I recently sat on a self-esteem panel for an organization called Sisters in Power. When it was my turn to answer a question from the audience I was asked, “if you could go back and start your life over again, what would you change and why?” Before I answered the question, I sat there on the panel fidgeting with the mic while contemplating my honest answer. Everything from failed relationships to student loans came rushing to mind, and for a split second I could understand why some would absolutely choose a do over. But then I thought about how the only way I know the bulk of what I know about life today is through trial and error, and if I did choose to go back and do it differently, I would still make mistakes. So I put the mic close to my mouth and proudly spoke these words to the audience, “If I could go back, I would not change anything.” It’s not about what you’ve endured and the mistakes you’ve made, it’s about the lessons.
There was a time I would be highly upset when things didn’t go as I had plan. I would regret the situation and pout about the outcome. Then I got some sense. I realized that every situation I encountered shaped me into the person I am today. Without the choices I’ve made in the past, I don’t know where I would be or even who I would be for that matter. Every ignorant thing I’ve ever said, the hot pot I touched, the too small shoes I purchased, every right or wrong turn I’ve ever taken, the relationship that didn’t work out, and every person I’ve ever met has all taught me valuable lessons.
Now days when I encounter challenging situations, I have a totally different attitude. I don’t wallow in the fact that something didn’t go my way or that something ended. I take my time to feel what I need to feel about the situation, then ask myself, “what did you learn, and what are you going to do about it?”
Every situation, every choice, and everything you did or didn’t do and did or didn’t receive has afforded you some knowledge. The next time you experience a tough situation (or even a good one), instead of frantically stressing over the results, ask yourself, “what did I learn from this, and what am I going to do with the lesson?”
Remember, life is the most impactful classroom we will ever step in.
Thank you Sisters in Power for inviting me to be on the panel! I was so honored to share the stage with some extremely astute, talented, and fun individuals - including one of my favorite rappers - Mia X!!