What’s holding you back from finally moving forward and letting go of the past? We can be grateful for what we’ve learned and gained from the past. However, staying in it and wishing to change it, or remaining resentful for many years, will stunt your personal growth.
There are many things you can move on from. In order to best glide forward and reach new heights of happiness and success, there are people to forgive, fears to move on from, and negative people to let go of. You can even let go of yourself and forgive yourself. Set yourself free from all of these things.
Let Go of Resentment
Resentment is one of the heaviest things you can carry with you. It limits genuine freedom. People can be unjust and hurtful. You never have to be okay with what anyone has done. When someone has done something to hurt you or someone you love, you’re allowed to be angry.
The fact is, what happened is what happened. That is the first step to forgiveness. Practice radical acceptance. Begin by acknowledging that the reality is indeed the reality. Acknowledge it mindfully, without judgment.
All you need to say is, “yes, this happened.” This is acceptance. Acceptance does not mean that you’re okay with what happened. Acceptance will enable you to move forward from resentment.
Once you’ve come to acceptance, you can begin the process of forgiveness. Despite how you may feel, forgiveness does not require the person you’re upset with to do anything. Forgiveness is all about you.
As with all things, forgiving becomes easier with practice
First, write down your resentments in a list. Begin with the people who are easiest to forgive, and work from there. When a person comes up who you want to forgive, you can take a deep breath and say, “I forgive you.” While you’re doing this, release tension in your body and allow yourself to relax and feel the resentment leaving.
You will need to do this process for some people multiple times.
Forgiveness is powerfully beneficial and will make your life more joyful and rewarding.
This is also a great opportunity to learn more about yourself. Use your feelings of resentment and your process of forgiveness to get to know yourself better. How can this inform your values? Where do you want to go from here?
Let Go of Fear
Most fears are imaginary. They are stories we tell ourselves about who we are and what is going to happen.
When you feel fearful of the future, you keep yourself from achieving your fullest truth. You have learned fear. At some point, fear has served you. Of course, there are rational fears. The fears to let go of are the ones you think of when you think of what fears are holding you back from being truly you.
When you imagine your fullest self, what fears have you shed? What fears are long forgotten? It’s helpful to visualize yourself feeling this freedom. These feelings will motivate you to make your fullest life a reality.
When you find yourself feeling fearful, observe and name that fear. Use your rational mind to understand what fears are coming from your ego.
Observe the moments when you feel fearful. Then, watch what you do in response to that fear. Begin working on remaining open during these times of fear. Instead of closing off and going back into your shell, see what it’s like to remain open even in the face of fear.
You have much courage within you. When you feel fear creep in, name it, sit with it, and release it. Being mindful in these moments is essential. Bring yourself to the present moment. Breathe in your courage, exhale your fear. Imagine the fear leaving your body and leaving you only with greater courage.
Let Go of Negative People
Are the relationships in your life serving you well? It’s easy to get lost in a destructive relationship. Sometimes it’s easier to stay friends with someone than it would be to stop being friends with them.
Remember, there are many people around you who relate to and appreciate you. The only way to find them is by loving yourself fully and putting yourself into the world around you.
The way you let people treat you says a lot about how you treat yourself. If you begin being kinder to yourself, you may find that you’re better able to ask for what you need from those around you.
When you can ask for what you need from others, you’re showing yourself respect and love. When you demand respect from others by demonstrating it to yourself, you will find your relationships beginning to improve.
You will know that a relationship is no longer serving you when you leave interactions with that person feeling worse than you did when you arrived. If this happens regularly, or you see a pattern of inconsistent behavior, or even if it’s simply a difference in values, you might want to consider letting go of that relationship.
It can be intimidating to cut ties with a friend. However, it could be a part of what’s holding you back in your life, and it’s a necessary part of growth. Sometimes you only need to be in someone’s life for a short time so that you can both learn what you need to. You don’t need to be friends with all of your friends forever.
One way to create structure around the kind of people you allow in your life is by setting boundaries. If you have a toxic friendship in your life, you can put boundaries in place to keep your needs clear.
