One very common cause of unhappiness and low self-esteem is the tendency to always reflect on bad experiences from the past.
In many cases most people either feel sorry for themselves or lament ever being a part of those events. Yet, it is much more progressive to look at the past as a exercise and not as a regret.
Admittedly, it is not an easy thing to do, especially when the events were painful, terribly embarrassing or resulted in permanent injuries that live on as a reminder.
But at some point, reality has to be faced and it demands that the past is accepted as it is.
That is because it simply can never be changed to suit anyone’s wishes. What happened, no matter how bad it could have been, remains a permanent part of one’s history; without exception. But on the flip side, it can easily be used to shape a brighter future.
However, it is naïve to try to forget and bury the past. Rather, it is important to embrace it and accept it as an important part of life history which can help avoid similar events. It is from past events that people have always drawn invaluable lessons.
Famous inventors, for example, drew inspiration from what everyone else perceived as failures. To the inventor, each failure’ was simply a new discovery of one more thing to avoid next time. And they viewed each succeeding attempt on their invention as a step closer to success, owing to the wisdom earned from such past failures’.
On the contrary, looking back on the past with regret induces great fear, which literally stops a person from progressing in life. If everyone stopped attempting new things because they failed dismally before, the world would still be travelling on horseback to this day. And all the scientific discoveries made over the centuries would never have come to pass.
That’s just how devastating regret can be to humankind!
When the past is accepted as it is (the past!), there will certainly be much less fear anger, sorrow or animosity going around. Life is a unique day by day experience. Nobody ever gets the chance to rehearse for it.
As such, nobody should hold on to; and live in the shame, blame, hurt or regret of the past. It should simply be looked back upon as a reference point from which valuable life lessons are drawn, purely for the benefit of the future.
The moment a person treats the past in this way, he or she opens themselves up to deeper peace of mind and self acceptance. With self-acceptance comes a higher self-esteem, more happiness and overall well-being.
Regret has no place in the mind of such a person; it simply cannot co-exist with such positive and forward looking personality traits.