How to Let Go of the Past and Move Forward in Your Life

Let go of the past and move forward in your life

In order to live a full and complete life, you must learn how to let go of past failures and disappointments and not carry them with you into the future.

Hanging on to pain, bitterness and disappointment from a past conflict is a heavy burden. It affects your moods, attitudes, relationships, job, and all aspects of your life. Negativity eats away at your self-esteem and destroys any possibility of a life free from pain.

Fortunately, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

Your past does NOT determine your future!

You are NOT destined to a life of pain, regardless of what you’ve already been through. You can lay down your burdens. It’s okay for you to be free. In fact, you deserve it!

Use these five steps to help you move forward and find the freedom you need to begin living a fuller, more enjoyable life, regardless of what lies in your past:

  1. Talk about it. Discuss your past pain, fear, disappointment, or trauma with a trusted friend or family member. Fully express the feelings associated with the situation: cry, scream, or do whatever you need to do to release the bottled up emotions in a safe way. Until you really talk about the feelings connected to your past, you may not be able to move past them. Once you’ve spoken the words, release them from your mind. As hard as it may be, it’s the only way to free yourself from your past.
  1. Use a journal. Writing in a journal is an excellent way to pour out your pain. A journal offers the safety of knowing your words are just for you and won’t be read by anyone else. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or even if the words follow a logical progression, simply write from the heart. Physically writing your thoughts and feelings releases your emotions so you can move past them.
  1. Seek forgiveness. Many people misunderstand the meaning of forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn’t mean what happened to you is unimportant or you’re saying it’s “okay.” In fact, forgiveness isn’t about the other person at all. Forgiveness simply means that you’ve made the choice to let go of the desire to exact revenge and punishment, and you’ve found closure within your heart and soul. Forgiveness releases you from the burden of carrying the pain. By choosing to forgive, you can stop thinking about the past so it won’t control your future.
  1. Seek professional guidance. Ask for help from a coach or therapist. The people closest to you aren’t always the best choice to help you work through your pain. It may be difficult for you to fully open up about your deepest pain or it may be hard for them to step back far enough to help you through it. Seeking guidance from a professional gives you the safety of relative anonymity, which can make it easier to share your problems. Often a coach or counselor can help you se a new point of view, which can help you move forward.
  1. Use alternative therapies. There are many techniques that you can use to help change your mindset, which can be instrumental in leaving the past behind. One method, known as EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique, uses the principles of acupuncture (without the needles!) to help you take the “charge” out of your feelings. EFT is done by tapping with your fingertips on the meridian points in the upper part of your body. The tapping sequence, combined with verbally expressing your feelings, helps break up the blockage of energy caused by the negative feelings, allowing you to release them.

Hanging onto past negativity isn’t necessary.

No matter your history, you can learn to release it and move forward into a life filled with contentment and joy.

Find a method that works for you and begin, today, to let go of the past and move into the life you deserve!

P.S. Need a coach to help you let go of the past? Find a coach in our Directory today.

About the Author

Heather WIlsonHeather E. Wilson is the founder and CEO of The Canadian Coach, a directory and membership platform designed to unite, support and promote Canadian coaches. She's a successful business coach, speaker, author (Your Life According to You!), warrior, change-maker, risk-taker, and adventurer all rolled into one dynamic package.