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Your Healing Journey Step 2: Appreciate your Past and Honour Your Struggles

April 11, 2024

Congratulations! You completed step one and looked honestly at the way you were writing your story. You acknowledged themes that recurred in the dramatic arc of your life. And after all that introspection and vulnerability, you still opened this blog!

I’m proud of you. That takes guts. You are in the part of the Slingshot that involves pulling back, and we agree that if you want to slingshot into the future, you must heal your past. I’m about to show you how to appreciate your past, even the darkest moments, and to honour your struggles for the ways in which they have served you. I realise that might sound too hard, but you’ll see how it’s possible. 

“Sometimes it takes a heartbreak to shake us awake and help us see we are worth so much more than we are settling for.” Mandy Hale

Healing requires genuine intention. It requires courage. So I’m going to ask you a question and I’d like you to answer out loud. 

Yes. Out loud. Because even if I’m not there listening, you are. 

Are you ready to release your past? Take a deep breath and answer out loud. 

If you cannot bring yourself to say yes, then the answer is no. Therefore, I need you to take a moment to reflect on what it is that you cannot let go of or switch perspective on? Why can’t you release it? If you cannot say yes, you are pausing your life right here. Not just this course, not just your past, but all your circumstances just as they are now. That is your choice. But why? 

Take the minutes, weeks, or months you need to come to a point of “yes.” And then open it up again when you are ready to take responsibility and move forward. I’ll wait…

Now you’ve said yes, you are ready. 

If you want to change your life, you just have to change your story. It's that simple. You might not be able to change the facts of the case, but you can change your perspective on it. You can elevate lessons above pain. I’m not asking you to say that your past isn’t painful, though. 

I’m saying you can honour your struggles. 

Take a moment to breathe with me here. I understand this is emotional. We grow so comfortable with our own narratives that it can feel risky to shift it, even when it serves us well to do so. With this in mind, let's repeat the affirmation I introduced you to in the beginning (with a little change for clarity).

I am the master of my destiny, not a victim of my history. I have the courage to look in the mirror, the humility to say I need help, and the discipline to see this process through.

Here is the first question for this blog (and if you like, you can download the worksheet here): 

What are your regrets and disappointments?

Write them down. All of them, each on a separate line. Write down every ugly regret and disappointment. Did you not study enough? Did you waste time in a bad relationship? Did you not stand up for something you should have stood up for?  

Next, add the why. Why do you regret it? Why is it a disappointment? 

For example, “I regret not studying hard enough because it affected my grades and job prospects” or “I regret not standing up for what I believe in because it made me think less of myself.” 

You see, its not just the what that matters here. The why is laden with meaning too. I know this is heavy. If you can, unburden yourself completely. If you can’t, your top three is a good start. 

Are you ready for the next question? If you’re not, then take a breath. Go for a walk. Stretch. Roll your shoulders back. Put your favourite song on and dance until you move that emotion. And when you are ready, answer me this: 

How did your past struggles serve you?

I’ve asked this question of people who went through things so horrific that it would trigger many people for me to write it down here. People who have faced unbelievable trauma and darkness. But when the moment of readiness arrives – the courage, humility and discipline to heal is there – the answers have knocked my socks off.

But let me share an example of my own to help you. The first part of my struggle was that my parents didn’t put me through a good education. I didn’t study at university, let alone a good one. I felt deep shame about this and I blamed them. 

Until I didn’t blame them. I realised that I became so hungry for learning that I wasn’t going to let anything stop me. Not my city, my surroundings, my social situations. Nothing! I worked ten times harder than anyone I knew. I read, took courses, sought mentors, and watched videos and DVDs before online courses even existed. I was hungry. Eventually, one of the world’s top thought leaders, Professor Tony Buzan, recognised this in me and called me “Mr. Passion.” This became the basis of my business success and coaching practice. 

Would I be Mr. Passion if I had everything handed to me in a traditional learning environment? I don’t think so. 

I want you to think about such struggles in your life and write them down and write how they serve you, and please, I beg you, do not say they did not. It's impossible for a struggle not to serve you. Do you know why? Remember the Yin and Yang? If you face a situation of struggle and pain, naturally, there has to be another side of the equation holding some value and benefit. In the same way, every struggle also has a positive side to it: a side that served you, that helped you become better.

Your success in The Slingshot Method relies on honesty. So be as truthful as possible as you write this all down. I promise, if will help you unlock the future because it will help you understand what is holding you back. 

Say it again: I am the master of my destiny, not a victim of my history. I have courage, humility and discipline. 

I’ll see you in the next article.

Moustafa Hawmi 

Mr. Passion

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Moustafa Hamwi - Keynote Speaker, Coach, Author