“Trust that you acted as best as you could given the circumstances.”
As the expression goes, “hindsight is 20/20”. When we look back on our actions, its easy to see what went wrong, or how things could have improved. In fact, sometimes it seems so obvious that we beat ourselves up for the action we did take. “I should have done X.” or “I should have said Y.” That’s the apparent beauty of hindsight, that we can see clearly all the alternatives available to us.
What hindsight fails to account for is the moment. In any given moment, we have sights and sounds and smells thrown at us. Our thoughts run rampant and sometimes we are faced with what seems like a thousand stimuli. Sometimes, we don’t feel as overwhelmed but we still end up making a decision that later on we realize had an even better alternative. But that’s all in hindsight.
What we have to learn is to trust that in any given moment where we acted, we acted to the best of our ability given the circumstances. There are ALWAYS ways to improve, and there will ALWAYS be a better way of having done something. Although playing the “what if” game can allow for much creativity and inspiration, it can also become obsessive in that we constantly see past our successes and see only failure because a better alternative was available.
It’s good to ask how you can improve. But obsessing over it and the past can take you away from the present. It can take you away from the moments you need to be focusing on in the now. And when it comes to the now, you should trust in your reactions, trust in what comes naturally, trust in what you end up doing. Improvement can and must stem from a desire to better yourself. It cannot come from a place of obsessive self-pity or hatred. Asking “how could I have done better” is only helpful if you are going to use the information to build a better “present moment”.
Do not chain yourself to your past. Accept the past because you cannot change it. All you can change is what happens in the future. And the only way to change the future is to stay anchored in the now.
Trust in yourself. It can be the greatest, most important gift you can give yourself.