Let go of your past to make room for the future that awaits for you.
I attended an event where we discussed about letting go and I thought I should share some tips with you, hoping it would serve you well.
A bad decision, an unfortunate circumstance that lead to a bad reaction, living in a toxic relationship, an addiction, not taking action, happy moments that seem never to come back – all of these are examples of things that we would carry with us everyday, making it so hard to let go and start living life again. And we get trapped more and more into the past, like moving sand swallowing our present.
Those events, situations, circumstances might have also projected labels on ourselves, such as: “I am not worthy enough” , “I cannot do this”, “I am afraid to try something new” , “I am an impostor” , “I waisted my life”, “I am a people pleaser” etc. Think about what labels you use to describe yourself and how much of that is caused by the past events and not the person you are right now, right in this moment. Those labels not only influence your present, but they will also shape your future.
Scientists say that 95% of the thoughts we think in a day are the exact same thoughts we thought the day before. Scientists also say that from those thoughts we think every day, 80% of them are negative.
Wow, stop for a second and reflect on what it means to you. What it means to be able to start controlling event a small fraction of those thoughts you think today about something you should let go. Instead of those negative thoughts, you could replace them with new, positive and action driven ones. And those new thoughts would be repeated the following day, and the next one and will be come the seeds for the days to come and for the future that awaits for you.
Do you know what were your thoughts today? You might remember your actions, some thoughts that at some point of time might have crossed your mind, due to the significance of the moment but not the majority of them. And they control your life.
I included a list of items that will hopefully help you start the journey of letting go
1. Talk about it
Talk to a stranger, talk to a friend or family member. Ask them to listen and not judge. Letting something out is the first step to letting go.
2. You don’t have to try to forget the past
Some people try to let go, by trying hard to forget their past. And as I mentioned before, just like the moving sand, the more you try to forget, the more you will remember and the more the past will stay with you in the present. Accept your past, as you cannot change it and know that it will always be there, like an attic filled with memories for you to visit from time to time. Your past made you the person you are today and today will become the past of tomorrow. Start adding a different picture to the album of memories.
3. Faith (not necessarily religion) vs. hope
When you say “I hope I can do this” – that leaves the possibility of not succeeding. Change that for “I have faith I can do it” wether it is faith in yourself, faith in your peers, religious faith, Karma etc.
Faith gives you confidence in the desired outcome, to have trust in your decisions. Faith will give you the power to act, knowing that it will be ok. So start by not hoping for the best, but having faith in your future and start that by taking actions today. Working on changing today will not leave too much time to focus on yesterday. Have faith that you are going to keep your faith (pun intended).
4. What happens when you let go vs What happens when you don’t?
Take some time and analyze your options. Most of the time the outcome of not letting go is more terrifying than letting go. Visualize how letting go, or not letting go will mean for you in 1, 3 and 5 years from now. Write that down somewhere you can be reminded of every day.
5. Have a goal (short term or long term) that would make you excited to wake up every day at 4am for (if you had to)
There is a trend about starting the day early as it will make you more productive. I will not comment on that, but I will invite you to think about a reason or a goal and the test for how important is the goal for you is to make you want to start that very early morning routine. How powerful would that goal have to be if you can make that effort for a very long amount of time? Find that goal, brainstorm your passion, interests etc. and find it. It will change your life.
6. Practice being present
Science says that every person has a level of happiness that can vary when a powerful event happens in our lives. Something happy will spike that level for a little while and naturally we will come back to that standard happiness level. The same with sadness, a tragic event will lower the level for a certain amount of time, but after enough time has passed, we come back to the standard level of happiness.
What scientists discovered recently was that the only way to raise the standard level of happiness is through meditation and mindfulness. 5 minutes of meditation each day will help raise that bar and it is guaranteed that it will make us feel happier, more grateful for the people and things in our lives. And that is a great power we have on our brains.
Writing your thoughts about the day that has just finished, will make you more focused and mindful during the next day. Journaling is for positive thoughts and self-analysis. It can be hard in the beginning, so you can start by writing some thoughts you had today, some actions you took and reasons for being grateful. Do that at the same time, every day. Add one item (it should be realistic) that you want to complete the next day, that will make you focused the day to come.
Do you have more suggestions? Please send me your comments! And please share this blog with your peers or tweet this: Let go of your past to make room for the future that awaits for you and focus more on today and less on yesterday.
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And start TODAY to work on your tomorrow!