If there is one thing that pain will teach you in this lifetime, it is how to swim and how to sink. Both must be learned. We must make this discovery because we will not truly understand our power unless we determine how much effort it takes to keep our heads above water, or even understand how it feels to hit rock bottom.
We can break free from the past and stop dwelling with that power.
Dwelling on the past entails repeatedly reading the same chapter with the expectation that the ending will change. It's reopening old wounds and allowing for self-sabotage. Dwelling on the past is the most significant impediment to moving forward, and life will move forward whether you like it or not.
This post may contain some affiliate links to products that I use and love. If you click through and make a purchase, I’ll earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.
Whatever we do, time will continue to tick away and days will begin to pass. Morning will give way to night, seasons will change, and years will pass with or without our permission. I understand that letting go is easier said than done. It may take some time, but the willingness to take that step is the first step.
1. You must allow the pain to come to you
2. You must let it teach you.
3. You must not allow it to linger.
4. — Ijeoma Umebinyuo, three healing paths
When you recognize that it is time to move on, you are signaling to the universe that you are ready to accept and welcome change. Change is nothing to be afraid of because without it, there is no flow.
Here's how to let go of the past and move on for good.
1. Always remember that you are the author of your own story
Consider this: you are the author of your book; this book is your entire life, and you are writing it right now. There are chapters in this book, and each chapter tells the story of a different year. For example, chapter 14 tells the story of when you were 14 years old, and chapter 30 tells the story of when you were thirty years old. Each chapter, like a novel, introduces a new cast of characters and events that will rock your world. These supporting characters take the form of friends, lovers, colleagues, and family members, all of whom are there to aid the protagonist's development.
Now look through this book to see which chapter you are currently reading. Since then, how many chapters have you written? How many chapters did you write prior to that? How many times have you returned to the same chapter, hoping that the ending would change?
We have the ability to write the ending to whatever we want, but we must continue to write our story. Nobody else will or can write it for you. Keep that in mind at all times.
2. Accept Your Mistakes and Learn From Them
Ownership is the true art of letting go. This includes owning up to your mistakes, acknowledging the flaws we all have as humans, and allowing yourself to learn from them.
Although it is a difficult pill to swallow, studies show that forgiveness can lead to lower stress and anxiety levels.
Forgiveness is a powerful tool for self-development and one of the most effective tools for preventing you from dwelling on the past.
Learn how to forgive others and yourself: How to Forgive and Live a Happy Life Once More (A Step-By-Step Guide)
3. You can only connect the dots in a clockwise direction
There will be times in life when you realize that things had to happen the way they did. You'll start to understand why certain things didn't go your way, but the connection will become clear in time.
Dwelling on the past also implies resisting what the future holds for you. Believe in the process and give yourself some credit for making it this far.
4. Better Things Are on the Way
Our energy is limited, but the possibilities for what we can accomplish in this lifetime are limitless. Remember that when you dwell, worry, or become angry, you are expending energy. What is exhausting is focusing on things over which you have no control.
Letting go is easier said than done, but just like the muscles in our bodies, it takes time to develop and trust. The wonderful thing about letting go is that you make room in your life for new experiences.
Change occurs for a reason, and sometimes it is resistance that prevents it from occurring.
5. Respect Yourself
Are there a few choices in our lives that stand out in your mind? Those that begin with the phrase “what if?”
Before we go down that never-ending rabbit hole, consider whether you were honoring yourself at that time in your life. Your wants and needs when you were 23 are probably not the same as your priorities now. Our financial needs, job expectations, qualities in a partner, and life necessities all change as we do. If you ever find yourself dwelling on a decision you made in the past, remember that you were honoring yourself and what you needed at the time.
Allow yourself to let go, move on, and begin honoring yourself today.
5. Be Influenced by Others
Who doesn't enjoy a good success story? Watching Ted Talks, Goalcast, inspirational documentaries, and reading autobiographies are all excellent ways to stay inspired. Every hero and successful leader has a unique story to tell. Stephen King's first novel was rejected 30 times before it was published, Vincent Van Gogh sold only one painting during his lifetime, and Steven Spielberg was denied admission to his dream film school. To discover your life's purpose, you must embark on a journey.
Sarah Prout, co-founder of The Manifesting Academy, shares her inspirational speech about how she overcame ten years of suffering and went from welfare to multi-millionaire:
6. Think about what you want today
Our dreams can change as we grow older. Focusing on the future is one way to stop dwelling on the past, and it works if we live in the present moment. A vision board is an empowering tool that can help you gain clarity by refocusing on your goals. You can never advance by going backward. You can only move forward if you have a goal in mind.
“You must decide whether or not to move forward. It will not happen by itself. You must stand up and declare, “I don't care how difficult this is, I don't care how disappointed I am, I'm not going to let this get the best of me.” I'm continuing on with my life.” — Joel Osteen, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living Your Best Life.
Your past is only a part of you and does not define who you are. You are currently evolving, learning, and nurturing yourself in order to be the best version of yourself. Learn from history, but never live in it.
How to Stop Fucking Up: The best way to improve your life is to stop fucking up! Don't put yourself in situations where you know you'll make bad decisions. If you know you'll be tempted to make bad decisions, avoid those situations altogether. This will help to prevent you from making any bad decisions, but it will also give you a little more freedom. If you want to avoid making bad decisions, you have to be willing to sacrifice a little freedom, but you'll be happier in the long run. Read more.
Realize Your Dreams: It's important to be confident about your life's purpose. When you know what you want to accomplish, make sure to pursue it wholeheartedly. Nothing is impossible if enough work is put into it. There will always be an opportunity to do what you want to do, but it often takes a lot of hard work. If you enjoy the things you do that will help you grow, then you will surely succeed. Read more.
Gain Knowledge: Knowledge is power. With power, you can take greater control over your life. Knowledge is the essential ingredient in everything, whether it's learning how to use Excel or how to speak a second language. So take the steps towards knowledge. Whether it's online tutorials, reading books, or watching webinars, anything that can expand your mind is good knowledge. It's also good to utilize the resources around you. Whether that's friends, family, or co-workers. They will be more than willing to help you learn if you ask! Read more.
How to Be Eloquent: If you wish to stand out in the crowd, you need to learn how to speak and write eloquently. There are so many people who try to speak and write as eloquently as possible, but very few who really achieve it. Have you ever wondered why? The truth is, eloquence is one of those skills that requires a lot of practice and education. You can't just wake up one day and become eloquent. You will learn and practice and work and fail and succeed and you will start to see just how hard it is to learn how to be eloquent! Read more.
Unfulfilling Job: I wish I were more talented., "I wish I had more money.", "I wish I had more time." Stop wishing for things that are beyond your control! Work harder to make your dreams come true! Work hard to get more money, better jobs, and more free time! It can be done! Work towards your goal and it will happen! There are no other ways to get what you want! You can wish all you want, but that will not make anything happen! Work! Work hard! Work harder! This is the only way to get what you want! Read more.
You have heard it all before: "Live life to the fullest", "follow your dreams", "be who you are" and "if it is meant to be, it will be". These are all wonderful quotes that are meant to help you live a happy life but they miss the point. Our lives are interconnected with each other and with the world.
No matter how hard you think you try, there’s always going to be a certain level of stress in your life. And when stress gets out of hand, it can start to negatively affect your life. But this doesn’t have to be the case. There are some easy steps you can take to improve your life in the long run, and we’ve found a few that can help you enjoy a better life and get rid of stress.