8 Ways To Let Go Of The Past & Embrace The Future

8 Ways To Let Go Of The Past & Embrace The Future

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.

Let Go Move Forward |EpreneurTVIt 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

How Meditation Affects Your Brain |EpreneurTVWhen 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 antidote|EpreneurTVLaughter 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.

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Comments

  1. Oladipo .W. Gbenga :

    Fantastic!!!

  2. Great suggestions! I have already began to use some of them since the change of the year. Number two, five and six are the biggest ones I am working on at the moment and I will continue to practice the rest. Thanks for your post. Great stuff!

  3. Hey Tehmina! I agree!! I would add fazing out the energy drainers in your life! The one that stuck out for me was no 5 – move. It seems like an effort at first and the body wanting to override the mind, but it just takes putting on your shoes and grab a jacket and go! Makes a huge difference :)
    farah recently posted..How a chicken can help you make 2014 your best year yet!My Profile

  4. Great post Tehmina – the only thing I’d add would be about mindfulness. Be present where you are, whether that’s washing the dishes, playing with your children, mowing the lawn or whatever. Don’t try and multi-task all the time and miss the magical moments in life ;-)
    Sandra recently posted..If today was the last day of your life, would you be doing what you’re doing?My Profile

    • Hi Sandra, thanks for the great reminder about mindfulness and staying present! I agree with you about multi-tasking – it’s a habit many of us learn in the workplace and can be difficult to shake off. We think it makes us more efficient but the opposite is true. It also causes stress, and like you say you end up missing the magic of life :-) Tehmina

  5. yes very true…..keep posting .

  6. I really enjoyed this post. Meditation has been a big change for me as well. And it doesn’t have to be the meditation everyone defines it as either. Sometimes I literally just lay down, close my eyes and count my breathes. Being in the present and slowing down is more important than surrounding yourself with candles and doing ohms!

    I also liked your part on responsibility, its so easy to justify bad things that have happened to us by blaming it on what someone else did or didn’t do. Just owning up to your part and moving on gets it over with and allows us to exhale!

    Thanks for the great post!

    • Hello George, great to connect and thank you for your feedback! Yes, there’s a lot of hype around the “proper way” to meditate but it is actually the most natural thing to do. As you say it is more about breathing, letting go and relaxing than anything else. Thank you :-) Tehmina

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