Episode 60 Stop Beating Yourself Up For Things In The Past

Stop Beating Yourself Up for Not Being Better in the Past

#060 – Stop Beating Yourself Up for Not Being Better in the Past

If you’re one of the many people who are stuck beating yourself up for things you’ve done in the past, telling yourself you’re a failure, listen to this episode.

Focusing on the past not only keeps you from moving forward, but it also keeps you stuck in emotions that keep you feeling the failure from the past. It keeps you from being able to move forward in your mind and with your emotions.

Listen to this episode to learn two take aways to begin thinking about the past differently and release the emotions that you are having trouble letting go of.

To begin working on this in YOUR life, set up a call with me. I offer a special discount for podcast listeners to help you apply the things you are learning in the podcast and how to apply these takeaways in your life.

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Full Transcript

You’re listening to The Coaching Your Family Relationships Podcast, episode 60. Stop Beating Yourself Up for Not Being Better in the Past

Everyone has at least one difficult family relationship. You know that one that feels impossible. I’m Tina Gosney, a family relationship coach, I’ll help you with that impossible relationship so that you can feel better. Each week, I’ll give you some relationship tools, two takeaways and one challenge. Knowledge, action and coaching working together can make a huge impact in your life.

Welcome back to the podcast for those of you especially that are here with me every week. I know there’s a lot of you and I so appreciate you tuning in. I see those downloads coming in as soon as these episodes are released. So just so grateful for you tuning into this podcast. And for those of you that are new, welcome, welcome to this podcast.

I’m so happy to have you here. I hope that you find lots and lots of value in your family relationships, and you find some help in some things that are maybe difficult in some ways that can really help you to be able to move forward. And that’s what this episode is about today. Now, it’s the middle of August, it’s back to school time. I don’t have any kids that are not in college, and some of my kids have already graduated from college.

So I don’t have any of those little kids that I’m taking shopping and getting school supplies and the anticipation of the first day of school, I remember how nervous and excited and all the things, all the emotions that my kids were in, I think I felt a lot of those same emotions as I was getting ready to send them off to their first day of school. You know, sometimes I wish that I was back in that face again. And then other times, like, I’m glad that I’m not.

So today, I’m glad that I get to watch other families prep for back to school. Tomorrow, I might be a little bit nostalgic and be feeling different. But today, I’m kind of glad that that’s not my life right now. But I get to watch some of the rest of you who have these cute little kids get to do that and be in that phase of life.

A few years ago, I was in Brook Castillo’s self coaching Scholars Program. I believe that program is excellent. I was in it for over a year. And I think there’s so much in there so much value, so much information that you can just consume, it will take longer than a year to go through everything in that program. But part of that program is one 20 minute coaching call per week with a one on one coach.

And I remember my very first coaching call, I had not ever been coached before I knew this was my first time being coached. And I was kind of nervous about it. And I knew what I wanted to talk about I had prepared, I was really thought I was ready for this coaching call. And I had some things that were really pressing on my mind that I wanted some help with. And I thought before the call that I would able to be able to speak somewhat intelligently about my problem.

And what happened was when I got on that call with the coach, I don’t even think it was five seconds before I just started sobbing. And I was telling this story through literally ugly cry sobs. And I remember, like, I just wanted to get control of my emotions, and I couldn’t. And I was telling this coach, how I had failed some very important people in my life. And I was telling her all the ways that I should have been better the things that I should have done differently. And if I had just been different than things would be different right now. And she listened and didn’t say anything.

She just let me get it all out through my ugly, ugly sobbing cries. And then she did exactly what a good coach does. She asked me lots of questions that really made me think about things in a way that I had never considered before. She helped me feel those emotions that I was feeling without judging me for them. And then she offered me a different perspective. This experience and my very first coaching session will forever be ingrained in my mind.

Because I think it was a really pivotal time for me. First of all, I was really stuck and I had been really stuck for where I was emotionally and mentally For a long time, I was living in the past, I was constantly reminding myself, of my failures of things that I should have done, that were different. And now I had no ability to change them. And so there was no way for me to ever feel better because I had caused the things that were happening. That’s what my brain was telling me. There was nothing that I could do to change the past.

