“Your journey will be much lighter and easier if you don’t carry your past with you.”
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. A lot of my anxiety comes from mistakes I’ve made in the past, regardless of my age or situation at the time. I can have a panic attack over a mean comment I made at thirteen and have it haunt me almost ten years later. I have to remind myself every day that my past mistakes are not my future and they’re not my present.
No matter what mistakes or decisions you have made in the past, they don’t have to define you now. It’s possible that those mistakes and decisions shaped who you are today for the better, teaching you lessons about life and living in ways better than before.
As I’m writing this, I can’t promise myself that I’ll never be anxious about past mistakes again. I can guarantee that I will be. The important thing is to be able to recognize that the anxiety is coming from a place of irrationality and remembering that you are no longer that person and that your life is better because of those mistakes. If you hadn’t made the mistakes, you couldn’t have learned from them and become the person that you are today.
As adults, we encourage all children to make mistakes and learn from them. So why should we beat ourselves up for our own mistakes? There shouldn’t be an age limit on making mistakes. Life is a learning experience and a growing experience, regardless of how many years you’ve had. There is always more to learn and room to grow.
We all make mistakes, and we all cringe when we look back on them. How we deal with those mistakes and learn from them are the ways that we should see and define ourselves.