How to Get Past the Guilt of Bad Decisions

This post is a response to a reader question, on how to get past the guilt of past bad decisions. 

We can’t change the past. So the guilt that you are carrying, from the mistakes that you made in the past, can block you from getting what you want in the future. You must let that go. The past is the past. HOWEVER, you can and MUST learn from it, and not repeat those same mistakes. Take everything in your life, good and bad, as a learning experience.

Here’s how I do it: Break it down and see where you went wrong. Retrace your steps so you can clearly see the warning signs that were there (they always are) but that you previously ignored. Look closely at each stage in that decision-making process and ask yourself the tough questions.  Why did you make choice A which lead to B?… etc.  What were the red flags that you turned a blind eye to?  Doing this will help you be more aware moving forward and keep you from repeating the same mistakes in the future. It will also teach you how to listen to your inner guiding voice (your gut) that is present to help guide you in the right direction.

Your gut is the most powerful guiding force you have, and many of us have so silenced it that we don’t recognize when we are going against it. Take the time to pay attention to it, in my case it’s almost never wrong. If you listen to it, it will prevent those same mistakes in the future.

In other words, use those mistakes to make you a better person. Don’t beat yourself up over them, just change the behavior that lead to you making them in the first place. Vow to do better moving forward. As Maya Angelo says; “when you know better,
you DO better


Sarah Centrella is the author of the book Hustle Believe Receive which teaches you how to apply the #HBRMethod to change your life and live your dream.

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One comment

  • Anonymous
    January 3, 2013 - 11:09 pm | Permalink

    I’m currently reading The philosophies of Thich Nan Han (sp) to help me with this. I read his book An Appointment with Time. It was helpful to hear that the way one can heal the past is to focus on the present, as the ghosts of the past are in the present. So, when I start fretting about what I did in the past to Eff up my life, I just focus on the present and begin making better decisions today. Focusing on the present has helped bring peace into my life. Rhonda

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