And I didn’t know how to let it go and to move on. And by living in the past, I was allowing myself actually, to fail in my present life. Because I wasn’t present wasn’t living my present day life, I was living in my mind and my emotions in the past. Now, I see so many other people doing the same thing, I see people that I coach doing the same thing being stuck in the past, where you can’t change anything. So you can’t change the thoughts and the emotions and anything around it.

Do you have traffic circles, or roundabouts, we call them here where I live, we call them roundabouts. Do you have any of those where you live, we have quite a few where I live. And when you get if you’re going driving around a roundabout, if you get into the inside lane, you can go around and around and around those roundabouts.

And you could just stay there indefinitely, right, you could just stay there and not to ever get out. You can’t. And that’s what we do with our emotions, right? We just stay living in the past, reliving it beating ourselves up and doing the same thing, creating the same emotions over and over and over again, without knowing how to get in the outside lane. So that you have the possibility of exiting this, in this traffic circle of emotions, you waste a lot of time you get so confused living in that circle, recreating these emotions over and over again, you waste a lot of time, you don’t get anywhere and you get really confused.

But this is what I was doing. And I was staying in the inside lane of an emotional traffic circle. And I could not see my way out. The longer I stayed there, the more entrenched I became, in my thoughts about what happened being true. And I was stuck.

Second thing I want you to take from this story is a good coach is going to listen, a good coach is going to hold space for you to get everything out. Just gonna give you room to get everything out. And they’re not going to judge you for it. And then when you are ready, they’re going to help you move on. A good coach is going to help you find your way into that right hand lane. So that you can find the exit, when you are ready to exit that traffic circle, that emotional traffic circle. If you never move into the right hand lane, you’re going to stay stuck in that traffic circle. And it’s so easy to stay stuck in that traffic circle. In fact, many people live years and years and years. Sometimes their whole life being stuck in an emotional traffic circle.

Why do we do this? Why do we live in the past? Why do I? Why do we beat ourselves up? For things that we have no ability to go back and change. But we just can’t seem to let them go. Why do we do this? Well, one reason is that our brain is programmed.

Did you know this your brain is biologically programmed to point out your past mistakes, your present mistakes. But today we’re talking about past mistakes, right? It’s going to keep you reminding you of them. It’s not very nice if your brain to do this. But it’s programmed to do this. It’s programmed to keep you focused on the negative because the negative could threaten your life.

It tells you things like if you had been different this problem would not be here right now. This is all your fault. You should be different, keeps you focused on the past. It keeps you beating yourself up, it keeps you feeling terrible. It keeps you seeing more ways that you failed and that you should have been better.

Like not only did you fail in this way, but you fail in all these other ways to it’s going to point out all of those things. And so you begin to feel very overwhelmed, very hopeless, really sad, depressed, despondent, sometimes even shame. And then what happens when you Do feel those emotions, those are not emotions that are energizing, they do not help you want to get up in the morning and live your life. So you stop trying to do anything differently in the present.

Because what’s the use, anything you’re going to do is going to fail. So why even try it as you’re pulling back and not doing things. So you recreate the same thing over and over and over again, not just in your actions, but in your emotions. And in your thoughts to you experience those same emotions, which leave you questioning yourself, not trusting your own decisions, they have you perpetuating the same cycle over and over again, as you stay stuck in that emotional traffic circle.

But because you’re so focused on how you and how you failed in the past, you’re not actually living your life right now, in the present, who wants to live in the past, nobody wants to live in the past, we don’t need to be doing that. We can do something better, we can get into the right hand lane. And we can start looking at exiting that emotional traffic circle. You don’t have to keep telling yourself you should have been different in the past and beating yourself up for it. Without the ability to change anything. You don’t have to live there anymore.

So how do you exit How do you move to that outside lane, so that you have the possibility of exiting that emotional traffic circle? Well, the first thing you do is you feel your feelings. Now, if you are not familiar with that, what that means.

And I will tell you probably 95% or greater of the population does not know what it means to feel your feelings.

Were very confused about this.

