Your bounce-back-ability factor
Looking back, being riddled with guilt, stops people from moving forward. We can get stuck in the past thinking we’ve made a much more serious mistake than anyone else will have picked up on. We’re so wrapped up in our own lives that we assume others will be thinking constantly about the mistake we’ve just made. But is it really as bad as all that or are we making it into something terrible by blowing it all out of proportion?
If it’s something you’ve said, is there a real consequence?
If it’s something you want to do to make things right, then do it and you’ll know once and for all that you’ve done all you can to make amends.
If you’re still worrying, then the only one suffering is you.
Ask yourself, do you have proof that your actions really caused a disaster?
If you are really consumed with guilt, stop and check in with yourself. Stop the thought and take a deep breath in. Notice where you are, be present in the moment and recognise that right now, everything around you is fine.
Remember, you can control your thoughts. You can take responsibility by choosing how you respond, rather than simply unconsciously reacting. We are not reptiles that survive by eating their young, we are human beings with the capacity to think and, therefore, choose!
When you think about what’s gone wrong, focus on how you’d want to do it in the future. Break the pattern. Take a minute to visualise how you would have done it differently. Reflect and you will become more aware of your natural tendencies.
When you think about something you might have said or done, there’s a physical sensation that comes just before you open your mouth to speak – it may only last as a nanosecond in time, but it is there nonetheless – think: what is going on in my body, what have I just felt inside that lurched? This should act as your alarm telling you to behave differently in those all too familiar situations. It will help you become more aware of what you’re doing and so serve as the best way of avoiding making the same mistake again.
Remember, you made the best decision you could in that situation – even if you were able to travel back in time, you’d more than likely do the exact same thing.
Guilt is known as the mafia of the mind! It keeps you stuck, it weakens your creative potential and resolve and completely drains your confidence. You become worried about making any decisions at all. Even if do embark on the wrong career, the wrong relationship, the wrong investment, the wrong anything, at least you’ll be in a position to discover the right one as you work your way through the terrain. You really don’t have to have all the answers from the outset.
Many of my clients are desperate for certainty – it’s only when they realise that by committing to taking a simple step forward, and then another and another and another, that they regain control. Ultimately, they discover that the true teaching from the gift of uncertainly is not how tough life is for us, but how tough we have become, bouncing back with greater resilience each and every time.