Thought Catalog
December 27, 2016

6 Mistakes You Should Forgive Yourself For Making (Especially While You’re Young)

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Life Of Pix
Life Of Pix

There’s probably a lot of mediums telling you what you should and shouldn’t be doing. You may feel pressure from your family to meet a certain idea. You may feel disconnected as your friends do one thing and you do another. Wherever the guidance, pressure and “told you so’s” are coming from, you’re allowed to make mistakes.

Somewhere in your 30’s, you’ll start to shift your intentions for yourself. When you get there, you will look back with an open heart. You’ll see the mistakes everyone is warning you about as mere hiccups, something you can fix. Being young entitles you to seek out who you are and with that risk, comes mistakes. Don’t be hard on yourself today or ten years from now about pain, setbacks or full blown catastrophes.

In the end, you will have grown, learned a lot and embraced the human experience. The risks you take today to find yourself are likely not going to follow you for the rest of your life. Any mistakes along the way can be set right. So be wild, embrace your youth and discover who you are by leaving no opportunity wasted.

1. You May Lose Some Friends Along the Way

If you deeply invest in a relationship, especially in the beginning, you may eventually lose your dearest buddies. You spend all your time with your fella until it ends, in which case, you call your friends right away. It’s okay to do once or twice with a guy that’s worthy of it but if you constantly put your romantic relationship in front of your friends, you will eventually lose them.

If this happens or has already happened, you’re going to have to make new friends. It takes a long time to really get that connection you miss from your ex-friends. The next time you start dating a new guy, you’ll become conscious of what happened in the past when you make him a priority over friends. As you’ve gone through the pain of losing and missing good friends, you’ll care more this time around. You’ll also notice when you don’t “put your eggs in one basket” that you feel better about yourself and your relationships are healthier.

2. You Can Always Go Back To School

If you’re flunking out of college or aren’t as engaged in your schooling as you should be, you may end up working low wage jobs for a while. Your boss will probably suck and you’ll have to work weekends. This is really the worst-case scenario though and it’s a high probability that you wouldn’t enjoy working in your area of study if you didn’t like learning about it.

Enough time will pass, you’ll grow tired of the bad job, the low wage and the crummy hours. You’ll start to think about what you really want in life. Once you have it figured out, going back to school to learn the trade you want will be invigorating. You’ll likely excel because you know what you want and how to get it. It’s never going to be too late to go back to school and you can usually hold your crummy job while you attend. Online courses, night classes and part time education is within your grasp anytime you’re ready. You’ll probably graduate with highest honors having the clarity of what you don’t want.

3. Your Tattoo Doesn’t Have to be a Permanent Fixture

If you’ve gotten a tattoo that you’re currently in love with, that’s great. It probably reflects your deepest desires and the person you are in this moment of your life. Maybe your tattoo shows the world that you embrace freedom, love, harmony or even anarchy. Whatever body art you’re adorning, you may not love it later. It may hinder your ability to wear certain outfits, you may outgrow it or it has no meaning to you anymore. Some tattoos may even become a sad memory of what you once had or were.

Older or less adventurous people may warn you that getting a tattoo is a crazy idea. It stays with you forever and you will hate it later. Not true. You can have a tattoo removed for less nowadays and it’s not even a painful procedure. If you don’t like the design, you can have another tattoo done overtop that better expresses who you are. When you decide to get rid of your tattoo later or have a new design implemented, you create the intention of change in your life. The full cycle of getting a tattoo and then “letting it go” later is a liberating for different reason.

4. You Can Forgive Yourself Later

Being young can include reckless abandonment, being irrational and hurting people unintentionally. Your naivety may have also been the result of someone deeply hurting you. You might quit a job that later on, you’ll wish you stayed at. You may walk away from a committed relationship because you believe there’s more for you. You went for the badass guy even though everyone told you he’d hurt you. Some of your decisions might not be the right ones when it comes to the big picture of your life. You might even really regret some of your steps.

You must know that the decisions you made were right. Looking back at the guy you lost, the friends you’re not in contact anymore or the bridges you burned shouldn’t be a pity party. If you make it a practice of forgiveness and letting go, you will move on. This is how you will embrace any present circumstance you’re in right now whether it’s good or bad. You probably won’t remember the feeling that lead to your actions but there was a reason. Own your life and whatever mistakes you made.

5. You’ll Take Those Opportunities You Missed Out On

You say no to a great job opportunity because you don’t feel ready, you say no to a marriage proposal or don’t get on that to India. Opportunities falling on your lap that you don’t take today is okay. If you don’t feel ready for something right at this moment, it’s probably not your last chance. Life will give you a lot of opportunities. Some you’ll take right away while others may be something you do later.

If these missed opportunities haunt you later in life, you can seek them out. It will always be possible even if you must do make changes in your life to align yourself to it. India is always going to be there. If you look back on the opportunity of being married, you’ll embrace your next partner and step into alignment for that commitment. Maybe the same job won’t be available but you might want to ask yourself what it was about the job. For example, if you were offered a modelling career, what was the experience about for you? What do you think it would have felt like? It may have been the aspect of traveling or maybe getting all that attention. Those feelings are still available in another form.

6. You Will Get Yourself Out Of Debt

You may be spending money you don’t have right now on nights out, trendy clothes, new technology or travel. You have credit cards and continue to rack them up without having the money to pay it back. This is pretty normal as life didn’t prepare you to budget and all of a sudden, you’re given a credit card. You may carry your debt around for a decade or so until it becomes real to you that you’re getting into financial trouble.

Not to worry. It will take much less time to fix your debt than it took to incur it, provided you didn’t buy a sports car or something major. For example, I had about $15,000 in debt when I was 25. I made some adjustments to my life. I worked in a ski resort that included accommodation and food. I didn’t have a car and I didn’t party. I went on one shopping trip and bought a few things because when you haven’t been to a mall for awhile, you’re more conscious of your purchases. After two years of this lifestyle, I was debt-free and had savings. It was valuable because it changed me and I wanted to live more simply after. Once you’re out of debt, you never go back.

Whatever actions you’re taking today, know that you can deal with repercussions later. This life was made for living so for today, embrace your youth. You’re expected to make mistakes, otherwise known as learning curves. This is the time to dare and really figure out who you are. It makes you wise and builds your character. The person you become will be strong enough to put life back on track. TC mark

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