In general, as a population, a good therapist or a coach is going to tell you that you need to feel those feelings before you’re even ready to get out of that traffic circle. And things like crying, beating yourself up mentally, eating lots of ice cream, staying in bed and shutting out the world. And all the other crazy things that we do that we think are feeling our feelings are not actually feeling our feelings.

That is not what feeling your feelings looks like.

And if you’re stuck in the past, if you’re beating yourself up, if you don’t know how to get out of this endless loop of emotions that keep playing themselves out. Because you can’t let your past mistakes go. You should find a good therapist or a coach that can help you begin to move to that outside lane. So that when you’re ready, you can exit and you can start going in a different direction.

And when I got on that call and self coaching scholars, I had not been feeling my feelings. I thought I was feeling a lot of things. Because I was doing a lot of crying, I was doing a lot of trying to fix things, I was doing a lot of things that looked really unproductive. I didn’t know that at the time. But looking back at it now. very unproductive.

Even though crying is sometimes involved in feeling your feelings, it can also keep you stuck. That’s what it was doing to me and not being able to move forward. I do have clients when I talk to them about this. And we we talk about what is feeling your feelings and what is not feeling your feelings. Crying is usually brought up as you’re crying a lot and you find yourself in that space.

Think about it when you are crying. Is it helping you to move through something? Is it helping you to work through feelings? And does it feel cathartic when you’re done? Or Does it perpetuate the same types of thoughts and emotions over again and you just start spinning around in the same thing? That’s your cue? Is it helping you to move forward? Or is it keeping you stuck where you are? That’s what I want you to think about when you’re when you’re questioning whether crying is helping you feel your feelings.

Another way that we can help ourselves move into that outside lane is to realize that our brain has a negativity bias. And I talked a little bit about this before our brain looks for the negative on purpose. It looks for the negative because that’s what it thinks is going To keep us alive and your brain is super concerned, one of its main jobs is to keep you alive.

And so it focuses on things that are negative. And if you don’t look for the positive on purpose, then you won’t see it, it will be very hard to notice, especially if you’re in this loop of beating yourself up. Now, this doesn’t mean that our problems don’t exist, it doesn’t mean that there is not actually things in the world that we need to pay attention to.

Life is actually a never ending process of solving problems. And your brain is going to want to tell you if you had been different in the past, if you had done things differently, then you wouldn’t have this problem that you have right now. But what if you had been different in the past? What if you had done things differently, you probably would have just created a different problem in your present day, it doesn’t mean you wouldn’t have a problem, it means you would have a different problem. We never know what would have happened if you had been different in the past.

And when you’re stuck in the traffic circle, you’re not solving problems. You are, you are perpetuating problems. When you learn to feel your feelings, you begin to learn emotional resiliency, you have the ability to bounce back easier and quicker. Your Capacity grows, your capacity for solving problems begins to expand your resiliency grows, when you can feel your feelings.

Being willing to experience the emotions associated with the problems is a necessary part of that it really stinks. It’s the part that everybody wants to skip over and not experience. But it’s the part you also can’t avoid to be able to move out of that traffic circle. And to create something different in the future. Having emotions is part of the human experience.

But what you do with those emotions is not universal. You get to decide, am I going to stay stuck in telling myself that I should have been better and get stuck in this traffic circle? Or am I going to feel my feelings allow myself to create something different in my present and into the future? You get to choose having emotions is not optional. What you do with them is, here’s your two takeaways today.


You can’t change the past, but you can begin to do something differently. Now, you do have a choice. Now what are you going to do with it? Are you going to beat yourself up for not being different in your past? Are you going to be present in your life? Right now, you can’t change the past, but you can affect your present day life.


You can talk to your brain more than you listen to your brain. Your brain focuses on the negative, don’t forget that be aware of that is super important to be aware of it. If you want to see something different.

Point out the positive on purpose. When your grandmother told you to look for the silver lining, it wasn’t just some pie in the sky idea that she had. You can learn from every experience that you have in your life. So what are you going to learn from this, if it’s really hard to find some positive thing, in this situation that you’re in, you can always find something that you can learn from it.

