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Mistakes from the Past Are Not Really Mistakes But Hidden Keys to Unlock Success

beliefs self improvement May 27, 2022

Mistakes from the past are not mistakes. Rather, they’re experiences that provide us with the keys to unlock success. I’d like to offer a potent tool to start looking at your past differently (more on that below).


We each have unique situations as to how our lives have unrolled. Some of us had unstable childhoods that instilled an unsettling and unstable-feeling home life early on. Some of us had a great childhood but had trauma happen later in life. Maybe the bully down the street ruined school life and made someone feel angry and bitter. 


You name it, someone on this planet has experienced it.


The point is when this shitty stuff happens to us in our early years, and then again as we get older, these things keep us trapped in the thinking that we just can’t do right. We frame it in our eyes as though we did something wrong and deserved it.


Indeed, we often get ourselves into situations that cause pain; in these instances, only we can hold ourselves accountable and take responsibility for them. But, the kid born into a troubled and unstable home life didn’t do something wrong.


The big question is, how do we let some of it go and use the rest to become the future person we know we can be? 


We can get stuck thinking that we did something wrong and blame ourselves repeatedly, which completely and utterly clouds our vision. When we get sucked into the “blame vortex,” we lose the ability to see that the keys lie within shitty experiences that can help us learn more about who we truly are. They can unlock success to fuel our future. Looking at past hurts, experiences, trauma, etc., can feel like shit. But, being honest with ourselves helps us choose how to live the rest of our lives.


Do we get empowered from our past experiences or disempowered? We have the choice to decide how we use these experiences.


Unlocking success in our life from something crappy means we must look at the experiences through another lens. Think about it this way. If your best friend shared some difficult experiences with you, you’d probably help your friend see the positive or lighter aspects of the situation.


That’s what it requires of us, too. We need to become our own best friends and look at these hurtful, shitty experiences through a lens of love. The times we spend thinking that we made “mistakes'' take us into a spiral of negative thinking, and we don’t deserve that.


What should we do instead? We look at the experiences and use the insight to unlock future gifts.


Here’s the powerful exercise mentioned above that you can use to learn how to unlock the wisdom from the shitstorms. This exercise can also help you realize that you shouldn’t be afraid of the past because it can unlock many great gifts that can help you create success on your path.


Grab something to write with and answer the following questions: 


What shitty stuff happened to you in the early years?


What pieces/learnings of those experiences can fuel your growth rather than hinder it?


What stuff was “yours,” and what was “theirs?”


What experiences stemmed from something you created versus what someone else made?


What’s yours to own, and what’s theirs to let go? (Reminder: we don’t take on someone else’s problems, those are their issues to figure out!)


Can you reframe these experiences, take out the “blame” portion of the thought, and just analyze what happened (to see it more clearly)?


This is how you can learn to reframe.


If you can start unlocking the secrets and gifts of the past and look at the difficult experiences from a whole new perspective, then you’re on your way to understanding that things can change just by how we perceive them. 




The shitty experiences we endure that we cause, we can stand up and be accountable and responsible for the outcomes. But, when we can’t help a situation that happened TO us, these are the times we have to reframe the experience and step out of the blame game. If we blame ourselves for things we did not cause, it clouds our vision and stunts our growth (spiritually and mentally). 


Seeing our past experiences as powerful learning tools can keep us in a state of positive growth as we go about our journey.


And, remember, if you need a lot of extra work or understanding around a highly traumatic event that happened when you were young, I recommend finding an excellent therapist trained in childhood trauma. These types of trained individuals can help you unlock the gifts of the hardships and help you gain more clarity.