Let’s Talk About How To Let Go Of The Past

Let go of the past

All of us think about the past, some people think about it quite a lot, others not so much. It’s only natural to think about what once was, because we have memories and we can’t really forget our past.

We are emotional creatures and specific memories stay in our mind for a very long time if the emotion was strong at that specific time.

Whether you lost your job, ended a beautiful relationship, got into an accident or basically experienced anything sad, all of those things caused some sort emotions.

And it doesn’t stop there. It’s haunting you all the time, because you think about the past and the emotions come back to you. It might make you sad or miserable.

You start asking questions like, “what if it didn’t happen?”, “what if I could’ve fixed everything”, “would my life be better right now if I didn’t do it?”.

The thing is, you can’t simply erase some memories no matter how hard you want that to happen. In fact, if you really focus on erasing that memory, it will be even harder to move on, because you’re always focusing on it.

What you focus on, grows. If you constantly focus on your past, you will always get those bad emotions returning to you.

I used to cling on to the past all the time. It made sad and depressed, because I didn’t appreciate life for what it is. I simply didn’t realize how good my life is right now, because I was only thinking about bad experiences and situations in my past.

I always sucked at first impressions, so when I met new people, let’s just say, I didn’t leave them a reason to like me. Most of the time I was kinda rude or did something stupid.

After those kinds of situations, I “relived” those memories all the time and asked myself, “why did I do this?“, “why do I act so stupid“, “I hate myself for doing it” and so on.

I kept destroying myself with all those negative thoughts and I didn’t live in the present. I wanted to change the past so much, that I didn’t care what’s going on right now.

Talking about how to let go of the past, right? That wasn’t my goal back then…

Do you often daydream and think how cool it would be to simply go back in time 10 years, while retaining all your current memories, experience, knowledge and change your life completely?

I thought about it a lot. There were many times I wished I could just turn back time and change many things. But the fact is, there’s no way of doing that.

See, when I realized this, I stopped worrying about the past, because there is no logical reason to stress about something that you can’t change anymore.

No matter how much you think about it, NOTHING will change about the past. There’s only one thing that will definitely happen… It will make you sad, it will bring back all those horrible emotions.

You can’t change the past and you can’t predict the future. And that is why you should always try to live in the present.


Let’s Talk About How To Let Go Of The Past

Before you can let go of the past, you have to realize that you’re making your life worse with those destructive thoughts.

Ask yourself, what do you get from living in the past? What do you get from “reliving” all those memories all the time? Well, I can easily answer that question.

You get nothing good. You only get negative emotions, which makes your present moment a lot worse than it could be. It also limits you from self-improvement. You can’t do anything productive, because you’re always dwelling into negative emotions.

Is that the life you really want? Destroying yourself for something that once happened and can’t be changed?

It is only when you let go of the past, you can experience full emotional freedom and happiness. Only then, you can fully live in the present moment without shame or guilt.

If you want to become the greatest version of yourself, you must not allow your past to anchor you down.

Now, let’s see what we can do to fix this problem…

Past doesn't exist anymore

Realize That It’s Not Real

What if I told you that your past is not real? The past is only a concept (future as well).

It WAS real once, but now it’s gone. It doesn’t exist anymore.

You know what’s real? The present moment. This current second is reality.

Whatever happened in the past, existed only then. Now it’s all gone. It’s only a thought inside your head that it once happened.

So, why focus on something that is not real? Why give some sort of emotional meaning towards a concept?

Stay in reality and live in the present moment.

Focus On Your Goals!

When someone dwells in their past, they forget to focus on their goals.

It’s hard to forget the past if you’re not doing anything else but thinking about how you could’ve changed something to be happier now…

Well, you don’t have to change your past to forget about it. You can change your present moment to take your mind away from the past.

To do that, you should have some goals in mind that you want to achieve. Want to have a better body? Start exercising, go to the gym. Want a new relationship? Start going out more, be active.

Check out: 8 activities to clear your mind.

The point is, you must do SOMETHING if you want to forget. Activities will take your mind away and if you have some goal that you want to achieve, you’ll have to focus on the goal instead of the past.

