Letting Go To Move Forward and Step Into Your Best Life
You can spend your time and energy on many things, but living in the past holds you hostage from stepping into your future.
Letting go is a process but a necessary one in order for you to uncover who you are and move forward in life.
If you’re struggling to let go but want to, I want to share something with you. You are already prepared!
Are you ready to free yourself and let go of the pains, and the worries? Ready to write your own story and uncover yourself, without the baggage that binds you?
You future is here and now, it’s time to step into it.
What does it mean to let go?
A bad relationship, a missed opportunity, a perceived loss, a time of great joy, are you holding onto what no longer is serving you?
Letting go is about releasing the past, an idea, an ideology, your emotional attachment to a memory, an event, a belief or circumstance. It’s about choosing to no longer allow something that doesn’t serve your highest good to define who you are.
Holding onto the past keeps you from living out your best life now, but there’s power in letting go.
Letting go doesn’t mean that you will forget, but rather you take that situation, that circumstance, that memory and transform it into something you can learn and grow from.
Every moment is a part of your story, not every paragraph in your book is designed to be place you dwell in, but rather something you pass through.
How to let go of the past
Holding onto the past is like riding a bike while looking backwards.
It’s only fitting when emotions of desperation arise as a result of grasping for something that is unattainable… the past.
You can build on the future but you can never capture the past.
Being stuck in a place of time that is far behind you is a matter of your heart and your thoughts.
The first place to start if you want to let go of the past is to acknowledge where you’re being held back.
These are three big ways your past is holding you back.
Dwelling on Your Laurels
Thinking in terms of the good old days has a way of wrapping it’s clutches around you and keeping you from seeing what’s good that’s in front of you now. I call this dwelling on your laurels.
A prime example of this is uncle Rico from Napoleon dynamite.
Throwing footballs in from of a camcorder, stuck, in “the good ole days”, trying to recreate that moment from his past. This guy was in his earlier 40’s, long away from his football days in high school but still dwelling on that moment, that one event that happened years and years prior.
You and I both have the seasons like these in our lives when things were fantastic, or you had a great opportunity, or the thought, “if I was still there then I would be living out me, doing life better.”
But here’s the thing, if you were able to recreate it, you’d end up in the same exact place you are now.
Whatever the circumstance, there was personal growth that had to happen in some form or another, without going through that experience, how could it be any different?
Don’t idolize the glory days, neglecting the amazing future that you have… not behind you, but in front of you.
The If Onlys
The second way your past is holding you back is the total opposite.
Some crap situation happened, when you were a kid, or you lost a job, went through a business failure, or a relationship ending in a bad way.
Yes, it hurt, absolutely.
But being stuck in a place that is over and gone is holding you back from your best life and your future.
The past is past and these things must be let go so you can feel less pain.
No one gets through this life without potentially hurtful things happening to them.
It’s part of the world we live in, but knowing how to handle hurtful experiences, to heal through them and overcome will take you from the experience to the experienced.
The Bonds of Regret
So the third way your past is holding you back is regret.
And oh man, this is a big one.
If I only grew up in on this side of town, if I only my parents had this kind of a job, this kind of money, if the time after college, whenever I had that opportunity to take that job and it didn't work out because of whatever reason, name the regret, that situation happened for a reason and it fulfilled its purpose in forming and growing you.
That regret is absolutely killing your future.
You have to dismiss it, be thankful for whatever it is because for whatever reason it was not good for you and you've got to move on from it.
Let Go Of Who You Are Not - Discover Who You Are
Harboring emotions that come from not letting go will not give you control over your future, it will not grant you power over your past.
You are the captive, not the people, places or things, but you.
Are you holding onto the a past that is hurting your present and future?
These are the most common things we hold on to and some things to consider.
The Fear of Rejection
When you put too much importance on a place, something or someone, your choices revolve around that fear, instead of the actions that will lead you to live your preferable life.
To a certain degree, it drives us to do what would not have us rejected.
However when this fear takes hold, what are you willing to do avoid rejection?
How much are you willing to bend or sell out?
How willing are you to be silent?
When we are afraid others will reject us, we’re essentially saying that they have more importance or value than us, or we have less value without them and therefore can reject us.
Stand against idolizing anyone in this world. There’s great value within us all.
Accept the love from those who want to come alongside you in your journey, instead of seeking it from those who won’t.
And aren’t you worth being loved? The biggest rejection that comes when we fear rejection from other people is the rejection of ourselves.
You may be the only one in the room standing up for you when step out into your future, but as you cultivate kindness and acceptance of yourself the right people will come.
Pleasing Other People
Doing good for others is honorable, but people pleasing takes what is good and turns it on it’s head.
When you live to please other people, you aren’t really being a nice guy, or a nice gal. Because when you are trying to prove your worth to others, that becomes your intention behind what you do.
When you don’t receive the approval you desire you begin to resent others. All the while feeling like you have to do more to please others.
The truth is that it’s okay for you to have healthy boundaries, it’s okay for you to say no.
If someone doesn’t respect your limitations, you can’t continue to bend over backwards for them.
