What to Do When It’s Time to Let Go of the Past
It feels good to share this article with you.
If you’re new around here and want to read my story about overcoming some pretty significant hurdles to get where I am today, you can read it here.
My clients are the same — they’ve all done the work to come out on the other side. I’m guessing you’ve been through some obstacles too. We all have stuff from our past that, if we dwell and fixate on it — would just keep us stuck.
Typically that work involves dealing with the past — past negative emotions and the resulting limiting beliefs that are a part of their neurology and have been for such a long time that it feels like it’s who they are. We do the techniques, and within minutes, my clients figure out that the stuff they’ve been carrying all of those years can simply disappear. It really does happen like this.
The knowledge of the event stays, but the negative emotions associated with that event disappear. The emotion goes silent. It’s no longer aching like it was just minutes before.
The past events I’m talking about are bad experiences, wrongs committed against us, bad luck, injustices, accidents — all of those unwanted events.
That was then, and this is now.
By holding onto pains from the past, we rob ourselves of the present life we could be living. If we ruminate on past injustices and stew in bitterness or feelings of helplessness, we’re just reliving those old memories and reactivating neural patterns of pain and negativity.
To our unconscious mind, we’re reliving the past, reinjuring ourselves, over and over again. Our brains think that this stuff is happening to us today, even though we consciously know that it happened in the past.
It doesn’t have to be this way. I’m living proof, as are my clients. And you can be too.
Before I continue, please know that my intention here is not to diminish your experiences. You may have endured injustices that make it difficult to move on from. I hope you know that I have your best intentions at heart and invite you to sift through the muck and find the wisdom that will support you in moving on.
Here are some ways to get out of the negative past and into the positive present:
Practice forgiveness is for yourself first so that you can be free of the energetic weight you’re carrying from things that happened in the past. You’re not forgiving for them or letting them off the hook, although it might be a good idea. Holding onto anger and resentment doesn’t hurt anyone but you. Forgiveness isn’t condoning a wrong — it’s refusing to let an event from the past continue to reap negative effects in your life.
- Recognize when you’re triggered and break out of those old neural patterns.
By recognizing when that stuff comes up, there’s a trigger, and you’re running what we call in NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), a strategy. There’s a program running, which activates the neurology, and then you have a feeling or a memory. Something happens somewhere, and it’s triggered.
There are many ways to get out of neural ruts. Sing a song, talk directly to your unconscious mind, or dance. Avoid taking the easy path and keep running the same paralyzing script you’ve been running.
When the trigger happens, and then you remind yourself you’re simply running a pattern, this is when you instruct your unconscious mind to bring into your experience only things that are good, positive, and healthy for you and to reject, erase, and delete everything else.
Here’s a script you can repeat in your mind or out loud to redirect, “unconscious mind, you know the difference between suggestions that are good, positive, and healthy for me and those that are not. From now on, only allow suggestions that are good, positive, and healthy for me, and erase, reject, and delete everything else.” That pattern interrupt is a powerful NLP technique that can shift things quickly. And it’s just a matter of knowing. When you do this enough, those neurons that were wiring and firing before will no longer wire and fire.
- Control your emotional state.
By putting yourself in a positive state preemptively, you’ll be more resourceful about shifting your focus to the things you want, to the life you want to live, and to the person you want to be. If we have an inclination to focus on things that are going wrong, then we have neurology supporting that inclination. And the only way to make the shift is to create neurology that supports the inclination you want. This takes time and sometimes it feels like a battle. We all go through this. Controlling your state puts you in the driver’s seat — not your past experiences.
- Remember that this is the present moment.
You are HERE, NOW; you’re not stuck in the past. You have choices that you can make today to make this moment a positive one. When something happens, you can ask yourself, “how is this serving me now? What is it doing for me? Nothing. Good. Got it. Then what can I do that’s going to do something for me that’s going to serve me moving forward?
Because at the end of the day, it’s about you feeling good.
Because when you can feel good, you can do good.
Your past experiences, even the icky ones, contain valuable learnings that can deepen your wisdom and broaden your perspective.
Moving past those past experiences doesn’t mean they’re invalid, that they didn’t happen, or that they have no value. It simply means they don’t have to have an emotional hold on you anymore. The past doesn’t need to affect your outcomes negatively.
You can get on a positive path and build a beautiful life, free from the past, starting now.
If you’re ready to let go of the past and start living in the here and now, visit The Mind Revolution Podcast and press play on episode #55: Shedding The Past to Live in the Now.
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I'm Brenda Terry. I'm a personal development trainer and master coach who works with go-getters like you who want to achieve big results in your business and personal life.
If you're excited and ready to play bigger in business and kill it in life, I help you identify and change beliefs, patterns, and behaviors that aren't supporting your goals so you can make more money, find more joy, better manage relationships, and communicate more effectively.
I'm here to help you make the powerful, effective shifts you're craving- faster than you ever thought possible.