Dr. Rich Patterson


Dr. Rich PattersonSteps & Missteps

By Rich Patterson, Ph.D.

If you’re a person of faith, it won’t surprise you to learn that our steps and even our missteps are guided by God and all work to our sound, mainly when we are sure they will work against us.  If you’re not a person of faith, read on; let’s take another look at this from another perspective.

All our life is a preparation to be better than we are present.  In a recent interview, a friend asked a California-based high-tech CEO what he regretted in his life, what he would do differently.  He immediately stated that he doesn’t look back; he looks to the future and the contemplations he controls today.  He then spoke that his past errors had brought him to the understanding that he has today and that he wouldn’t change any of them; he would likely do them all over again!

Wow, how powerful to have that understanding and freedom from the guilt and regrets of the past.  It didn’t say that there wasn’t reflecting on past events.  No, it tells you don’t hold on to those missteps from the past hindering the present and the future.  Instead of thinking of those as mistakes, you look at them as stepping stones to the new you.

The old you are full of missteps, mistakes, regrets, misgivings, maybe even shame and guilt.  But to hold on to those nouns keeps you from the new you.  Let those pangs of conscience go in favor of understanding that you now have a new you because of those missteps.  You have a unique understanding full of hope, confidence that results from those missteps, an expectation of the future, and optimism, anticipation, and new courage to face the likelihood of a recent success because of the journey you have traveled.

From a faith perspective, we need to focus our eyes on God, guiding those steps.  If that doesn’t work for you, then trust that even the difficult times are a part of your journey on this planet with good intentions.  Good and bad experiences lead to where you need to be.  You can hold whatever belief you have for divine guidance; don’t hold on to the past.

If you’re trying to figure everything out, stop because you will drive yourself crazy with analysis.  Turn it over to your path here on the planet, and understand that all roads lead to your growth.  Trust that you led on this journey.  As a spirit and soul, you are residing on this earth and move forward from there.

Here’s what I know, “You don’t want to miss today by constantly re-visiting past missteps.” Move forward with your focus on the future and today.  Those are the only two areas in which you truly have control.

I have another post on Letting Go of the Past, click here for your next steps, Letting Go of the Past – Dr. Rich Patterson (pattersonphd.com)

Judith Sills has an article in Psychology Today on Let It Go! that will help when finding your stride with the past, Let It Go! | Psychology Today


Yours for a better life,

Rich Patterson