Letting Go of the Past
I believe there is no greater obstacle to achieving one’s potential than past failures or past bad experience. Many of us have had a time in our lives where we have passed over an opportunity because of a past bad experience. Or Maybe we know someone who has.
We will never be able to achieve our full potential if we let our past experiences or failure hold us back.
You will never be able to enjoy true personal freedom until your past has no effect on you — Anonymous
This quote implies that past experiences are a great teacher and learning from them is a critical skill everyone needs if they are to be successful. We shouldn’t let these experiences affect us negatively. We need to learn to live in the present and let go of any things in our past that hold us back.
So how does one (practically) let go of the past?
- Forgive them and yourself
Forgiveness is vital to the healing process because it allows you to let go of anger, guilt, shame, sadness, or any other feeling you may be experiencing and move on. You need to be able to forgive anybody who may have hurt you or caused the bad experience (including yourself). It is not until you are able to forget whoever may have caused the bad experience that you will be able to move on with your life. If it is a past failure, you may need to forgive yourself for not having planned or given it your best.
- Stop being a victim and blaming others
One of the reasons our past keeps haunting us is because we blame others for the failures or our bad experiences. We feel like we are the victims and everyone else is out there trying to hurt us. A common example I can share is one of past bad/abusive relationships. It is common for people who have been in bad/abusive relationships to draw conclusions such as “all men are cheaters”, “all women are bad” etc. If you are going to successfully let go of the past, you should take control of your own life. We cannot control of the past but we can certainly create the future we want.
Peter Drucker says, “The best way of creating the future is to create it”.
Therefore, you must stop playing victim and blaming others and decide to create a brighter future for yourself.
- Talk to someone about it/Seek professional help
Having people you are accountable to for important aspects of your life is a great proven tip for success in life. If you are struggling to let go of some things in your past, you may need to speak to someone you value and whose opinion you respect on how you can go about that past situation. Their opinions and advice may be the key to letting go of that past painful experience or failure. If the situation is very complicated, you may also benefit from talking to a professional. Sometimes it’s difficult to implement these tips on your own, and you need an experienced professional to help guide you through the process.
I have learnt not to make permanent decisions based temporary situations. Past failures and bad experiences have a tendency of making rush into decisions that could affects for an entire lifetime.. We must learn to let go of the past and start to live in the present. We need to learn to draw lessons from our past without letting it hinder our ability to achieve our full potential.