You might not be proud of all the things you’ve done in the past, but that’s okay. The past is not today.
Here are 11 things to leave behind and grow beyond:
- Letting other people write your life’s story. – You could spend your whole life worrying about what other people think of you, or what they want for you, but it won’t get you very far. If you don’t take charge and design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? NOT MUCH! Read The Last Lecture.
- The fear of making mistakes. – Past mistakes should teach you to create a wonderful future; not cause you to be afraid of it. Be less afraid of making a mess out of your life. For oftentimes, our greatest achievements and our most beautiful creations ascend from the emotions we live, the lessons we learn, and the messes we make along the way. Just ask a poet, an artist, a songwriter, a lover, or a parent; in the long-run things rarely turn out as planned, just better than you ever imagined.
- The belief that ‘perfect’ means the same thing to everyone. – Perfect people have scars on their faces and perfect complexions. Perfect people have long brown hair at 60 and short grey hair at 35. Perfect people wear wigs. Perfect people have sex with men, women, both, or no one at all. Perfect people can barely see over the grocery store counter, and sometimes bump their heads at the top of doorways. Perfect people have waistlines that are infinite in size and geometry. Perfect people have skin tones as light as vanilla ice-cream and as rich dark chocolate. Perfect people come from every corner of this beautiful planet and can be seen everywhere – even in the mirror. Yeah! That’s right! Perfect is the way we are born. Perfect is the way we are now. Perfect is exclusively unique. We are all perfect just the way we are.
- Negative thinking. – If there is one thing I am certain of, it’s that our thinking can get in the way of our happiness. It is our thoughts that really dictate the way we feel, so why not choose thoughts that make you feel amazing? The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. You can choose to make the rest of your life the best of your life.
- Doing something just because others are. – Give yourself permission to immediately walk away from anything that gives you bad vibes. There is no need to explain or make sense of it. Just trust what you feel. Don’t make a decision based solely on popularity. Just because other people are doing it doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for you. Read The Art of Non-Conformity.
- Not following your intuition. – One day your life will flash before your eyes; make sure it’s worth watching. Stop and think about it. Really think about it. What is it that you really want to do with your life? Forget what you think you should do. What excites you? What feels impossible? Be honest with yourself. Your answers don’t need to make an impression on anyone but you.
- Procrastinating on your goals and passions. – The difference between who you are and who you want to be, is what you do. Yes, it will hurt. It will take time. It will require dedication. It will require willpower. You will need to make healthy decisions. It will require sacrifice. You will need to push your mind and body to its max. There will be temptation. But, I promise you, when you reach your goal, it will be worth it. And remember, nothing you have passion for is ever a waste of time, no matter how it turns out.
- The belief that failure is the opposite of success. – Failure is not the opposite of success, it is part of success. Failure becomes success when we learn from it. If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Instead of looking at what’s missing, and how far you still have to go, focus on what’s present, and how far you have come. Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
- Showing a lack of respect. – Sometimes you have to respect another person’s feelings even if they don’t mean anything to you, because your gesture could mean everything to them. And remember, what goes around comes around in the world. You get respect when you give respect. So treat everyone with kindness and respect, even those who are rude to you – not because they are nice, but because you are.
- People who want you to be someone else. – Sometimes we grow strong when someone sets us free, and sometimes we grow even stronger when we let someone go. Remember, you are too fabulous to fit in. It is better to be hated for what you are than loved for what you are not. Never change who you are. Be yourself. People will love you for it, and if they don’t, let them go.
- People who are already gone. – There are no failed relationships, because every person in your life has a lesson to teach. Sometimes you simply outgrow people. Don’t try to fix the unfixable, just accept it and move on. When someone leaves you, it’s important to emotionally release them. And know it’s not an ending – it’s a new beginning. It just means that their part in your story is over. Your story will go on.
Photo by: Swetlana Hasenjager