By developing the habit of loving and appreciating, you are increasing your own confidence level and your own self-respect. Instead of immediately writing people off due to their shortcomings, determine and focus on their best qualities ... and only those qualities. Assuming the best in everyone is not a false construction. It is not denying that there are really bad people or that mostly good people do some bad things. Looking for the best in others improves you. It lightens your mood and frees up that part of your brain that is usually reserved for bitterness and judgment.
Labels are dangerous. Labels are limiting beliefs. By judging someone based on the way they look, their dress, their political opinion, their religious belief, or a myriad of other characteristics proves no value. Instead it is a reflection of you, your value system, and your limiting beliefs.
Choose to see the best in people. Assume their best intentions while acknowledging that we all are human; even the best people have bad moments.
In order to see the best in people, it is imperative to learn to leave the past behind. This too is a habit. Not only can negative events in the past make it hard to live in the present, but as we discussed yesterday, living in the past can lead to grudges. Grudges are destructive. How many times have you or have your heard someone say they lost sleep over an event? Until you learn to let go of the past, you are allowing the past to determine your future. You are never going to be able to live your life by your design.
The key is to take things step-by-step and keep an open mind. Accept the past as part of your journey and part of who you are. If you could change the past, then things may be different. But, the past is the past and that is where it belongs. It does not matter how difficult it may be, you must let go or it is going to consume you.
Three things to remember when letting go of the past:
- Acknowledge the challenges you have experienced in the past. Unresolved past experiences may produce lasting psychological and physiological effects. Try pretending you are not affected by past events. You cannot get over the past until you accept it. If something reminds you of a previous traumatic event, calmly acknowledge that was the past. Allow yourself to feel what you feel about the past but do not apply it to the current event. Unresolved previous experiences can prevent you from building strong relationships and affect the way you see your future self.
- Understand how trauma affects you. Traumatic experiences can affect our neurochemistry. If you find yourself trying to “get over it,” remind yourself that reality is often more complicated. Traumatic events can actually alter the way your brain works. By giving yourself a break you begin to open up to positive experiences. As you introduce more positive experiences into your life, your brain reorganizes those experiences. Soon those positive experiences become your norm and the traumatic experience falls further behind.
- Accept that you cannot change the past, but you can change how you view it. Give yourself active permission to let go of the mistakes you have made. Don’t beat yourself up for the opportunities you may have missed or the “should of, would of, could of” in your past. There is no such thing as a mistake if you learn from it. At that point it becomes a learning experience. A great way to leave the past behind is through journaling. Write about the events in your day-to-day life or about the past. Soon you begin to see cause-effect relationships. This allows you stay in alignment with your core beliefs and create those results in your life you have envisioned.
When you begin to see the best in others and begin to leave the past behind, you begin to no longer see the past as an excuse for not improving the present. This opens the journey for your future self. Accept others and accept yourself. Give yourself the opportunity to lead a fulfilled life.
And, throughout your day remind yourself this is “My Moment to Succeed.”