For example, if you have a friend who is frequently intoxicated when you’re together, and that upsets you, you can set a boundary that you will not spend time with that friend when they are intoxicated. This boundary is clear and not up for interpretation.
Setting boundaries like these can help keep your toxic relationships at bay, and new positive relationships will come forward.
How to Set Boundaries
Try these techniques:
- Get quiet and think about your needs. You can write on a piece of paper about what you need in your life and what people are no longer helping you attain your greatest good. Let yourself write without judgment and see what feelings or needs come to the surface.
- Establish your limits. Know where the line is for how much you’re willing to tolerate.
- Know what you need. In times of stress or frustration with a person, what are things that you need in those moments, based on how you feel? Do you need to leave? Do you need to end the interaction?
- Communicate your boundaries clearly. Boundaries are a great guidepost because they are sturdy and you can simply repeat that boundary in response to any reaction you get back.
- Be consistent in following through on your boundaries. Pay attention to how you feel when you do or don’t follow through. If it’s difficult for you to take a stand, keep practicing and see what happens.
- Give yourself the okay to let go of these people that are causing harm or limiting you.
What’s Holding You Back From Allowing Yourself to Let Go?
Now, give yourself permission to do all of the healing and letting go that you need to. In order to most powerfully grow forward, you must commit to trusting the process fully. You can now let go of your past. You can let go of your regret, anger, fear. You can let go of the people that hold you back or don’t believe in who your best self is.
When you’re letting go of people, you can take that time to participate in your community in ways that will help you get closer to people who are better suited for this season in your life.
Hold On to What Moves You Forward
When you let go of one thing, you’re free to hold onto another. As you let go of the things that hold you back, you’re now able to grab hold of the things that will propel you forward.
There are many things you can use to help move you forward. Start with the things that inspire you most and work from there.
According to Benjamin P. Hardy at The Ladders;
“When you open yourself to new experiences, you open yourself to change. Obviously, being open to new experiences is hard. In order for you to truly be open, you must be humble.
You must be open to being changed. You must be willing to absorb what your new experiences make of you.”
In this section, we’ll cover some great things you can begin to hold that will help you continue to grow. What is meaningful in your life and how can you pursue it? How can you use spirituality to ground you and move you forward? How can you best embrace positive experiences and give yourself what you need in your daily routines?
Clarify Your Values
Take a moment to think about the most important things to you.Think of your family, friends, work, and yourself. What words come up when you think about these things? What words come up when you think about what kind of person you want to be? These things are what you value.
You can narrow down your values to just a few core values that can help guide you in the right direction toward a fulfilling life. You can determine your values however you want to. What character traits would you most like to act on? Honesty? Humor? Integrity? Leadership? Family?
Think large, and then get smaller. Come up with a large list of values and then narrow it down. Think of about 4 – 5 values that you want to live up to on a daily basis.
Once you have those values selected, begin thinking about what it might look like if you put these values to action.For example, what would you do more of if you followed your value of humor? What would you do less of if you lived up to your value of family?
Imagine yourself acting out these values and keep them in mind as you go about your days.
Use these values when you’re trying to make a decision about what the next right thing is. Use them to determine what sort of people you want to invite into your life. You can even use your values to give you confidence and meaning.
When you have a solid set of values, so many things will fall into place. Values make things straightforward and clear.
You will typically be able to tell if you’re not living up to your values. Just as in mindfulness, when you find yourself straying from your values, nonjudgmentally come back to them.
Having your values solidified will help guide you through the rest of your life. You can start to set goals that will help you grow at exponential rates.
Set goals that are realistic for you and that are based on your values. You can use your values to help you determine where you want to end up. When you bring your dreams into the mix, goals start to appear.
Set long term goals first. Think of your wildest dreams and then work from there to come up with some short-term goals that will help you in your day-to-day life.
Goals will help guide you to your true potential. You’ll be better able to see the big picture when you know what you’re really working for. When you don’t have a big idea in mind, it can be easy to lose perspective.