And as Steve Jobs said, “If you want to make everyone happy, don’t be a leader, sell ice cream.”
Practice recognizing your value, think about what you can and can’t do for others and remind yourself daily that living your best life means that you live from what’s within, not from what’s on the external.
Guilt can come from something we’ve done that has negatively affected another person.
It’s not always bad to become aware of something that negatively affects another person, reflect on it and make it right, choose to not do that thing again or choose to approach something in a different way.
But feelings of guilt can eat away at you, distort your perception of self, others and situations.
Breaking The Chains:
If there’s something weighing on your conscious and you can make it right, try to make amends.
If that opportunity has left you, ask yourself, what can you learn from a situation that causes feelings of guilt?
We all make mistakes, but they only stay mistakes when we reject wisdom and keep ourselves chained to the past.
Things happen whether perceived or real that causes embarrassment or humiliation.
If you find yourself holding onto one of these events it leads to shame that can make it impossible to see through a clear lense.
Stepping Into Freedom:
Visit the root of what makes you feel shame.
Ask yourself if carrying past shame is healthy or helping you to move forward in life.
Practice self compassion and forgiveness.
Forgiveness is the strongest tool in your belt because it sets YOU free.
Need to Impress Others
When you feel the need to impress others, you’re putting a bandaid on a broken self perception.
Showing off or living to impress takes away the value from what you do and turns it onto who, you do it for.
This is a recipe for a life full of regrets.
Turn Towards What Matters:
Don’t let pride be weighed more than the purpose of what you want to accomplish.
Focus on your mission.
Dwell on your why, if you don’t have a why, take the time to think about why you want to do what you do and what it means to you.
When you have your why down, what you do becomes more important than whether or not it impresses someone.
What You Think Others Think
Some of the most influential people in history who have made the world better were faced with opposition by many.
What do you think would happen if one of them would have allowed what others thought to direct their actions?
Changing Your Focus:
People are allowed to have their own thoughts and opinions, and you can’t always change the opposition, but you can change how you respond to it.
First, always assume best intentions. Don’t allow yourself to get wrapped up in the lore of what people think of you.
Most importantly, choose to stay focused.
Let go of what’s out of your control and instead focus on your goals, your values and your passion.
Oh fear, the great unlofty foe.
A crippling state of emotion that stops people not just from living their best life, but from even considering it.
Overcoming any fear comes down to taking your focus off of the perceived threat and placing it on the possibilities.
A New Approach:
The truth is that each of us are made unique with the innate ability to usher in goodness into the world.
Become curious about your future. Daydream and journal about the possibilities, give room to your ideas, your hopes and your dreams.
Flip the script and acknowledge that you might be afraid because it’s important to you.
The truth is that fear is a construct of the mind and holds no true power over us. You have to take the power back, by dwelling on the opposite of what fear tells you.
Do it daily. Do it without wavering until you let it go and kill it.
What steps will you take for yourself if you believe that you shouldn’t have or can’t accomplish your creative best?
You won’t... you’ll stay frozen and continue to hate yourself for it.
This is one of the lowest places to be, because it takes all of the negative states of being and compiles them into one.
Switching The Tape:
Let go of exaggerated importance, unrealistic expectations, comparing yourself to other people and boxing yourself into a life that can only be well lived with conditions.
Focus on what you do well, try new things, expand your horizons and be intentional about uncovering what is great about you.
Whenever you put yourself down, replace it with something positive about you.
And lastly, forgive yourself, no human being is perfect and that’s ok.
Negative Thoughts Patterns
Ways of thinking become a habit just like any other habit you adopt.
Negative thought patterns either keep you where you are or take you backwards, neither of which are places you want to be.
All of these things, fear, rejection, people pleasing, self-hate, guilt, shame, what others think and the need to impress others just becomes a self fulfilling prophecies.
It’s not that your fears, negativities and suspicions are correct, it’s that you take actions based on your thoughts and are left with the results.
A belief is a thought thunk over and over. One day you wake up with this supposed “truth” about yourself, your life or other people that’s false.
Forming New Thought Habits Are Critical
It doesn't’ matter if you don’t fully believe it yet, think about where you want to be, focus on what you have, surround yourself with positive opposition.
To choose to turn off negative influences through your electronics.
To choose to dwell on the positive and to catch yourself when you’re slipping into old thought patterns.
You can change how you think over time and even though it may at times be challenging, you can overcome negative thinking.
Everything Takes Longer Than You Think
There’s nothing easy about letting go, and it really depends on what you’re personally working on.
It’s really important that you be patient with yourself.
You’re reading this because you want to release what you know in your heart is not serving your highest good. That’s really great actually.
Some people hang onto stuff for their whole lives and never live without those burdens on them.
Letting go isn’t about losing something, it’s about removing your attention and concern from something that’s not good for you to hang onto.
It takes time, maybe longer than you think, but with each positive step and positive action over time you will discover a new you, a freer you, a more complete you.
And when there’s nothing left to stop you but yourself, it’s time my friends to get out of your own way.
By your side, if I can help out in any way, hit me up in the comments.