At times of self-reflection, we look back at our past and reflect. While it is a very beneficial and important thing to do, dwelling on the past can leave us feeling unsatisfied and disappointed. It is at those moments when we need to remember and see all the progress we have made. Instead of living in constant regret, we need to remind ourselves just how far we have come.
Our past is the best learning material we have. It features the good and the bad, the ups and the downs. Using the past to learn, grow, and evolve is something everyone should do. However, there are times when looking back brings us only regret and sorrow. We only see what we did wrong. We can sometimes obsess over what happened, wishing we acted differently. This is where the problem lies.
Regretting our actions and decisions can lead to no good. Instead of learning from our mistakes and learning the lessons, we dwell on them and play them over and over in our heads. Let go of the “if onlys”. Stop dwelling on the negative parts of life, the negative memories. Think about them, learn from them, and move on. Leave them in the past, where they belong. Life’s too short!
We need to start focusing on the good instead of the bad. We need to start celebrating our successes and not only regret our mistakes. We need to celebrate our progression, how much we have come and learned. It’s easy to only see the bad and criticize ourselves. To give ourselves a hard time. What’s harder is patting ourselves on the shoulder, celebrating a work well done, celebrating our progress.
So, next time you dig deep into your past, remember that this is a learning opportunity. This is not another reason to put yourself down. When looking back, see how much you have progressed. How much you have grown and evolved. Stop dwelling on the past. Move forward. As Walt Disney said: “Around here we don’t look backward for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things.”