Are you hanging onto the past and finding it hard to let go? It could be a mistake you made, something you said, a relationship that ended suddenly or a business that went badly wrong.
If you are replaying situations over and over in your head you might not realize it but you are stopping yourself from achieving the success you deserve.
The reason I know this is because I held onto the past for a long time.
No matter how hard I tried, letting go was the hardest thing. It didn’t matter if it was people, expectations, beliefs or disappointments; the past always seemed to have power over me.
The more I tried to let go of these negative feelings, the more I relived the pain over and over.
It was only when I finally got, really got, that I was in control of my life and could change my thoughts that I was able to break the cycle of frustration.
I realized that my past did not equal my future and all that mattered was what I did in the present moment.
If you are holding onto shame, frustration or regret about your life or beating yourself up for past mistakes, here are 8 simple tips to help you let go and get your life moving forward again.
8 Great Ways To Let Go
#1. Take Responsibility
When we look back into the past we often focus on what others have said and done to us. This gives away our power and makes us the victim.
Accept what has happened. You can’t change the past or the people in it. What’s done is done. But it doesn’t have to define you.
When you focus on what you have learned from the situation and how you could have done things better, or differently, you empower yourself and let go of resentment.
Anger, hatred and bitterness are toxic feelings that eat away at you and make you miserable, not to mention sick.
These emotions hurts you more than the person who upset you, so take responsibility, get some closure and set yourself free.
#2. Focus On What You Can Control
No matter how powerless or stuck you feel, there is always something you can do right now about your situation.
Switch your focus and energy to something you can control instead of brooding on the past or things that you have no influence over.
#3. Reframe What Happens
One of the best ways of letting go is to reframe everything that happens, even the so-called bad things, as a blessing.
This was a breakthrough for me because I used to spend a lot of time worrying about what had happened and what could happen.
The thing is, it’s impossible to control life. Much of it is beyond your control so you really do have to let go and surrender to life or “go with the flow”.
I don’t always succeed in changing my perception but I am getting better. When I do, I find it helps me detach from an outcome, relax more and accept that whatever happens is ultimately for my good and helping me reach my higher purpose in life.
#4. Practice Meditation
When you take time out for yourself, enter into the silence within and slow your breathing down, you create mental space.
This is meditation in action.
In the stillness you quieten your chattering mind and gain clarity about the things that are playing on your mind.
Meditation is the single biggest change I made last year and the results have been outstanding. I highly recommend you try it!
Even in small doses, meditation is a powerful way to help you cope with the noise and fast pace of modern living and start letting go of old baggage.
#5. Get Moving
You don’t have to join the gym or start training for a marathon, even light regular exercise such as skipping, walking, or my personal favorite, kettlebells can bring enormous benefits.
Human beings are not designed to sit down all day. We need to move! When you exercise you not only get the physical benefits but also reduce stress and release mood-enhancing endorphins that can help you let go of the past and feel more optimistic about your future.
#6. Learn A New Skill
Instead of looking back and bemoaning the time you’ve wasted or the things you’ve missed out on, focus on learning a new skill.
This could be a hobby such as learning to play piano or speaking Italian, or something connected with your business such as blogging, social media or copywriting.
When you start discovering more about yourself and what you want out of life, you realize that nothing stands still.
Life is constantly changing so you need to continually work on yourself to keep up with these changes and live the life you really want. Inject some fun and excitement into your life and give yourself a sense of progression by learning a new skill.
#7. List Your Achievements
Take a piece of paper and start listing all your achievements, large and small. Keep it somewhere where you can see it and add to it every day.
Think right back to your school days and remind yourself of your accomplishments—the time you won a relay race, when you came top in a test or were singled out for praise by a teacher.
It’s all too easy to look back and hang onto disappointments. By highlighting good times and successful moments from your past you can begin the process of letting go.
#8 Laugh More
Laughter is the best medicine especially during times when you are taking life too seriously.
The health benefits of a good belly laugh are far-reaching and well-documented. Laughter can help combat stress, improve your immune system and ease pain.
Thanks to its contagious nature, laughter can also defuse conflict, inspire hope and connect you to other people.
If you feel the need to bring your mind and body back into balance and let go of some of the burdens you’re carrying, meet up with some friends (ideally funny ones!), join a laughter yoga class or watch a comedy on TV or YouTube.
Remember, every day gives you an opportunity to create yourself anew, let go of painful memories from your past and open yourself to the wonderful possibilities that exist in this very moment.
You are not trapped in your past and you can build an incredible future for yourself starting today.
There are so many ways to let go of the past and embrace a positive and brighter future. What have I missed out from this list? Are there any techniques that have been particularly helpful for you? Please share below.