How To Let Go Of The Past

let go of the past - Therapy in London

How often do you think about the past? The good times but also the bad and The mistakes you made. This end up clouding your judgement and stopping you from being truly happy right now.

This week’s blog is going to explain why you find it hard to let go of the past and stop it impacting on your life.

We all have a past, it is who you are. Your upbringing, where you have lived, the people you knew. All of this is an important part of your development and dictates how we think, act and feel. It has a lot to answer to, both in a good way and a bad way.

The Good

Firstly, the good. Your past experiences have made up your identity and allow you to know what makes you happy and sad. It has helped anchor you in the world so that you don’t make the same mistakes again,  and helping to keep you safe and not feel lost all of the time.

The Bad

However, as much as the past can help there is also the risk of it becoming a pivotal part of your life, so much so that you can feel that you can’t escape its grasp.

Hindsight is both a gift and a curse. You feel that by reliving that experience in your mind, it will give you some control and closure. When actually it is doing the opposite, making you relive feelings of shame, guilt and anxiety again and again.

Never allowing yourself to accept it or come to terms with that memory.

You can get so caught up in feelings from past mistakes that these memories stop you trying new things and being the person that you want to be.

How do you start to relinquish the impact of the past?

It’s not necessarily about letting go of the past completely It’s about connecting to the past in a different way. Allowing it to help you be excited about the change and develop yourself rather than it holding you back and making you feel trapped.

Start changing from now. Firstly, think about a memory that comes up again and again, what happened or what did you do?

Secondly, rather than dwelling on the memory think to yourself what can you learn from that experience? If it had a voice what would the message be? What is it trying to tell you?

The secret is that this message is all about safety. Safety from that guilt or shame.

It is reminding you to fix a problem or stop you from getting into an emotionally dangerous situation again.

Thirdly, rather than focusing on fixing a situation from the past, think about how that message is going to help you in the future. Maybe you won’t put yourself in a vulnerable position again, not meet up with a certain group of friends or go out till the early hours before a big meeting or exam.

Remember that your past is trying to ground you and not make the same mistakes you made before.

Your past is trying to help you to be safe and lead you to a happier life. Use your past experiences to help you move forward in life rather than hold you back from being the person you want to be.