We all have a past. We may not speak much about it. Many of those close to us in our lives may know us well, but they probably don’t know all of our past. Especially some of the deep valleys of our journey and more importantly, how those experiences have shaped our mindset and our perception of reality today.
As we continue on our journey to build and strengthen our character, we can generate energy from looking back on our past as an opportunity to learn and grow as we move forward, or we can create burdens from looking back that limit our potential. The choice is ours to make.
We have all made mistakes throughout many phases of our lives. Even though we may grow in wisdom to handle things more effectively in the coming years, life brings new experiences regardless of our age. With new experiences, we will inevitably stumble from time to time as we navigate the journey of life.
We build and strengthen our character when we view our past as an opportunity to learn and grow instead of carrying the burden of regret and shame.
Looking back and labeling experiences as regrets creates a huge burden on our future growth. Regrets often keep us from taking chances in the future and paralyzes us in the face of new opportunities. We often choose not to do things if, in some small way, it reminds us of the pain of the past.
Looking back and viewing our experiences as an opportunity to learn and grow creates an energy source to reach our full potential. We have renewed self-confidence that we have survived past challenges with a little bit more “street smarts” to apply to the challenges of the future and we move about getting after our full potential. “I will do better next time” is a helpful reminder to all of us that life’s experiences can be applied to improve our impact tomorrow.
In addition to viewing our own experiences as opportunities to grow instead of regrets and feelings of shame, we can use that same mindset to have a positive impact on others close to us. Instead of being quick to pass judgment on someone close to us who obviously made a poor choice, we can speak to them in terms of learning and growing through the experience instead of adding to their burden of regret and shame. We could all help one another to stand a little taller in this life by encouraging growth through mistakes as opposed to adding a burden or regret or shame…especially to those closest to us.
As we turn the page on another year, looking back on our experiences as opportunities to learn and grow instead of burdens of regret and shame will help us continue to build and strengthen our character and Character Creates Opportunity® to reach our full potential and have a positive impact on those around us.