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At some point in life, everyone makes decisions that they regret. Some people’s decisions have more of a negative impact on their lives than others. Yet, it is important to understand that nobody goes through life without making mistakes. It is crucial that you are able to move forward from any harmful decisions you make because they may happen many times throughout your lifetime. Today, you are going to learn how to find something positive from whatever poor decisions you have made in the past. Let’s take a dive into how you can turn a negative into a positive.

Don’t let your poor decisions haunt you

Many times, when a decision we make comes back to haunt us, whether it be a week, a month, or even a few years later, as humans, we tend o beat ourselves up over it. Some of us will focus on those mistakes, staying in the past and treating ourselves poorly as a result. You might be saying to yourself, “That was so stupid!” or “Why did I do that? How could I have been so dumb?”. This type of negative thinking is not healthy, and it can sometimes whey on a person’s mind. Many times, that person does not realize the negative effect these thoughts have. For example, how would you feel if someone was to call you stupid or dumb? Would you be sad? upset? irritated? I am sure you would not feel great. Similarly, when you say these types of remarks to yourself, the impact is no different. When you start talking negatively to yourself, you begin to look down on the person you are for the mistakes you’ve made. You may even be so angry or upset that you think irrationally and make further decisions based on those emotions. Many times, those secondary decisions are just as poor if not worse. When you constantly beat yourself up and talk negatively about the choices you have made, it can never end well. Instead of reacting emotionally, it is important to realize that no matter how angry or sad you get, you have to first accept that those mistakes happened and cannot be changed. However, in almost every case, there is always a way to make things better which more positive decision making. You can learn from that situation and look at it in a constructive manner. Wouldn’t it be better to skip the negative thinking altogether? Let’s talk about different ways that you can learn to see the positives.

Reflect on poor decisions and use what you’ve learned as a guide

To start, it is definitely important to look back and analyze the negative decisions you have made; do not ignore them altogether. With that being said, when reflecting, try not to have a negative approach to your thinking. Try to zoom out and view the situation as a whole. Instead of focusing on how upset you are with what actually happened, think to yourself: what could I have said differently? how could I have acted in a more beneficial way to myself and others? After evaluating and finding alternative solutions, you can take those new ideas and use them in the future to make better decisions. These situations can be revisited countless times to continuously teach you positive lessons. These improvements help you prepare for similar scenarios that may arise in the future. The reality is, this kind of positive thinking is how people become wiser and grow into better versions of themselves. Here’s an analogy I like to use as an example: When playing sports, how do both teams and individual athletes improve? They sit down and dissect the game or match they’ve played by talking about it and watching film. Athletes look at their mistakes and do their best to correct them in order to prepare for the next game. What if the same mistake happens again? The ones who succeed do so by continuing to look at the situation positively and trying to correct it. That mindset is exactly what you need to do if you find yourself in a repetitive loop of making poor decisions. Just imagine how much different your life would be in the future if you approached your mistakes this way.

As I said in the beginning, everyone makes decisions that they regret, but the people who are able to look back and take the positives from each situation will be the most successful in their lives. Remember, do not avoid the mistake altogether, for there are always lessons to be learned.