Shattering the Past

Our battles from the past teach us how to hide certain scars. Many of us reinvent ourselves when we don’t like how we are being perceived. We might have felt that we disappointed our parents, our friends, siblings, anyone that mattered. So when we revamp ourselves, one of the perceptions that we have to do is learn not to kick ourselves over the mistakes that we made and keep going.

I have felt like I wasn’t good enough a lot in my life. I watched as my cousins all became successful and here I was trying to figure out where I was in my own life. But after I stopped comparing my life to those that I thought I should be like, I was able to start figuring out things for myself. I started to see myself as a person of worth, a contributing member in society who has made her share of mistakes and then figured that I could either say screw it to the negative thoughts or be stuck in limbo forever.

There are parts of my past I don’t want to shatter. The memories of teachers who went to bat for me, my friends who propelled me forward, my folks, the loves in my life, each one of those memories are something that has made me stronger. Gone is the notion that I have to compete with anyone because I don’t. Don’t misunderstand. We all have to compete for jobs and opportunities in this world but I’m not willing to berate myself for my weaknesses. Instead I choose to grow from them. There’s been so many jobs over the years that I really wanted and didn’t get. It all boils down to presentation and confidence.

When I was a kid, I could memorize most of the subject matter and pass my tests and courses with a fair amount of ease. Then things began to change. The content of the material studied required that I could apply what I memorized. That was a lot harder for me to do. I started to detest English because I had to create outlines and timelines for things. I had to figure out verbs, adjectives and nouns. This wasn’t always easy for me to do. The fact became that I had to get over the I can’t and learn that I can mentality.

Being interested in things that are important to us helps to shatter the notion of what we were and what we become. For example, let’s say that you were a horrible student and got picked on by most of your peers. Do you see yourself as running a multi-million dollar empire in the long run? Well, guess what? There’s several folks who have worked really hard that didn’t do well in school but thrive in the business world. There’s a survivor’s instinct that kicks in. Many times those school of hard knocks help form a better mentality than those who have everything handed to them on a silver platter.

On the flipside, there are those who did fairly well in school, only to have fallen prey to poor relationship choices, drugs, alcohol, and low self esteem. That doesn’t mean that everyone who falls on hard times will end up doing poorly their whole lives. Our success depends on us. It is up to each individual to decide if they want to excel in their lives, or just be a statistic. The bottom line is that every person on this earth has the power to elevate their position in life. It’s a choice. It starts with positive attitudes and believing in ourselves.

There’s also the concept of learning from mentors. Throughout our lives, we have people who influence our decisions both positively and negatively. We may not always understand what affect these men and women have on us when we are learning from them, but we gain an insight and valuable lessons that last a lifetime off of their tutalege.

One of my mentors taught me that if you hold onto anger for a long period of time, that the anger will control you. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found this sentiment to be right on the money. People make me angry sometimes, and I’ll stew for a bit, then start to calm down. If I hold onto that anger, I can’t move forward and that’s only doing me a disservice. The other folks are not anywhere near as affected as I am. So then I have to ask myself is it worth being angry? The typical answer is usually no. That doesn’t mean I have to allow myself to stay a doormat for them. It just means don’t hold onto the anger.

I’ve also learned that it’s really important to show support to other folks. I’m not saying that you have to be their bankroll. Sometimes listening and helping them get a leg up with themselves is something that is more rewarding than anything else. It’s really easy to get frustrated with people. It’s a lot more difficult to keep supporting them when you see them making the same mistakes over and over. You don’t have to judge others for their actions. Just be there. If they feel the world is isolating them, then that’s when really bad decisions often get made. Be the positive change, not the negative.

Balance your strengths and weaknesses. None of us are perfect. That’s why it’s so critical to balance our strengths and weaknesses with others. Team player notions are crucial. You may be stronger in one area than others. What you aren’t is incapable of learning. Be open to suggestions. Learn that criticism isn’t always bad. Don’t take things for granted because the moment you do, the harder it will be to acknowledge you need help in certain areas. If you see someone struggling in an area you are strong, lend them a hand. Help each other grow and learn.

Take care of yourself. It sounds like a cliche but in reality it’s true. If you don’t take care of yourself, it won’t do anyone else any good. Relationships will suffer. Professionally it can kill you and emotionally it can exhaust you if you don’t find a way to balance things in your life. Mental health is just as important as physical health. It’s a true testament to taking care of not just the body but the mind. As we all take steps to shatter the perceptions of negative things in our lives from our past, we have to remember to exercise good judgment in preparing for our futures. Only then can true shattering begin.

No matter what negative forces you are choosing to shatter from your past, remember that if you have a plan, a goal, an ambition or a dream, you are a step closer to shattering the old persona and obtaining the newer version of yourself. Don’t let anyone deter your dreams. You are worth it, you are special, and most importantly, you deserve a good life. No one has the right to make you feel inadequate. Find your passions and grow from there. Yesterday is over. Today your life starts a new day and a new chapter. Start writing it and shatter the past.

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