bad interaction.
  4. Feel your feelings. If you have a nagging bad feeling about an interaction or relationship but are the type to just ignore it and not think about it too much until it gives you such bad feelings it’s even more damaging, you might just need to feel your feelings. Talk it out with a trusted confidant you know won’t judge you, express yourself and be honest with yourself. Acknowledge how you feel and get it all out so you can begin healing.

Whatever works for you, find a way to acknowledge your past so that you can focus on your future. You are deserving of good things, don’t forget that.

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