by Tohan Omorodion
Turning Sorrow into Success
“The past can hurt but the way I see it you can either run from it or learn from it.” - Rafiki: Lion King
“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” -Steve Marabol
Unfortunately, hardship is a normal aspect of life. Everyone you know (and don’t) have been affected by something in their lives that has caused a struggle, emotional damage, or pain. Hardship, like happiness, love, and joy, is something that binds us all together within the human experience. It is something that we all experience, but not something that everyone copes with in the same way.
The traumas and struggles of the past ultimately shape who we are as people, sometimes on a soul deep level, but these experiences don’t need to control our lives or our futures; we can let them go and live the lives that we deserve.
However, until you let go of what is holding you back, you will never truly be happy or able to reach your full potential in life. If you allow it to, the past has the ability to hold you back from reaching your goals and to cripple your success in life by draining all of your positive energy and replacing it with the negative. It is essential to leave the past in the past in order to move on to a better, brighter future.
It is hard to let go, but not impossible. Accept the reality of what happened, realize that the past is behind you, and free your mind and soul from the negative thoughts and emotions in order to move on. Of course, this is easier said than done, but believe that you have the power and strength to succeed and you will.
You are your own worst enemy, and self pity will do nothing but hold you back. Allow yourself to feel what you feel in response to your trauma (your emotions are valid), and then let it all go. Never look back, focus on the future, not your past.
Using Your Past Pain to Fuel Your Fire
“Most people carry that pain around inside them their whole lives, until they kill the pain by other means, or until it kills them. But you, my friends, you found another way: a way to use the pain. To burn it as fuel, for light and warmth. You have learned to break the world that has tried to break you.”
Sometimes terrible, painful things happen in life and you are left, broken down and defeated, wondering where it all went wrong. But you can channel this pain into strength and fuel the fire of your future.
“Everything happens for a reason” is something that we’ve undoubtedly all heard many times, and maybe they do...or maybe they don’t; but no matter what, these events and experiences, no matter how negative they may be, can be used and shaped into something positive that can be utilized as a tool or motivation toward your goals and dreams.
You just got laid off from your nine to five? Use this as an opportunity to finally chase after the career you’ve always dreamed of, or use your newfound freedom to create your own business. Your ten year marriage just went down in flames? Take some time to focus on yourself and your goals, and to find the true love that you deserve. You didn’t get the promotion you’ve been working so hard for? Believe that there is something much better coming your way.
Take every trial and hurdle that life throws in your way and use it as a challenge; show the universe that YOU call the shots and that YOU decide your own future.
If you can’t see any positive outcomes from your experiences, use all of the negative emotions: hate, despair, pain, suffering, and funnel all of these feelings into the conviction and motivation to succeed. Take revenge on the universe and the past that haunts you to prove that YOU are the only one in control and that YOU will be successful.
It may take some time for the pain of the past to fade, and that’s entirely normal. Use this pain to remind yourself that you have survived and that you are stronger than you think. Realize that you have made it through whatever was in your past and use this knowledge to remain confident in your ability to overcome any obstacles that life may put in your way.
Get revenge against your past by becoming the most successful, happiest version of yourself.
Learning from the Past
“We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.”
Contrary to popular belief, the past is not doomed to repeat itself. Learn everything that you can from past mistakes and sorrows, and then release all of the negatives and only hold on to what you have gained from these experiences.
Sometimes awful things happen and there is nothing that we could have done, and the only thing to learn from these experiences is of our strength and our ability to survive. However, sometimes we can learn the warning signs from our past to prevent the same thing from happening again.
Remember, just because you can learn how to more effectively protect yourself from repeating the past, this does not mean that whatever happened was your fault. At all. Refer to the previous paragraph if you are in doubt: sometimes terrible things just happen, and there’s nothing you can do to stop them.
There is always a lesson to be learned, no matter how small and seemingly unimportant. Just like when you washed your red shirt with your white dress and everything turned pink (haven’t we all done that), you learned to separate your colors and your whites. It’s the same concept.
Maybe you learn how to better cope with disappointment, how to invest in more stable ventures, or how to see the red flags of an unhealthy relationship. Maybe you learn that the storm will always pass, that your true calling is not behind a desk, or that there’s a silver lining to every cloud. No matter what you learn, each and every lesson is important to your growth and development.
Don’t be ashamed of your past and do not let anyone shame you for it. We all make mistakes and we all have our own struggles and personal demons. There is nothing wrong with this at all: it makes you human.
Remember: you are important, you are courageous, and you are strong. The past has no power over you unless you let it. Take the past, learn what you can from it, and then just let it all go. Fuel that fire, light that match and watch it burn. Many have done it before and so can you. Let your past fuel your future, and let your sorrow make you soar.
How have you turned your sorrow into success? Share your techniques in the comments below!