|>>|| No. 27278
Do whatever makes you feel positive and optimistic about the future. If you sincerely believe that the people you're getting away from are a bad influence on your life, then you're entirely right to get away from them. If you're only breaking away from them because they remind you of unhappy thoughts or memories, you might want to think about how you could maintain a relationship with them on a more positive basis.
It might sound glib, but there's really no point in worrying about the past or beating yourself up for prior mistakes. It's clearly making you miserable and you can't go back in time and fix things. It might be more productive to try and learn from what happened to make positive changes in your life.
You can't stop yourself from thinking negative thoughts, but you can change how you think about those thoughts. You can remind yourself that they're just thoughts. They don't control you, they don't define you, they're not necessarily true, they're just electrical impulses in your brain. Next time you notice yourself having a negative thought, imagine that it's being said out loud by Donald Trump or Mr Bean. You'll probably notice that the thought seems a bit sillier and a bit less painful. That's a really important tool - you don't have to take your own thoughts seriously. You can learn to recognise the annoying little troll inside your brain and stop believing what he says.
We're all doomed to fuck some things up, but do you really think that you're doomed to fuck everything up? If you rack your brains, you can probably think of loads of things that you've succeeded at. They might not have been perfect triumphs, but you did them and a good thing happened as a result. If you've had successes in the past, it's highly likely that you'll have successes in the future, even if you might fuck up a few times along the way. I'm sure that you have skills and experience of some sort, I'm sure that there are things about you that people like. You might not be perfect, but you don't have to be.
Evolution has wired us to focus on negatives, because that's what kept us alive on the African savannah - it's no use being brilliant at gathering berries if you're crap at running away from lions. As hunter-gatherers, failure was usually a matter of life-or-death. That inbuilt programming is a bad match for modern life, where the cost of failure is usually much less than the cost of not trying at all. We often avoid things like job interviews or first dates because we're afraid embarrassment, but if we approach the situation rationally it's clear that we have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Making a tit of yourself a few times is a small price to pay if the eventual outcome is getting a great job or meeting the love of your life.
Sometimes, shit things happen to us and there's no way of putting a positive spin on it. We didn't gain any useful experience, it wasn't character building, we didn't learn anything about ourselves, it was just shit from beginning to end. In that case, you've got a choice - you can let it define you, or you can choose how to define yourself. The facts are the facts, but you get to choose the story you tell about yourself. Your mistake can be the dead end that brought everything to a screeching halt, or it can be a painful detour on the road to something better. You can be the bitter old sod who pissed his life away, or you can be the man who picked himself up and built a life he could be proud of.