So many of us live in the past and worry about the future. In doing so, we completely miss the joy in the now. To be able to focus on the good stuff, it’s crucial you learn how to let go of the past.

HURTING OURSELVES

There’s so many ways we get stuck in the negative past. Two big ones are:

  1. Staying focused on people who’ve hurt us

  2. Dwelling on things we didn’t do or the mistakes we made

When we continue to mourn and dwell on the past, we’re slowly ‘killing’ ourselves. It makes us bitter, slowly stripping our joy, peace, and happiness. It’s also a huge weight to bear – like a big ball and chain we’re always dragging around, zapping our energy.

Before you know it, you’re stuck in the throes of a ‘victim mentality’ (‘Oh this always happens to me, it’s just my luck’) and it becomes a huge part of you are. Is that the person you really want to be?

THE GRIEVING PART OF THE PROCESS

It’s true that most of us have faced very challenging situations in our lives. It might be abuse, the loss of loved ones or a broken relationship. These situations are unfair and don’t make much sense; they can even make us question our faith.

But recognize this is part of life. It’s not something you can change. Absolutely, take some time to grieve in loss … but don’t get stuck in it for too long. This is the key.

THE UNIVERSE IS LISTENING

As I’ve said many times over, the universe is very clever and will always give you more of what you focus on. If you continue to run the past through your mind like a dark, sinister Netflix movie, conjuring up feelings of fear, bitterness, anger or shame, then guess what? The universe will just send you more of the very same!

A REAL LIFE EXAMPLE OF LETTING GO

I had a lady come to see me about a job at my staffing firm many years ago. She was courageous and brave enough to tell me that she had been imprisoned for a year for charging $5k on her executive’s credit card.

At the time, she was in a very dark and sad place in her life. Naturally, she was finding it really hard to secure a job because once companies ran a background check, they refused to look past her past.

But she didn’t let her past stop or define her. She persisted on, refusing to stay stuck in her mistake or play the victim role. She took the time to heal, reflect, and she learned a tremendous lesson.

Almost 15 years later, she now has a successful consulting business, has been married for 12 years and has a beautiful little girl. Had she allowed her mistake to define her, her life would have been very different.

FOCUSING ON NOW

We can’t change the past but we do have a choice about how we want to live now. By doing that, you begin the process of letting go.

The next step is to try to end your day by reliving the positives. Bring to mind what went well for you, or what you’re grateful for. It can be a simple as the warm bed you slept in the night before or your eyes that see the world around you. Perhaps it’s your loved ones or job or even the food on your table. The list goes on and on.

So what are you going to do? Begin the process of letting go by making the choice to focus on moving forward towards your joy? Or the alternative – remain feeling guilty or bitter and continue to hurt yourself? The choice is all up to you!