Seven Steps To Letting Go Of The Past
We all have them... regrets, mistakes, things we would do differently if given the chance again. But the fact is since it's already happened, there's nothing we can do about it now. It's over. We need to let go of the past, accept the mistakes we've made and move on to create a better future.
You can’t change the past but you can use the past to make your present better. By learning from our past, we can move forward to build a better future. The key to happiness is to let go of the past. These seven steps will help you to let go of the past.
Take some time to reflect
Reflecting can help us move forward in life. It helps us learn from our mistakes and successes. It helps us think about the past in a positive way. We look at the past as a learning experience so that you can move forward more successfully.
Reflecting helps improve your self-confidence. When you have looked at your past and learned from it, you will feel more confident about the future, which will then help you to feel better about yourself.
Reflecting on the past has many other benefits as well. It helps people become more aware of their feelings, thoughts, behaviors, motives, skills, values and attitudes through reflection on their own experiences and accomplishments, as well as those of others.
Give yourself permission to let go
When we hold on tightly, when we refuse to let the past go, the past stays with us right now, at this moment. And it keeps us from moving forward into our future because we are still stuck in the past.
We have to give ourselves permission to let go of the past that is weighing on our minds so heavily. When we feel the urge to hold onto a bad thing or a bad memory, remind ourselves that we have the power to decide what we will and will not give our attention to.
We can break this cycle by accepting where were are at this moment. Whatever happens in the past is over and done with – there's nothing more that can be done about it now.
We need to remind ourselves that the past and its associated feelings and sufferings are no longer serving right now. By giving ourselves permission to let go of everything that no longer serves us well, we make room for what does serve us well.
Learn how to say goodbye
Saying goodbye to the past means that we need to take responsibility for what has happened in the past without the need to blame anyone including ourselves. This is very necessary but not easy to do. By taking responsibility for our past, we regained our sense of self and personal power. We are not letting our circumstances control us by being victims. Instead, we choose to emerge victorious from our past instead of letting our past define who we are.
Taking responsibility for our past also involved taking ownership of our past mistakes, accepting them for what they are and acknowledging that we may have contributed to them happening. However, it's important that we understand that those mistakes were not our fault alone. We need to remember that their happening was not a direct result of any wrongdoing on our part, but rather it was a combination of events, many of which were beyond our control.
Acknowledge the good that’s happened
There is a saying, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” Therefore, despite the fact that our past bad experiences haunt us more, we also have to remember that there is a flip side to those experiences. We also need to focus on the positive and acknowledge the good that’s happened in the past.
There are many reasons why it’s beneficial to acknowledge the good that’s happened in our lives. If we don’t give ourselves credit for what we’ve accomplished, it can be easy to fall into a negative pattern. When we focus on our accomplishments, it can be motivating and inspiring to see what we’ve already done and this will improve our self-confidence. Acknowledging the good in our past can also help us realize how much better our lives are now than they were before.
If we can reflect on the good things that came out of our past, whether big or small, we can make space in our minds for happiness and positivity to take over.
Learn how people with the similar past handled it
No matter what type of past that we had, there is bound to be someone else who had undergone a similar past and was able to successfully move forward. We can use such a person as a role model and learn from him.
For example, take the case of John D. Rockefeller . The founder of Standard Oil and one of the richest men in American history had a tough start in life. His father was a traveling salesman who was seldom at home. At age 16, he started work as a clerk with a company that traded in commodities. From such a modest beginning, he became a successful businessman through hard work and perseverance. He also started giving generously to charity after experiencing tough times himself.
Take an inventory of our lives today
By taking a brief inventory of our lives right now, we become fully aware of our surroundings and what's going on inside of us. Take a few minutes now and list down our financial situation, our knowledge and skills, our network, events and how these had impacted us, lessons learned, our passion, etc. Do remember to list down everything you're grateful for, every success you've achieved, every opportunity you've been given, no matter how small. Then take a look at what we are doing to help others ― even in seemingly small ways ― and add that to our list. This helps keep us grounded in gratitude and humility, while also helping us see how we can give back to others in bigger ways.
Start living in the present moment
Being aware of the present moment is the first step to living a life full of happiness, success, and positivity. The problem is that most people are so busy living in the past or dreaming about the future that they forget to live in the present.
We can start living in the present by examining the inventory of our present situation and then writing down what changes need to be made. Once we have a list of all of these things that need changing, then set a deadline for each one and follow through on them one at a time. We will be amazed at how much of a difference this makes in our lives.
There are many ways to live in the present moment; here are some examples:
Embrace each new day as a gift and be grateful for it
Be mindful of what's going on around you and be observant
Wake up early and appreciate the morning sun
Practice mindfulness and enjoy the little things in life
The past is just that. We can’t do anything about it, whether it be the good or the bad. Letting go of our past will allow us to live in the present moment and move towards the future with confidence. It is an easier said than done task but it is definitely worth it in the long run. At the end of the day, we will be happier and more fulfilled.
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