Everyone has a past. Everyone has regrets. But should we let that affect our future? Or more to the point, are we letting the past affect our future already?
Of course, everyone experiences life differently and we all have our own outlooks on things, but when it comes to our past no matter how big or small, we all at some point in our lives find that it is holding us back or better yet, we cannot seem to let it go. But why should we? Why should we let it define us as stunt our growth and development into the awesome people that we all are?
Simple answer, we shouldn’t. We shouldn’t let anything hold us back from expanding ourselves and reaching our true potential. Yet so many of us do, me included. But I don’t want to be that person anymore, weighed down by events out of my control and so far in the past they are but a blurred speck in the distance. But now what? How do I let go is the real question. Where do I go from here?
Well, for me the first step was realizing that I was basically dragging this extra luggage around with me with for no reason. It was stuff that shouldn’t be holding me back or affecting my future, yet because I carried it with me I was allowing it to interfere. I was the cause of these events holding me back, I was basically holding myself back and that was not something I wanted. That realization in itself was a huge turning point for me, I was so focused on blaming my past for holding me back when I in reality it was me dragging it along behind me.
This got me thinking, what else I am doing to inhibit my future and how to I actually let it go? How do I move past it all?
Now everyone has their own way of dealing with things but I personally like to physically see things, so I wrote it all down. I wrote a list more specifically. A list of all what could be holding me back; past events, arguments, people, everything. I wrote down things that seemed to still be a part of my life when they had no reason to be what so ever. It was actually a real eye opener because once I started actually thinking about it and writing it down, more and more little things seemed to pop up, things that I had forgotten were actually still affecting me. By the end of it, I ended up with a full-page, a full-page of things that are holding me back. That is just insane!
So after writing them all down, I went down the list one by one and asked myself these questions to determine whether or not I could cross them off my list and let them go:
- Can this event be changed? And either way, does it truly matter?
- Have I learned from it and do I need to?
- Does this thing hinder my future goals?
- Can this person/thing be forgiven?
- Who/what is truly to blame?
- Do you need this?
Now obviously within that are so many different answers and follow on questions which can determine the end result, but I found that by asking myself these questions for each item on my list that a lot of the time the answers were the same:
- No, these events cannot be changed but they don’t matter anyway.
- I have learned about as much as I can from them.
- No, the thing itself does not hinder my future but my holding onto it does.
- In most cases yes, but in the other cases they are not even important enough to hold onto.
- The majority of the time I cannot remember who or what is to blame, but in this moment it is me, for letting these events still have a hold on me.
- No, not even in the slightest.
Of course, not everything was crossed off my list, that would be far too optimistic yet I went from having a list of over 20 points to now being able to count them on one hand. You can imagine how that felt! And better yet, looking at these remaining point and asking myself the questions I now know how to go about crossing them off my list and letting them go.
As you can imagine, I feel lighter and more clear-headed, ready for a new day and a new challenge. I plan on sticking to these questions but rather than letting things get me down, I’m going to ask myself the questions immediately and cross them off before they even make my list. I am done with being that person, I’m ready to start reaching my full potential.
Thank you very much for taking the time to ready my post, please comment below if you have your own way of letting go of your past and moving forward, or if you have any question suggestions to add to my list. I would love to hear what you have to say.
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