Growing pains are a part of everyone’s life.
From the time you’re little and you wake up in the middle of the night with leg cramps because you’re getting taller, to the time you have to bite your tongue when someone makes an offhand remark you don’t like.
Change is inevitable. Personal growth is a choice.
Being scared of change is normal, but we all have to move past those fears in order to grow personally and professionally.
Over the last few years I’ve had to do a lot of soul searching in order to find my direction going forward in life.
It’s been a rough process.
At times I definitely wanted to give up; but I never did.
Instead, I used my past mistakes and failures to build a road map that I would follow moving forward.
The first step to finding the inner peace I’ve been searching for is learning how to let go of things I no longer have control over, things that I have done in my past, and the mistakes I’ve made.
Learning to let go
As I write this, there’s one thing that sticks out in my head that I have yet to fully let go of.
I struggle to even talk about it, and am erasing and rewriting this blog post over and over again, trying to find the right words.
Learning to let go of something that’s out of your control is hard. Learning to let go of past relationships you are no longer a part of is hard. Learning how to let go of people, places and things you’re attached to is hard.
However, spending your entire life holding onto things that are hurting you is going to do you more harm than good.
Learning that is the hardest lesson of all.
I’ve had a lot of ups and downs throughout my life, both personally and professionally. I’ve had my fair share of trouble, and done my fair share of good deeds.
My hope is that they’ve balanced each other out somehow, and the karma gods are smiling down on me.
There’s a time in my life where I would have let my emotions get the best of me, and done things that I undoubtedly today would have regretted tremendously.
A situation I had no control over threw me for a loop, and caused a lot of chaos in my life.
I spent years trying to sort through the mess of pain, emotions and information I had about it, but all it did was weigh me down and slow up the progress I wanted so desperately in my life.
- Was it something I caused? No.
- Was it in my hands to fix? No.
- Was it going to benefit my life if I spent the next 20 years trying to figure out all of the pieces to the puzzle? Absolutely not.
Learning how to let go of the anger, resentment and frustration that embodied me for years was rough. I’m still not fully over it, but I’ve learned how to manage my emotions better and try to find a peaceful resolution for the problem.
The jury is still out on if it’s going to work yet, since this is all still ongoing, but I have high hopes that it’ll all turn out for the best.
That’s all we can hope for, right? Peaceful resolutions to past problems.
Forgiving your past
When it comes to things in my life that I’ve personally been responsible for, I’ve made a bad habit out of beating myself up over my choices.
Some of them were great, like my relationship with the Mrs. On the other hand, some of them were completely horrible, like when I was a teenager, got drunk then passed out in a retail store’s bathroom and was woken up by cops at gunpoint (long story).
- Am I ashamed of my past? No.
- Am I proud of everything I’ve done in my life? No.
- Am I learning how to forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve made so that I can move forward a happier and more free person? Absolutely.
Sometimes I forget that we all have a past and not everything in it is pretty.
I’ve isolated myself so much that the regular world feels foreign to me. I always feel like an outsider, no matter what circle I’m trying to be a part of.
Personal insecurities aside, a lot of it stems from the absolute horror I feel when thinking about things I’ve done, a lot of which I know that I will never speak about publicly.
That’s the thing though, we all have a past and how you feel about yours will directly effect in your future. I spent years scared to move forward because of the fear that my past would come back to haunt me.
Now, I spend a lot less time worrying about that because I’ve realized that I am not the same person I was 10 years ago, 5 years ago, 1 year ago or even 1 day ago.
Instead of focusing so much time and energy on my past, I’ve worked a lot more on myself.
I’ve become physically stronger, eat healthier foods, nurture the relationships I truly care about and am letting go of the mistakes I’ve made and the people from my past that I have no desire to continue talking to.
Side note: If you were a part of my past and I’m still actively trying to connect with you, it’s because I care. If I didn’t, you would have been cut off already.
So if I’m learning to let go and forgive my past, what’s next?
I spent far too much time standing still. I think a lot about the things I could have been doing had I not stopped building businesses like I was a decade ago.
Now, instead of focusing so much on what could have been, I am relying on my strengths and my ability to build businesses in order to continue forward with a life I can be proud of.
Sometimes I get angry when thinking about people or situations from my past, but those times are a lot less frequent now.
I’m learning to look at things in a different light now.
I’m taking all of those mistakes and horrible situations, bundling them together into one giant list of life lessons and ensuring that I apply that knowledge to my future endeavors.
The road ahead
I’ve said all of that to say this: Nobody is perfect, not you and definitely not me. When I realized that, things became a lot more clear about the direction I wanted to go in with my life.
Hopefully, this post has given you something to think about and has helped you, even if it’s in a small, unnoticeable way.
Do no harm, but take no shit.
I’m not sure where I first seen that quote, but it’s stuck with me and I’m making it a central part of my life moving forward.
Do good, help people where you can and understand that even if you’ve done something wrong in your past, that doesn’t dictate your entire future.
The future is what we make it. Let’s make it awesome, together!