I'd like to strongly recommend the act of looking at the sheer, horrible, soul-crushing amount of failure in your life.
Really, go ahead, take a look. See it. Feel it. Smell it. Look at all the things you've done wrong. Really, really look at the horrible amount of things you've been a total screw-up at. None of it is going away. None of it can be undone. None of it is leaving. It's all etched in history?
All done? Good. Now get back to leading your life.
We all fail, some of us quite spectacularly. Some of us may even spend a lifetime making up for it. But failure is NO reason to stop living, to give up, or to not try to do better.
It may be easy to give up when you look at past failures, but honestly giving up really is a form of failure (and perhaps the only form of failure in the end). When you give up because of past actions, you kill off all potential future greatness, or even reparations for the truly boneheaded things you've done. Giving up is failure.
So don't give up – and thus avoid the ultimate failure. Honestly look at your mistakes, learn from them, and decide what to do next. Give them a good examination and then move on.
In fact, after you examine them you may see them differently. They may not be so bad. They may not be as truly critical as you thought. They may not even be your fault. When you give them a good hard look, you'll learn and perhaps find moving on easier.
And when you do move on? You can have that confrontation with your failures in the past over with, the lessons learned, the goals set. You can truly move on.
I often encounter people who blot out their senses of failure with anything from games to overwork. But not confronting it means you're just distracting yourself from the painful – but liberating and educational – experiment of jumping right into the failure pit and rolling around in it for awhile.
So go on. You've screwed up. We've all screwed up. Let's admit it and move on in life. There's a lot more future than there is past.
– Steven Savage