Do These Things If You Want to Stop Holding on to the Past
Have you ever wondered, why you can’t move on in your life? Why are you still holding on to the past? Holding on to the past and not being able to let things go is a huge problem many people (including myself) struggle with.
Whether you are holding on to bad memories from your childhood, or you’re still thinking about the bad experience from work that happened a year ago, you can’t stop it and let it go.
But, you already know that not knowing how to let things go has no benefit for you. It only stops you from achieving your goals. However, you can change all that if you follow the tips below.
You can start it with a quote from Jodi Picoult, the author of the book “Salem Falls”
“You can’t look back — you just have to put the past behind you, and find something better in your future.”
1. Don’t Focus On What You Cannot Control
Majority of people feel unhappy in life simply because they focus on something they have absolutely no control of.
When you wake up tomorrow and your level of happiness and joy depend solely on the weather you’ll see when you look outside the window, there is a huge probability tomorrow won’t be a good day for you.
When you spend all your day thinking of every bad experience from your past, again, there is a huge probability you won’t have a pretty good day.
And it’s all because you focus on things, you can’t control. You have absolutely no control over whether, or what happened in the past.
So, let go of things you can’t control. Stop focusing on them and start focusing on what you can control.
2. Don’t Focus On Other People Opinions
This is related to the previous tip. And it can be fixed in the same way. By changing your focus.
When all your life depends only on what other people think of you, probably, you won’t live a really fulfilled life. You have no control over what other people think. And not all people have your best interests in heart.
There is no 1 person in the history of the world, who wouldn’t have “haters”. Even the kindest people of all time, even they have people who don’t like them. You know, as Taylor Swift sing…
You can’t please everyone. So, don’t care so much about others. Focus on what you can control, notice who is good and who’s bad for you and let other people’s opinions go.
Changing your focus is absolutely crucial for the level of your happiness and success in your life.
3. Accept Mistakes
Many people I know take failure really badly. Not just that they struggle in a moment when they fail, but failure literally hunts them down for the next days, months or even years.
The problem lies in their perception of failure and mistakes. They think of mistakes as something horrible. By the way, the school system is really unhelpful with that.
From school, you are forced to do as little as possible mistakes. When you make a mistake in school, you are punished by a bad grade.
To change that, you need to understand that mistakes are here for you to learn and become better. Understanding mistakes are actually good for your life. Not horrible, as you were taught.
You cannot let bad experiences dictate your future. When you make a mistake next time, just review what you did wrong, learn from it and let it go.
You can’t change the past, you learned from it and, hopefully you’ll never make this mistake again. Let it go and move into another helpful step, that is.
4. Change Your Perspective
From my own experience, I know it’s really hard to let things go when you think that your whole life depends on it. That’s why it’s crucial to take a look at things from a different perspective.
To be able to let go of things that drag you down, you need to be able to control the meaning you attach to these things and events.
Dan Peňa once said:
It’s not about what happened to you, it’s about how you interpret what happened
Many things that you think are crucial for your life, actually aren’t. For example, you’re so angry for yourself that you miss the final shot of the last basketball match. You can’t let go of this bad experience from your head.
But, when you change your perspective and you understand, this didn’t influence your life so badly, you can let it go much easier.
Just think, you miss the shot, but you still have a home where you return to after the match. You are still healthy, thanks to what you can even play basketball in the first place.
Changing your perspective is a powerful and necessary step to learn how to let things go. Especially, when you combine it with another step, that is…
5. Be Grateful
“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” ― Anthony Robbins
I already touched this above. We are so focused on things that bother us to the point we usually don’t realize how petty they are.
Do you think that little child from Africa who doesn’t have clean water to drink bothers about missed shots in a basketball game? Some of them don’t even know what basketball is.
Gratitude helps you to let things go. Learn how to take action and also for discovering how to overcome fear.
So, next time you can’t get away from your head of regret or some bad experience try to think for a minute of what you’re grateful for and focus on that.
You’ll see it’s nothing compared to other people’s big problems and you’ll let it go easily.
6. Expect Nothing (or at least not so much)
Another reason why you might feel bad and disappointed is when you expect from others the same thing you are willing to do for them.
When you expect so much from others, there are higher chances you’re going to be disappointed. That leads to holding on to this bad experience and then, it’s hard to let it go.
The solution is simple. Just be aware of this. Not everyone is willing to do the same for you, that you are willing to do for them.
7. Think Of Your Health
Another reason why not letting things go is horrible for you is the effect on your health.
When something bad happens and you are focused on this bad experience, that creates stress. And being under the stress the whole time can have horrible consequences.
And if you realize that holding on to the past only has negative effects only on you — it has no effect on the person you blame, that’s another reason why you should let it go as soon as possible.
Your health is a pretty good reason for you to stop holding on to the past and move on.
8. You Cannot Change The Past
“What’s happened has happened. You can’t change the past. All you can do is work on making a brighter future.” — Jen Calonita, There’s No Place Like Home
And lastly, unless you are a wizard, or you have a time machine, you can’t change the past. It’s not possible. So, why ruin your happiness, productivity, and health holding on to it?
The key to letting go is facing what has happened, learn from that, accept that it couldn’t be changed and move on with another great learning experience.
Stop wasting your precious time, and many incredible opportunities by staring at these old doors and trying to change the past.
Herman Hesse once said that “some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go”
Ability to learn how to let go and stop holding on to things that drag you down is crucial for your level of success, happiness and eventually, your health too.
The key is to understand that you cannot change the past and the only person that suffers by holding onto the past is you. Not someone you’re angry on.
Don’t be so focused on mistakes. Think of them as something that moves you closer to your goal. Don’t be afraid of them. Eventually, use your focus wisely. What you focus on, will affect every minute of your day. Don’t let your mind control you.