I try not to beat myself up over the past… actions, words, circumstances, etc… It’s counterproductive and can consume a person to the point of lunacy. I suppose it is normal to feel a sense of guilt following a life-changing or mood-altering event. As humans, we tend to maintain a “could’ve, should’ve, would’ve” mentality. How often have you thought back on a situation and wished you had said or done something differently? I can’t count the number of times in my life that I mulled over the past, only to make myself feel worse through self criticism. I wish I would have done this… I should have said that… I’m upset that I couldn’t do this…
I recently came to the stark realization that what I was doing was actually hindering me from moving on and, most importantly, was thwarting my happiness. A few days ago, I was discussing this topic, regret and guilt, with someone who put this into perspective. They told me that instead of focusing on would’ve, should’ve and could’ve, focus on what I was able to do and what I did do. For example, instead of focusing on what you couldn’t do for someone, focus on what you could and did do for that person. Maybe you beat yourself up, wishing you could have been a better son or daughter, granddaughter or friend before losing a loved one. You could easily list everything you wish you would have done or wish you could have said. I promise, this mentality will destroy you. What you can do instead is think back on what you did do and say. Think about those moments you said, “I love you” or shared a holiday with that person. Maybe you engaged in deep conversation over coffee with that person. Focus on those things, be thankful and move on.
The same could be said for future endeavors. Rather than focusing on what you feel you can’t do, focus on what you know you can! You’d be surprised at how empowering this simple shift in mindset can be!
Instead of feeling defeated and beating myself up about not making six digits a year, I will focus on how awesome it is that I have an income that supports my babies and allows us some wiggle room! I’m not sure I will ever make six digits a year, but I do know that I am a smart and capable woman and will continue to provide for my kids.
Instead of worrying that I am insufficient as a mom, I will focus on all the value I bring to my kids’ lives and the fact that I am enough. I might not ever do mommin’ as good as those on t.v. or in the movies, but I know I am the best and only mom for my kids.
There is always going to be something we wish went differently or wish we could go back and re-do. News flash: It’s not possible. We can learn, grow, and try harder than we did before. There might be a second chance. There might not. Either way, just know that you did what you could with what you had in that exact moment.
I hope your mind can rest a little easier tonight knowing that beating yourself up is only holding you back. Change your mindset and focus on all that you are! Accept the past for what it is and move forward knowing you are a wonderful human being! No one could do you better than YOU!