I am aware of how bizarre this sounds, so I’ll just jump right in.
You are not the pain you have suffered.
You are stronger because of what you have gone through. Whatever you see it as: a victory, a failure, a win, a loss, a triumph, or a struggle. You came out the other side, and here you are in the present, living your life. What you have gone through isn’t who you are–you are not permanently a victim of your situation. You are who you are BECAUSE of what you have gone through.
Use your struggle as a learning experience.
I know, how cliche? But you have made it through, so use what you have learned to help you keep striving for a better life. Use the mistakes and the victories as your road map through the rest of your future. You fell? You broke under pressure? You succumbed to a weakness? Great! Learn from it… You now know what not to do!
Overcome your situation–don’t become your situation.
I’ve said this before, and I really just mean to not use what you have gone through as an excuse to be complacent. Don’t stay where you are in life wallowing in a victim mentality. Overcome what you have gone through. Make yourself better because of what you have already endured in life. It is over, and it is time to move on. Don’t let what was supposed to break you down take over your whole life. It is now just a part of your past–it is not who you are.
This is purely regarding what you are in control of. You are not a failure because you have failed. It is just a part of life. Accept it. Not everything is going to be a wild success, but every failure is a step closer to success. The less you dwell on your shortcomings, the easier you’ll be able to move on.
Turn your weaknesses into strengths.
I always tell people in job interviews to say that their weakness is something that could actually be used as a strength. That’s when I realized that you don’t have to just spin a weakness into a strength to schmooze potential new employers; you can actually take that attribute and harness it to build it into a strength.
For me, I always say that I am a perfectionist and a chatty Cathy. In real life, those attributes don’t sound like a weakness, but they do hold you back in some ways. The perfectionist in me sometimes holds me back from doing things that I may not be perfect at, or tasks that could be done quickly will take me a longer time because I want them done right. The Chatty Cathy part holds me back from being the most productive because I enjoy talking to people and learning about their life and talking about basically any topic under the sun.
I spin those attributes into positive traits by being excellent at time management–I allot a certain amount of time for conversation and a certain amount of time for cleaning projects. After that, it’s time to move on so that I don’t fall back into a pattern that sets me up for failure. By identifying my weaknesses, I am able to manipulate them into something I can use to benefit myself rather than something that holds me back. Leave the negative sides of your weaknesses behind–use this knowledge to enhance your future self.
You are not your choices.
Not one person in this world is perfect. That is why we are so lucky to be able to learn from the past. You may have made a bad choice, but that doesn’t make you a bad person. You may have made a mistake, but you are not a mistake. If you can take an objective look at something from your past, you can use it as that learning experience I mentioned before. In fact, we are so lucky that we are able to do this. Taking a look at ourselves and our own choices gives us information on what works and what does not. By realizing this, you can take every bit of knowledge out of something you already lived through and improve your future self.
You’ll never be that same person who made that same choice again. And you don’t have to hold onto that person. Take what you can get out of the experience and move on.
Let go of who you used to be. You are better every day than you were the day before. Continue with that pattern and leave the old you behind.
What actions do you take to propel yourself forward?
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