This is our weekly column, “Better life solutions: ask a life coach” where we answer your questions on career, relationships, personal growth, and more, and we provide valuable insights and guidance for achieving your goals and creating the life you truly desire.
Client: Dear coach, why do I still have the feelings of regret and dissatisfaction about living a life that was not truly mine, even though I am now living the life I always wanted? Actually, I had a difficult marriage for 5 years; 6 months ago I divorced, and now I feel that my life is complete in terms of my career, finances and independence. However, I still feel the impressions of my difficult marital life experiences. How can I make peace with my ‘past and present’ in order to move forward and create a better future? Sorry for asking it vaguely, but I am sure you will understand my position.
Life Coach: I understand your concerns and appreciate your willingness to share your thoughts with us. It’s certain that our past experiences leave a mark on us, and it’s normal to have occasional thoughts and feelings related to those experiences. However, if these thoughts become excessive and interfere with your daily life it would become difficult to go along with the life. It is common for individuals to experience the feelings of regret and dissatisfaction about their past, even when they have made significant changes to live the life they want in the present. But at the same time it is important to recognize that our past experiences shape who we are today, and it can take time and effort to come to terms with them.
In your case, first you need to reflect on what specifically is causing these feelings of regret and dissatisfaction. What are those events, incidents or decisions from your past that still weigh on you? Are there certain aspects of your present life that are not fulfilling?
Sometimes people stay in difficult relationships because they feel pressure from society or their friends and family. This can lead them to make choices that don’t align with what they really want, which can lead to feelings of regret and dissatisfaction later on. As a result, they suffer from inner conflict and feeling of unhappiness, even if they have made positive changes to their life. And this seems to be your case.
Once you have identified the root causes of your feelings, it may be helpful to seek support from a counselor or a coach. They can help you work through your emotions and develop strategies for coping with them.
Next, you need to make peace with your past and present for a better future, and for that there are techniques that can help you
1- Acknowledge and accept the past and present as they are, without judgment or blame. You may acknowledge that you made decisions in the past that were influenced by external pressures. Acceptance will help you let go of negative emotions and focus on moving forward.
2- Take time to reflect on past experiences and identify lessons learned. Reflection will help you gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your experiences, which can lead to personal growth and development.
3- Forgive yourself and others for past mistakes and hurts. Forgiveness will help release negative emotions and promote healing. Be kind and understanding to yourself, and acknowledge that healing is a process that takes time. You can also try to reframe your past experiences in a more compassionate and positive light, focusing on what you have learned and how you have grown.
4- If you find yourself dwelling on negative thoughts, challenge those thoughts by asking yourself whether they are helpful or constructive, and try to replace them with more positive and realistic ones.
5- Focus on the positive aspects of life and express gratitude for what you have. Gratitude will help shift your perspective and cultivate a more positive outlook on life.
6- Recognize the progress you have made in creating the life you want and celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem. Bring your attention to the present moment and focus on what you are experiencing right now, rather than dwelling on the past. Mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing or meditation can help you to stay centered and grounded.
7- Take action towards creating a better future. This can include setting goals, making positive changes in your life, and actively working towards personal growth and development.
Finally, it is important to note that making peace with the past and present is a process that takes time and effort. It may involve seeking support from loved ones, professional counseling, or engaging in self-care practices. Be patient with yourself and continue to take steps towards creating the life you want. By living an authentic life, we can find greater fulfilment, happiness, and a sense of purpose.
So, by taking these steps towards acceptance, reflection, forgiveness, gratitude, self compassion and action, you can make peace with your past and present and create a better future for yourself.
IMPORTANT! We prioritize client privacy and keep identities anonymous in our “Better life solutions: ask a life coach” column. Personal information and details are kept confidential for a safe and supportive experience.
So whether you’re looking to improve your career, enhance your relationships, or cultivate greater personal growth, we’re here to help. Submit your questions to our column and let us guide you towards a more fulfilling and satisfying life.
Disclaimer: Please note that the advice and guidance provided in this column are based on the coach’s professional expertise and experience, but are not intended to replace or substitute for professional counseling, therapy, or medical advice. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate professional help if needed. Specific results or outcomes are not guaranteed as each individual’s circumstances and experiences are unique.