At first, it’s still going to be hard to take your mind away from the bad emotions… But the more activities you do, the less you’ll think about it.

I personally find exercising as a great way to forget about something. When I’m working out, I seem to forget about everything else, because I have to fully immerse my mind and body into the exercise.

Focus On Your Breath

To forget the past, you must put your focus somewhere else.

One of the simplest ways to do that, is by focusing on your breath. While it’s not the most effective way to forget, it’s the simplest, so why not give it a shot?

It will help you reduce stress and anxiety, so if your past experience is causing it, then I suggest you do some breathing exercises.

Let Go Of Fear

Past experiences cause us fear of taking action.

For example, if you had a wonderful relationship and it ended horribly, you will be afraid to get into a new relationship, because you might think it will happen again.

This will hold you down of taking any kind of action to get into a relationship.

You must stop fearing of what might happen…

Check out: 4 steps to let go of past fears.

If you keep worrying about what could happen, probably it will happen, because that’s what you’re focusing on.

Instead, start worrying positively. What do I mean by that?

This is how you do it – start worrying “what if this new relationship will be even better than the last?”, “what if I will be very happy?”, “what if I will find my soulmate?”

By worrying positively, there are more chances that your past experiences won’t won’t become your future experiences as well.

Fears limit actions

Take A Walk In The Nature

Sometimes the negative emotions from the past can overwhelm us.

I often take a walk in the nature to let go of all stresses and worries, because it’s so calming.

Have a forest nearby? Go there! Explore, feel connection with nature…

Walking is a great activity that brings your focus to the present moment. Just find a place that’s pretty quiet and beautiful at the same time.

Gaze upon the amazing creations that our world has. Feel like you’re one with the nature. Do that for as long as you need.

Sometimes I head out into a forest for a few hours and I return fully relaxed and calm. It’s such a great way to attract more positive energy into your life.

I started doing this when I really wanted to let go of the past. I couldn’t sit at home, because I was killing myself with destructive thoughts.

Trust me, it will definitely help you remove those negative thoughts, just like it helped me!

Meditate To Start Living In The Present Moment!

This is a great way to move your focus from the past to the present.

The main goal of meditation is to become present and aware of your surroundings, to feel connection with the universe.

If tried everything and you still can’t let go of the past, I recommend you to meditate. Make this a daily habit and you’ll notice a lot of improvement, I promise!

Check out this meditation guide for beginners if you’re not sure how to start.

You don’t have to meditate for hours to forget about your past. Just by meditating for 10-15 minutes every day, you’ll notice a lot of changes.

By becoming present and aware of your surroundings, you will realize that there is no reason to attach negative emotions for to your memories.

That is, because the present is the reality, and the past doesn’t matter anymore.

So, go ahead and start meditating if you want to live in the present moment, but find it hard to do!

Focus On The Good Things

What we focus on, grows…

When you’re thinking about all the bad things about your past, you’re only attracting more negativity into your life.

Instead of focusing on all the negative things that happened in the past, focus on the beautiful things that happened.

If you think, that there is nothing good about your past, then you’re wrong. There is always something good, but you fail to realize this.

I don’t care how tragic your relationship was, there has to be something that made you happy at least a little. That is the main reason you had this relationship in the first place, right?

So, focus on the things that made you happy in that relationship, instead of what made you sad or miserable.

I just gave you one example. No matter what happened, even if someone dear to you has passed way, you can always focus on something beautiful about that person.

Think how happy the person made you when he was alive. Don’t think how sad it made you when he passed away. I know, it’s very hard… but you MUST start seeing the positive in every situation if you want to let go of the past and attract more positive situations and experiences into your life.

Make the law of attraction work for you. It can either make you happy, or miserable. It only attracts whatever you’re focusing on. So, CHANGE your focus…

Focus on what made you happy

Forget About Revenge

We often give ourselves the illusion that revenge will make us feel better.

Whatever happened in the past, a lot of people want to have revenge if someone hurt or treated them bad in any way.

That is a very bad thing to do. You might think that it’s going to give you some sort of emotional relief, but it won’t change anything in the end.

