I spoke to someone recently about past decisions. It made me realise that when we look back on things that we did in the past we can be so hard on ourselves. We think I should have done this, or if only I did it that way, or I made a mistake. We wonder about different outcomes if we had done something else. This is all normal, BUT what we forget when we beat ourselves up is how it felt to be the person that made that decision at that moment.
The Geek is wise in many ways. One thing he taught me that makes me look back differently is, a silly story he tells about being at the Coke Fest once, he had been there all day from 10am and it was now 11pm and he was tired and dusty, dust in his nose, his mouth and even his eyes felt dusty, he just wanted to be at home. As an introvert, I think he had just had his fill of people, noise, crowds and needed to leave. The only problem was that one of his favourite band Quorn was playing shortly. He debated whether to leave but he could not stay any longer. He made a mental note to remember how he felt in that moment because he knew that looking back one day he would be mad at himself for not staying. I think he is still a little sad that he did not stay but at the time he made the best decision for the person in that moment. I know this is a rather trivial decision but it illustrates a point well.
We forget, often when we look back, we are in a different place emotionally and sometime in different circumstances, We might be able to make a different decision now. We did the best we could at the time, and even if we made a rubbish decision we were different then. Some of the hardest decisions we made before gave us the chances to do and be who we are now. We have to be kinder to that person, he/she sometimes made very very hard choices and because of that we have chances we might not have had.
We will always look back, but I think we need to do it in order to;
– to make less mistakes by learning from those we made,
– and to see how far we have come.
We need to use the chance to make sure that the difficult decisions that the person in the past made were for a good reason, we should use it to motivate us to do better and strive harder now.
Some decisions are just crazy hard. They stay with us forever but don’t let them haunt you, learn and grow, past you deserves you to do well now.
**Photo credit** The Awesome Andre van Rooyen