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Kicking the Clutter: Avoid dwelling on past mistakes

Dwelling on past unhealthy decisions will not improve your life, but being aware of the decisions you made might inspire you to make better choices

I don’t think there is a person in the universe who hasn’t made some mistakes in his/her life. Some more than others, but as humans we all do it.

Dwelling on past unhealthy decisions will not improve your life, but being aware of the decisions you made might inspire you to make better choices.

Like many others, I made some bad decisions that affected my life and the life of my family. Once I realized a decision wasn’t the right one for me, I constantly talked about it, feeling a pang of guilt, shame and frustration.

In that kind of mindset, there was no chance of changing the predicament I was in. At that time, problem solving wasn’t my most desirable skill.

My coping skills were rusty and weak. I felt overwhelmed, stuck and powerless. Then, one sunny spring day after feeling sorry for myself, I decided to try something different.

Reading somewhere that we should analyze our life by asking questions about it, that same day I created five questions that pertained to my life.

Do I like where I’m living? Do I like who I’m living with? Do I like my job? Do I like myself? Who can help me?

The answers were negative and not very promising. That day, I knew something had to change. The emotional chaos that surrounded me was unbearable.

Then, out of the blue, the message was clear: Do something that will make you happy and could help others.

Here are three steps you might consider:

Step one

Itemize the skills you already have. If you are not sure what skills you have, contact a career counsellor at the local college. Once assessed, you will be able to have a clearer vision of which path to take. You will never be alone because many people will show up to help.

Step two

Do you have a goal you’re working on, or maybe a list of goals you want to accomplish in a short time? I always have a list of short-term goals, then I write them on my to-do list, keeping it in a visible place. There is nothing more rewarding than crossing out an accomplished task.

Possible goals include home and family; work related; fitness or nutrition; and financial.

Finish something every day to bring yourself closer to the life you are destined to live. Attend workshops and seminars and learn something new and interesting. Read biographies of people who struggled and overcame life challenges.

Step three

Pay attention to your physical and mental health. When you are down, feeling defeated, it’s easy for fear and depression to set in. Beat the blues before they occupy your mind. Talk to a trusted friend, family member or therapist.

Remember, there is more than one solution for your problems.

I will leave you with this quote: “You can solve your problems when they show up or when they blow up.” ~ David Allen

Ranka Burzan owns a professional organizing company based in the qathet region and has written several books on reducing clutter and becoming more organized. For information, go to