4 Simple Ways You Can Learn To Let Go Of The Past

The idea of just letting it all go is the ultimate freedom for many of us. But, it’s also much easier said than done . . . I’ve struggled with this concept immensely — not only how to let go of certain aspects of my life, but in identifying which of those things need to be let go of in the first place.

I’m overcome with a fear of quitting — of losing out. On looking back at decisions I made with regret. And this makes me cling — hold on with dear life — to some of the worst things that prevent me from moving forward.

Sometimes events from the past have a mind of their own. Memories keep recirculating when all you want is for them to go away. Past experiences cause you to be limited by distrust, neediness, and a stunted view of what is possible for you. Be free of the past and you can go on simply living the life you were meant to live.

Self-Love Challenge | Learn To Let Go Of The Past

How To Let Go & Move Forward

“Holding on is like believing that there’s only a past. Letting go and moving on is knowing in your heart that there’s a bright future ahead.”  – Marc Chernoff

Come To Terms With The Past

Unresolved past hurts can prevent your from building meaningful relationships, reaching your goals and living the life you are meant to live! And you absolutely deserve to live your best life. Take time to reflect on your own history without judgement; simply observe. Look at the situations, patterns and people in your life and understand that they only created an experience — they did not create you. Understand that you are not your past. It doesn’t have to become who you are.

Allow yourself to feel whatever emotions you have about any past hurt. Bravely identify where you were wrong and forgive yourself. And in the situations where you don’t feel you did anything wrong, calmly recognize why this experience hurt so much and possible ways you can learn to forgive the other person. Then try letting those feelings go by realizing they’re only holding you back. What ever happened, happened. Decide today that you will no longer waste your energy on what cannot be changed.

When you start coming to terms with how your past is effecting your current outlook, habits and behaviors, that’s when you start to accept and forgive those who have wronged you, as well as yourself.

See The Blessin’ In The Lesson

Reframe your painful experience as a learning opportunity. We all experience pain and hurt. But finding the opportunity for personal growth can help you move past the hurt. Which is why sometimes, the greatest thing to come out of all our trouble and hard work is what we get, but who we become. 

I know this is waaay easier said than done, but try looking at the bigger picture. Start using your past as a way of providing feedback and valuable information to your future instead of applying harsh judgement or blame. For example, you’re having a really hard time getting over your boyfriend of three years randomly calling it quits. Rather than dwelling on the pain, try reframing it: I’m hurt because he dumped me, but I learned a lot from this relationship that I can take with me into the next one. 

Starting today, try to find the value in every experience — good or bad — and continue to take steps forward each day to the person you know you are supposed to be!

Direct Your Energy To The Present Moment

It’s impossible to go back in time and change the outcome of a situation. But you can change the way you perceive a certain situation in the present moment. The past is over. It’s what you’re doing now that’s important. A big part of your ability to let go of the past relies on your willingness to let go of how you wish a certain experience played out and remain present. Focus exclusively on what you can change. And for the things you can’t change, change the way you think about it.

You don’t have to keep worrying about the things that you can’t change! And when the past creeps in (as it is bound to do from time to time), gently move these thoughts away and remind yourself about what it is that you are currently focusing on in your life. I find it easier to bring my attention back to the moment with a sort of conscious mantra: “I accept the past for what it is and no longer feel the pain from this situation.” Nothing fancy; just a little reminder to to focus on the now.

Align With Your Truest Self

Sometimes the hardest part of the journey is simply believing you are worthy of the trip! And you are sooo totally worth it. Seriously! The rest of the world will start to respond once you start believing that you are worthy. Review who you already are — the lifestyle you’re currently living, what’s most important in your life and where you want to go from here. Then nurture these things and make positive adjustments when necessary.

Take a moment (or several: you’re worth the time) to write down the following:

  1. Your core beliefs/values
  2. You life goals
  3. Action to take to pursue these goals

Now, honestly look at your core belief/values and determine whether or not they align with your goals and actions. If not, ask yourself: Is it time to create new core beliefs, set new goals or take new action? What needs to be done in order to align your actions with your beliefs for you to attain your goals? Then, write down three actions that you can and will do this week to get yourself going!

Your Turn

There’s no doubt that life doesn’t always turn out the way you planned . . . But positive shifts begin to take place when you start to recognize and acknowledge your own self-worth. What’s more, the only way you can accept new joy and happiness into your life is to make space for it. If your heart is filled with pain and hurt, how can you be open to anything new?

Decide right now that the negative experiences from your past will no longer predict your future. Let go of the constant rumination, align yourself with the present moment and focus on all the good things going on in your life. Sometimes, you just need to breathe, relax and let it be.

And the most important thing to remember is this: Whatever it is that you’ve been through or are currently going through, will eventually pass. And you have to choose whether you’re going to let it hold you back from living your life, or appreciate your past for what it is and carry on.

As the beautiful Gabrielle Bernstein says, “the universe has got your back.” No matter what happened, it will all work out for the best. There’s a grand design to everything, even if we can’t see the meaning at that very moment. Track your progress and set goals for your most desired dreams. Look straight ahead and forge toward the bright future in front of you.

+What steps have you taken to let go of things from the past? Do you let past mistakes shape who you are today? Let me know in the comments below!