Like I’ve said before, you can’t change the past and by having revenge, you are only bringing more negative energy into your present life.

So, why ruin your present life for what happened in the past? 

The best kind of revenge is moving on. Forget about the person or people that hurt you. By showing that you are able to forget them and work on becoming the greatest version of yourself, it will bring you emotionl relief!

You’ll be happier by moving on, rather than screwing someone’s life.

So, stop making diabolical plans on how you’re going to destroy somebody’s life. Start making plans on how you’re going to impore YOUR life instead.


Don’t Let Anyone Affect You!

The reason why we get hurt, is because we let other people hurt us.

Also, those negative emotions can cause you to take specific actions that will later make you regret it.

Learn to control your emotions, because that is a great skill to have if you wan’t to remove negativity from your life!

Every time you get hurt, it’s your choice. Every time you let sad emotions ruin your life, it’s your choice…

Controling your emotions is not easy and it takes a lot of time to master them.

Here’s a great video that might help you master your emotions:

 

Do you have your own tips on letting go of the past? Do you often find yourself thinking about the past? Comment below!

22 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About How To Let Go Of The Past”

  1. Dave says:

    Hallo there,

    I definitely back you up on letting go of fear of past experiences. I held onto those fears of relationships for a very long while and hoped that I would never face them again but because my mind kept reminding me about them I fell into the same messy scenario again.

    A relationship expert told me to forget what has happened to me in my previous encounters and focus on a more positive one to come.

    That’s what I did and now I found my THE ONE.

    1. Donny says:

      Yes, holding on to those fears will most likely attract the same kind of scenario over and over again. It’s always best to focus on the positives instead of the negatives.

  2. Mat A. says:

    Donny,
    Great post on how to let go of the past. You bring up some excellent points and I love your point of view.
    I completely agree that living in the past is a short trip to sadness land. Have you ever read the 4 Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz? Fantastic book, I highly recommend it. He says something very poignant in it. Something along the lines that humans are the only animal that pay for a mistake 1,000 times. This is because we remember the mistake and focus on it over and over and over again.
    I love some of your suggestions for letting go of the past. One thing that worked for me really well about 5 years ago when I was really struggling with something was living in the moment, being present and mindful of what is right in front of me. It opened me up to a lot of beauty it what was happening right then and took my mind off the sad stuff I was focusing on. Thanks again!
    Mat A.

    1. Donny says:

      I haven’t read that book, but I’ll definitely check it out! 

      Yes, living in the moment, being present and mindful is the way of life for me! Meditation really helps with that. I used to live in the past all the time, I kept thinking about all the mistakes and so on. But with meditation, I learnt to be in the present moment!

  3. shrey says:

    This is something that consumes a lot of my energy and at the time being I’m trying to learn more about it and understand that I have to let go about all the negative feelings that I have about people as it is getting me no good and simply wasting my energy.
    I have been feeling this way for a while now and this post really helps me get my shit together. Wonderfully written!

    1. Donny says:

      Yes, holding in the negative feeling from the past is not worth it, because it doesn’t exist anymore! Of course, even knowing that the past no longer exists, it takes time to forget about the negative emotions and all that you had in the past. Glad this post helped you!

  4. Marques Pizarro says:

    I have been in a rut for quite awhile because of school and sports. As I’m in high school, I have been smothered with exams and assignments. Also, in sports, I have been frustrated with the way I have been playing. Now I realized that I have been digging myself in a whole! I will take walks, take deep breathes, and will focus on what makes me happy. I will come back for more teachings, thank you!

    1. Donny says:

      Haha, take you mind away from all the negatives and relax! No need to stress too much about everything, as it only leads to more negative outcomes!

  5. Thabo says:

    Hi Donny,
    As some one who has an interest in the back pain niche I deal with and have covered similar issues as they relate to the many ways people deal with both the pre-pain and post-pain period of their lives. There’s often a temptation to look back to the life they had before the pain.

    So, rather than commenting points familiar to both of us I would like to ask your opinion on some intriguing research about the different ways animals and humans handle trauma.

