In our new book, The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet, we're all about learning to love yourself and treat yourself healthy, inside and out -- no matter what you may have done in the past when it comes to nutrition, fitness or (really) anything. A key part of being truly healthy is to realize, and embrace, the fact that we are all imperfect and flawed human beings. And as such, we make mistakes!
We do dumb things. We forget. We stick our foot in our mouth. We do the wrong thing. We say the wrong thing (or sometimes we don't say or do something when we should). But it's how we respond to these events in the long run that counts.
Take a quick look at your life. Are you feeling guilty about your own past mistakes? Are you harboring resentment against others or yourself for things you wish had happened differently? While having some regrets is a natural part of life, letting them hold you back from being your best now is no laughing matter. In fact, I'll go so far as to recommend that you should be grateful for your past perceived mistakes.
Yes, I said grateful.
Think back to some of your toughest times in your life. The times when you screwed up or failed or did something totally stupid. The times when you hurt someone else or they hurt you. The times when you didn't say or do the right thing. All those times that you look back on and wince, wishing you had done anything but that.
Instead of being caught up in feeling bad, guilty or shameful about said mistake, how can you flip your thinking so that you can learn from it? What did the experience teach you? How did it change you? What would you do differently now that you wouldn't do then? Go ahead and grab a piece a paper and a pen, set a timer for 10 minutes and really reflect on that.
Unfortunately, we don't get that many true do-overs in life. And we certainly don't have control over everything. But we do have control over ourselves and the all-awesome power of attaching meaning to the events in our lives. So if you have times in your life that aren't so funny, dig deep to see how you can bring a little lightness to them. Figure out what lesson you were able to learn from it, and then, appreciate the richness and depth that the experience has brought to your life and maybe even changed, forever.
Heck, if we think back to the times when we didn't get the job, or the time that we used mint-chocolate ice cream to make ourselves feel better after a break up, or the time that we totally embarrassed ourselves in front of everyone we knew -- no matter how embarrassing or bad the situation is -- we can find something meaningful that came out of the experience. (Be it realizing that the job we thought we wanted wasn't nearly as great as what was waiting for us a little later; or that mint-chocolate ice cream never really makes you feel better; or just learning the tough lesson that it's never a bad idea to set a back-up alarm on days when you have a really early, morning meeting!)
We all make mistakes. But it's the meaning that we give them that matters. So what slip-ups can you forgive yourself for and learn from? And how can that make your life lighter, happier and more full of laughter? Beating yourself up doesn't do anyone a bit of good. Move on, move past and move up!