• Yehudit Zicklin-Sidikman

On Doing the Best You Could with What You Had



In my Facebook group, Women Setting Healthy Boundaries, I see so many women posting about regret, and how they wish they’d handled certain situations differently.


I get that. Regret is a natural human emotion.


But here’s a message I wish everyone would internalize:


When you look back at the difficult and painful situations in your life, remember that you did your best with what you had available to you at the time.


When you look back at the difficult and painful situations in your life, remember that you did your best with what you had available to you at the time.

You did your best with whatever external factors were affecting you, even if those external factors are as simple as how much sleep you had the night before.


And you did the best you could with whatever internal factors affect how you respond. Yes, there are all sorts of behaviors, defenses, and protections we have developed over our lifetimes.


Some serve us. Others don’t.


We’re not born knowing everything. We don’t always receive the education we deserve. Life is all about learning and growing.

But, the good thing, and the hard thing, is that the learning never stops. (The curve does flatten a little though, eventually. That’s one of the happy things about aging.)


It’s not easy, but we can learn and grow without blaming ourselves. Think about it. Would we blame our six-year-old selves for not being able to solve an algebra problem?


Never. Right?


That's why many Empowerment Self Defense instructors begin their classes by telling their students that learning to defend themselves, both emotionally and physically, it’s not about the past. It’s about looking towards the future.


You’ve shown up to class. You’re here to tell your story. You’ve survived.

That’s something to be proud of.


And by taking the step of learning ESD, you’re making your future brighter.


We pride ourselves on taking cooking classes, or dance classes. Why not personal protection classes? Most of the time it’s not about having zero kitchen or dance skills, but wanting to learn more.


You’ve done the best you could with the skills you had until this moment, and now you want to learn more.


Good on you!


So, my suggestion is to take a moment to look back on our past selves with kindness and understanding. It’s really okay to accept that you did the best you could at that moment.

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