    There is a theory that animals can heal faster than humans from a serious injury because once the injury has mended, the animal doesn’t keep reengaging in the memory of the accident.

    Humans on the other hand, according to the latest research on pain management can be “frozen in the past” by the constant replaying of the incident long after the physical damage has stopped.

    Have you heard of this theory, and what do you think of it?

    1. Donny says:

      No, I haven’t heard of this theory before, but it sounds very interesting! I believe this could be somewhat true. I’ll do some more digging on this theory.

      Also, I’ve heard that animals don’t eat when they are sick or injured. That also helps them heal faster, because when we eat food, our bodies are not focusing 100% on healing the injury, because it has to digest the food…

  6. Jack Taylor says:

    Hey Donny,

    What a great article you wrote. I couldn’t help but leave a comment after reading it because I used to be my own worst enemy. I used to live in the past and miss things from another time period gone forever or hold onto painful experiences afraid to move forward worried about that same experiences occurring again. Our destinies are not written in stone and you can effect your future in a tremendous way if you can let go of the negative things that hold you back.

    Thanks again for an awesome article,

    Jack

    1. Donny says:

      I know what you mean. I also used to be my worst enemy. Painful experiences can definitely affect your future in a negative way, IF you let those experiences haunt you forever. Letting go of the past brings a better future (and a better present moment).

  7. Gabe says:

    I can’t tell you how incredibly helpful reading this was. When I was in high school, I found out that the girl I was talking to and falling in love with, had a fling with a good friend of mine, and I had to hear it from that friend.

    For years, even to this day, I think back to how I felt in that moment. Small, inadequate, less than everybody especially him. But now I realize there’s nothing you can do about the past, and that how I felt back then doesn’t have to reflect what happens now. I need to just focus on my current situation and let it go!
    Thanks man!

    1. Donny says:

      Glad you found it helpful! We all experience some sad moments in our lives, especially when it comes to love. But it’s important to stay at the present and work on becoming the greatest version of yourself, instead of dwelling in the past and attaching negativity to something that doesn’t exist anymore!

  8. Annie says:

    Hey Rich, you give some good ideas here, on how to let go of the past and how it can dominate and limit our presence.
    I like what you said, how the past is not real – it was when it happened, but now it is gone.
    The only reality it has is the thought force reality we give it by bringing it up and dwelling on it. Really good point!

    1. Donny says:

      Exactly, no reason to attach negative emotions to something that doesn’t exist!

  9. Gail says:

    Thanks for this post Donny. I think it’s very important to let go of the past as many of us hang on to feelings that are no longer serving us and reliving them on a daily basis just because we refuse to let go for whatever reason. I agree totally with you that it is not what we can experience anymore anyway – we can only experience the ‘now’ moment and that changes every second. When we don’t let go of the past, the universe has a canny knack of sending us similar experiences until we finally learn to move on anyway and choose a new path. Thanks for your insight here and I love your site too. Will be back for more. Gail

    1. Donny says:

      Exactly, we will always attract similar experiences if we constantly think and attach negative emotions to our past. Present moment is the best kind of moment!

  10. Isaya says:

    Letting go of my past is definitely something that has been hard for me.
    I agree with you that dwelling on the past only makes things worse. I wish I had read this article before learning that the hard way… but here we are.

    I found that engaging in my hobbies, and working more often kept me distracted from other things. But that’s often not enough, so I’m going to try other things that you have mentioned as well, like focusing on my goals, and the good aspects of my life.

    Thank you!

    1. Donny says:

      Letting go is hard for most people. The important thing is to take action to live in the present moment and focus on the good things about life!

  11. Anthony Hu says:

    Hi Donny, I come to right place and at a right time. Personal development is my major goal for 2018. Your advice is very helpful for me to reach my personal goal. You are right: in order to move forward I have to let go of past, particularly the negative past, and focus positive future. All the techniques you list in the article, such as focus on your goals, focus on your breath, let go of fear, and take a walk in the nature etc, will be employed to my personal development exercises. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Donny says:

      I’m glad this article motivates you to reach your personal goals! Indeed, the negative past shall be forgotten and all the goals reached and fulfilled!

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