Mistakes from the Past Are Not Really Mistakes But Hidden Keys to Unlock Success
Hindsight is always 20/20. This is a famous saying, yet how many of us heard someone say this at some point growing up but didn’t quite understand how deep (and true) it really is?
In my book, Disasters To Dreams, I have sections that I call “WAY” and these are places in the book that ask the reader to stop for a moment and take some time for personal reflection. It’s me asking WHAT ABOUT YOU? This is going to be one of those times, so grab your journal, notebook, computer or whatever you have and start jotting down some notes as we go through this. This is an extremely powerful tool to use to start looking at your past in a different way.
We each have our own unique situations when we look at our past and how it played out. For me, it was the unstable parent who created an unsettling and unstable-feeling homelife early on. But for others it could be the father or mother (or both) who weren’t there to support them and they had to go out on their own at a young age. Maybe it’s the horrible bully down the street that ruined school life and made them shut down causing anger and bitterness.
You name it, someone on this planet has experienced it.
The point is when this shitty stuff happens to us in our early years and as we grow up, it can make us feel like we made a mistake. Like we did something wrong and deserved it. It’s true that we often get ourselves into situations and only we can hold ourselves accountable. But, the kid born into an unsettled and unstable home life didn’t do something wrong to make the home unsettled or unstable, it’s just something that they needed to experience.
What if we stopped the blame game?
The powerful question to ask here is, how do we let some of it go and use the rest to become the future person we know we can be?
We can get caught in the blame game always thinking we did something wrong and often can’t see the reality, which is the very thing that seems to have “broken” us is the very key that can unlock success that can fuel our future. Looking at past hurts, experiences, trauma, etc. is not fun. I know that as I had to do this myself. But, being honest with ourselves and our early experiences can help us handle how we choose to live the rest of our lives.
Unlocking success in our life from something shitty that happened means that we take that experience and start looking at it through another lens. If it were a best friend sharing this with you, you’d probably see the positive or lighter aspects as to how it can help your friend. That’s what it requires of us, too. We need to become our own best friend and look at these hurtful, shitty experiences through a lens of love.
The times we spend thinking that we made “mistakes” take us down into a spiral of negative thinking. What we can do instead is to start looking at the experiences and use the insight to unlock future gifts.
There’s a lot more in my book as I go deeper into this exercise, but here are a few powerful questions that you can ask yourself today. Just write down the first thoughts that come to you as you go through each question.
What shitty stuff happened to you in the early years?
Was there stuff that happened that you see that can fuel your growth rather than hinder it?
What stuff was “yours” and what was “theirs,” meaning, what experiences stemmed from something you created versus someone else around you?
Can you reframe these experiences and take out the “blame” portion of the thought and just analyze what happened?
If you can start unlocking the secrets and gifts of the past and look at experiences from a whole new perspective, then you’re on your way to understanding that things can change just by the way we perceive them.
This exercise can help us realize that we shouldn’t be afraid of the past because it can unlock many great gifts that can help us create success on our path.
And, remember, if you feel that you need a lot of extra understanding around an extremely traumatic event that happened when you were young, I recommend finding a powerful therapist who can help you unlock the gifts and help you gain more clarity.
If you’d like to learn more about this personal reflection exercise, grab my new book now!