I want to start the new year by sharing with you some lessons I have learned to make 2012 the year that you made a change!
You will need a note book, I titled mine “Kick Start 2012”, feel free to use the same one or create your own that will motivate you. Now, I will need your co-operation because you will have some homework to do… I have not yet mastered the talent of waving my magic wand and making it all happen for you. Don’t worry, it will not require much time and you will not be graded on it.
Yes, your homework will require writing!! One of the most powerful healing of “letting go” technique I have learned is the power of writing. Writing allows you to be true to yourself in expressing emotions kept in the dark. Emotions that you don’t dare share with others for fear of looking “weak” or “stupid”. Writing helps you to break open, express your feelings and give you a sense of control. So, I will emphasize this point often as we go along.
Your first Heading will be:
“ Letting Go Of Regrets And Mistakes”
We all have them. They are the things we wish we didn’t say or do and the things we wish we did say and do. From personal experience, the reason why we are stuck to these images and events from our past is because we assumed that the course of our life would have turned out much different than it is with the decisions we made.
Under this heading, you will have 4 categories (You may structure this in any way that works best for you):
1. “Acknowledging a regret or mistake”
Whether a regret or mistake stems from a career, parenting, health, friendship or romantic relationship, you need to take responsibility that you played a role in it. It could very well be that it was probably out of your control, however, acknowledge your responsibility, maybe it was a decision you took. Remember one very important thing, deep in your hearts, at the time you took the decision, you did so with the best intention and chose the best options available to you. Write it down! This will allow you to gain empowerment for future decisions.
2. “Stop Victimizing Myself”
We tend to find ways to hide our mistakes and regrets. Victimizing ourselves is a perfect “getaway”, the perfect place to hide where no one will know of our mistakes and regrets. I want you to write down all times you “blamed” a certain situation on someone or on a circumstance. Write your true, honest feelings about the situation. Now, reflect on it and write down how you were involved in it.
3. “Lesson Learned”
What lesson did you learn from it. There is a lesson in every regret and mistake. The reason why people are not able to let go of their regrets and mistakes is because they missed the opportunity to learn from it. They will always be stuck in the what “could” have been state of mind. This state will only keep accumulating and build stronger walls to moving forward. So, for every what “could” have been that creeps up in your thoughts, for every “complaining” session you have with your friends for your current situation, I want you to WRITE it down, acknowledge it, take responsibility and write the LESSON LEARNED, it is the only way you will find value in it. To help you with this, think of why you can’t let go of it and why you would like to put it behind you.
4. “Take Action”
Once you have determined the lesson learned, what action will you take not to make the same mistakes or mend from them. You will be surprised on how you can actually use the lesson learned to help others. Set yourself a goal to achieve. It could be a short term or long term goal. You need to know where you want to go in planning your actions. Be realistic with your expectations. Do not set a goal where you tell yourself that you will be in the next Olympics if you have never trained before. You will probably realize the reason for your regrets in the first place. Example: “I will stop complaining and see things in a positive way” or “I will take that cooking course I have been putting off and pursue my dream” WRITE them down!
Start with baby steps
It is hard to let go of a regret or mistake that has been haunting us for years. Start with a small one. Maybe you did not go to the after work get together, after a long week, you decided to go home and relax. You find out that it turned out to be a big event and missed meeting Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie! Not the most devastating regret of your life, right? Once you make way with this one, you will notice how good it feels and you will be able to work your way up and make peace with all of them. Write the first one down and follow the same steps for each one.
You are where you are! Stop thinking that maybe you could have been happier today if only you had taken “that” course and continued school, maybe I would have had a better life if I had married my first boyfriend or girlfriend, maybe my child would be different if only I had done… The truth is you do not know that it would have been better. It could actually have been worse. Things have changed since then, nothing stays the same, your situation would have probably been a lot different than it is, but, not better. STOP beating yourself up with things you should have done or not done. You are where you are, focus your energy on all you have to offer now and on how you can keep growing from all your experiences. If you do not let go of the old,it will only keep haunting you and make you more miserable. The past is there as a learning opportunity for you to move forward not to dwell on regretting your decisions…
Which takes me to the second heading of your note book:
There are 2 categories here:
1. “Every thing I have”
Yes, it is important to WRITE all you are grateful for having… do not forget the little things. When you are having your first cup of coffee in the morning, be grateful for that moment. When you look out your window, watching the snow falling and you are sitting in front of your fireplace (maybe with a glass of wine), write it down.
Be grateful for the “negative” things you have been blessed with. When you give thanks for these things, it will remind you that everything happens as an opportunity. It will help you to see problems as a growing experience.
2. “Every thing I am”
All of you that I had the pleasure of speaking with or communicating via email, has so many wonderful qualities. I noticed how all of you did not realize any of them through some of the moments you shared with me. So, this category is extremely important!
The way you manage to keep it all together at home. It is not easy for some of you, especially all you single moms out there! Getting up at 5:30, juggling to get the kids ready for either daycare or school, getting them there on time and finally getting to work…OUFFF, I ran out of breath just writing about it! WRITE it down! Managing all this is an incredible accomplishment, acknowledge yourself.
You have listened to a friend when they just needed to be heard. You have contributed in lifting someone’s weight off their shoulder.
You have stepped up and defending someone when they were being put down!
You helped a colleague at work with a project so they would succeed without any recognition.
These are all qualities that make you the special and unique person that you are!
This exercise does not end here. As you move forward in 2012, keep this notebook close to you, either on your desk at work or on your night table at home. Every time you find yourself in a state of regret or making a mistake, follow these steps. You will achieve a growth you never thought possible and probably accomplish that one thing you keep telling yourself is impossible! It is not true that you are doomed because of your past. You will be doomed depending on the decisions you make now, not because of the past.
Some of you have already shared with me how you are already on your way through exciting breakthroughs going in to 2012… It is amazing to see so many of you starting the new year by fulfilling your dreams. Keep me posted, I always enjoy reading all your comments and emails.
Let’s fill every single day with Love, Lots Of Laughter and following our passions!
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