And you won’t be able to learn anything if you don’t purposefully redirect your brain to see what’s there for you to learn.


Here’s your challenge. I want you to identify the thing that your brain is telling you that you have failed. And then I want you to run it through these three questions. Grab a piece of paper, pause the podcast, grab a piece of paper and a pen. Because you’re going to want to write these down.

The first one is Is it true?

Question The thing that your brain is telling you that it’s true. Is it even possible for you to know that it’s true that if you had done things differently, this problem wouldn’t be here right now. It is most likely not possible for you to even know that. But your brain is going to want to tell you that it’s true. So remember takeaway number two, you need to talk to your brain more than you listen to your brain. What do you want to say to your brain to think intentionally on purpose?

Here’s the second question. Is it helpful?

So does it help you to move forward and solve problems? Now, when you are focused on the way that you think you failed in the past? I’m going to say no. If it’s not helpful, then the problem isn’t just in the past, it’s in the present, because it’s affecting your life today. Is that helpful for your life today? No, it is not think about? Does it help me today?

Third question, is it kind?

Now, pretty much universally, we are the hardest? on ourselves, we are much harder on ourselves than we are on other people. Is it kind for you to beat yourself up for something in the past that you cannot change? Now? What does it do to you? When you do that? I have this sign in my house that I saw at Hobby Lobby, and I was like, oh, I need that on my shelf in my family room, I can see it every day. And it says kindness changes everything. true lasting kindness begins with how you think about yourself, how you feel about yourself, and how you speak to yourself. So if your thoughts cannot pass this test, is it true? Is it helpful? Is it kind, then I want you to say to yourself, this way of thinking is not true, helpful or kind, and I will let it go. Now, you will probably have to say that to yourself over and over again, to remind yourself that this is the way that you want to think this is that takeaway number 2 –

Talk to yourself more than you listen to yourself. Especially if you’ve been stuck here for a while. And this roundabout, if you’ve been beating yourself up for a long time. Or maybe if it’s an especially painful situation, keep going but just remind yourself, it will begin to not be as painful. When you start talking to yourself this way. In this new way, you’re going to start to notice yourself, being able to let it go and to move forward, maybe you’re going to start moving to that outside lane.

So you can exit the traffic circle. Lots of things that I hear people say my clients say when I talk about these things, is will I really messed up? I can’t fix this. Yes, I know, that make amends and just move forward. Focusing on the past will get you more of what you did in the past. Is that what you want? Another thing that they say is, you know, positive affirmations don’t really help me, they just make me feel worse, because they remind me of how I’m feeling.

And I’m not actually talking about positive affirmations, I’m talking about redirecting your brain. And those are two different things. So if you tell yourself something that your brain doesn’t believe, yes, it will be rejected. And you will feel worse, it was like a reminder of your failings all over again. But you tell yourself something you believe. And then you tell yourself that on purpose when your brain wants to remind you of how you failed.

And you can speak to your brain on purpose into that inner Narrator inside your head. And one thing I want you to realize is that this is something that’s really tricky to work on on your own. And a lot of people will say to me, I can’t afford to work with a therapist or a coach, I just can’t afford that. Will I offer a 50 minute call for just $25? Is it worth $25?

To get some real help from someone who knows how to do this? Absolutely, it is. This episode involves changing your thoughts. And that can be a tricky process. If you are stuck, beating yourself up feeling that pain of that every day. And you don’t know how to get out of this roundabout of emotions. I want you to set up a call with me, I offer a one time 50 minute call for podcast listeners. It’s only $25. And that is a huge discount.

Let’s begin to work on this together and help you find the exit lane. So that you can start thinking differently. And you can start feeling differently and learn how to feel your feelings so that you can move forward and let go of the pain. I only offer a few of these calls each month. So make sure you schedule yours now while you can.

There is a link in the show notes.

So go there, and you will be directed right to set up that call.

So I want you to remember the person that you are being now determines the things that will happen to you a year from now, or five years from now or 10 years from now. How do you want to be in this world to help The life that you want to have that choice is yours have a great day and I’ll see you next week