Learn How to Forget Past Hurts

This past week was the first week in the past quarter I have not traveled. Although getting off the road for a few days is good for my body, the week is usually filled with calls and interviews.

Last week I had four interviews and did a Facebook Live, three podcasts, and one for an upcoming magazine article. Each had a different slant but each one asked the same question in a different manner.

“How do you embrace uncertainty in life or business to transform?”

I usually start that discussion by sharing some of the strategies I discussed in my Tedx Talk, “Bouncing Back, An Experience with Post Traumatic Growth.” How to manage your mindset in challenging times, the power of the meanings you attach to something, and how to get the traumatic experience out of your body.

All are quick actionable items anyone can do to build the resiliency muscle, bounce back and embrace the uncertainty of that experience. And normally, that usually suffices to answer the question and/or meet the time frames of the interview.

But one of the interviewers this week did something that the best interviewers do. They asked that follow-up question to get to the real story or answer.

For the first time, I shared a few additional strategies that helped me not only embrace the uncertainties but bounce back and revolutionize the direction of my life.

First, a trait I have seen most successful people have is they don’t let bad emotions fester. They know how to compartmentalize them. For many years when I was in a bad mood, it would fester and spill into my family, personal or business and then I would spend time to clean up my mess.

This one thing kept me many times from growing and staying in uncertainty. I knew I had to get this under control if I was going to grow and contribute the way I wanted to.

I had this discussion on many occasions with my mentor. He recommended that I watch clips of Bill Clinton. He was a master of how to compartmentalize things. I started to read about leaders and how they handled uncertainty and this one trait was consistent with the best leaders.

Next, I was fortunate to have a couple of friends I trusted who were able to “speak truth to power” to me. When I was in a time of uncertainty in my life, whether it was a personal or business situation, these friends had “carte blanche.”

They helped me view my point from many angles and more often than not, the uncertainty I had in my mind was really only in my mind, it wasn’t reality. Having someone with the ability to ” speak truth to power” to you is a powerful strategy to get yourself back in alignment with your mission.

Lastly, I went into painstakingly deep detail about one thing my first mentor taught me but hadn’t taken action on until after the Miracle on the Hudson; my virtual kitchen cabinet.

One of the greatest learning experiences I had in my young business career was the opportunity to meet and occasionally sit in on my mentor’s cabinet meetings. I got my MBA by just listening and one thing that was consistent with all of his peers; they all had business and personal challenges going on in their lives that were causing them pain.

As I listened, a recurring topic was that these titans of business were hurt by someone close to them. It was a wound that would not heal.

I thought about some of those situations where someone hurt me in my life and for many years I held on to those wounds. Occasionally, something would trigger me to remember those people and I would regress and feel like I did when it happened, and it would take my eye off my game.

About six years ago, I had another incident where someone who I respected and was in a business relationship with, hurt me.

I shared this with only a couple of close friends and team members and they helped me manage it. I would compartmentalize it and that worked for a time. They would ” speak truth to power” to me about it and reassure me that I was doing the right thing.

But occasionally, I would encounter this person and those feelings would reappear.

I had to get this handled so I took action on what my first mentor taught me but hadn’t taken action on. I put together my virtual kitchen cabinet.

As I shared in an interview this week, one of the people on my “virtual kitchen cabinet” is Abraham Lincoln.

President Lincoln had many occasions in his life when he was hurt. But he learned if he was going to succeed in his ultimate mission, saving the Union through the The Emancipation Proclamation and freeing of slaves, he had to forget the past hurts others had leveled on him for the bigger mission.

This is how I use my virtual kitchen cabinet, when I have a challenge I encounter, I speak with my in-person cabinet and then go to my virtual cabinet to see how they handled similar situations which gives me choices on how I can quickly handle my challenges.

A few weeks ago, I knew I was going to have an in-person encounter with this person who hurt me several years ago. It was time to forget this hurt.

I counseled with a couple of friends, then went to my readings on Abraham Lincoln and how he learned how to forget the hurts others gave him and took massive action. I met with this person, in a positive mindset which helped me overcome this hurt, and embrace that uncertainty which has now opened up additional opportunities for my business and me.

There are many ways to embrace uncertainty to ignite opportunity.

Start by changing your mindset, through your physiology, your internal dialouge or your focus.

Then look at the meaning you are attaching to the uncertainty and reframe it.

Find someplace to speak, to get whatever fear or uncertainty out of your body.

Next, don’t let bad emotions fester, compartmentalize them so you can focus on your mission.

Have someone who will ” speak truth to power” to you help you look at your uncertainty from different angles.

And learn to forget your past hurts. Establish your “virtual kitchen cabinet” with people who are leaders in different areas, leadership, communication, health and fitness, decision-making, finances, spirituality, etc, and when you face a challenge, research how they handled that uncertainty or hurt and you will have a game plan on how you can handle it.

Once you do any one of these or a combination, you will start to embrace the uncertainties in your life, trading your limiting beliefs to ignite opportunities, and revolutionize your life.

And be on your pathway to creating your own flight plan for your future!