By keeping your long-term dreams in mind, you’ll be able to take a step back and see your purpose any time that you’re feeling lost. Goals are the breadcrumbs that lead to the dream.
If you can get to a place of peace and calm with the meaning of your existence, you will feel much more at peace in the rest of your life. No matter what your spirituality entails, you can choose how you want to tether yourself to your existence.
What brings you peace in the storm? What can you learn from each moment of your life? Imagine the things that bring you the most comfort. When do you feel the most connected to the world around you?
These methods will help you explore your spirituality:
- Go somewhere peaceful and sit quietly or write. Think about a time or two when you’ve felt the most connected to the world around you. Think about a time when you’ve felt truly connected to your feelings of meaning in your life.
- Look at the core of those moments. What were you feeling? What were you doing? What were you trusting?
- Now, go do more of those things. If you enjoy sitting outside, go sit outside. Doing things that help you connect to nature is an excellent way to get to a spiritual place.
- Volunteer. When you help others, you will feel a sense of calm that is rarely found elsewhere. This type of authentic human connection can improve your relationship with your ideas of spirituality.
- Practice mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness daily is a great way to get more in touch with your spirituality. Sitting in that stillness can bring about transcendental experiences that can help you grow in new ways.
- Talk with others about spirituality. If there are people in your life whom you admire, you can discuss their spirituality with them. Ask them how their spirituality informs the rest of their life.
You can use your feeling of spiritual purpose to ignite and bring calming inspiration to all areas of your life.
Having a larger idea of why you’re here will help center you in the present moment and give you a stronger sense of security when you’re full of existential angst. Holding onto spiritual habits that work for you will bring a new sense of strength to your life and your heart.
Embrace Your Greatness
Praise yourself each day and embrace the greatness that you truly are. When you truly begin to realize that you’re completely worthy of love, you will also realize that you’re unstoppable.
Feel your sense of greatness well up within you. During moments of mindfulness practice, feel your back straighten and your shoulders relax.Feel the inspiration flowing in your veins and enjoy the person you are.
Start by treating yourself when you need to. What are your favorite things to do? Start making time each day or each week to do the things that you love most. You deserve to have fun, and you can give yourself that fun by taking charge and believing in your worthiness.
Make kindness a regular part of your daily self-talk. You can do many things to remain in a place of compassion with yourself. For example, write yourself short and encouraging notes in the morning. You can use these to motivate you through the rest of the day. Who says you cannot tell yourself that you’re proud of yourself?
Give yourself praise each day. You’re allowed to praise yourself for getting out of bed, putting on shoes, or getting a promotion. Be proud of yourself for everything. You’ve worked hard to get where you are. By giving yourself praise, you’re acknowledging your strengths and giving validation to yourself.
Self-compassion is a lifelong project and a daily practice. By loving yourself fully, the real you will come to the surface and you’ll have a stronger understanding of the beauty within your life. By seeing this beauty, you’ll be better able to live your most fulfilling life.
Shed the doubt that you hold onto. What self-doubt do you carry around with you? How does it affect your behavior? When you’re able to see the areas in which you doubt yourself, you can begin changing self-sabotaging behavior that keeps you from your best self.
If there are relationships that are struggling in your life, you can either let them go or try to improve them. Doing nothing will not make anything better. You can improve your relationships with friends, community members, colleagues, and family by being patient and compassionate.
Showing compassion for others will help you practice it for yourself, just as being compassionate to yourself makes it easier to show compassion to others.
If you consider yourself an overthinker, you can bring your mind to a state of peace by shedding the various ways in which you over think.
Let go of the past. Let go of the things you’ve done that you feel guilty for.
Let go of regret. You can let go of regret by giving yourself permission to move forward. Write about the things you regret in order to take a step back and learn from them. There is always a lesson to learn if you’re willing to look for it.
Use moments of regret as an opportunity for connection to all those who have experienced what you’re feeling.
Release that little nagging voice.
You’re your biggest bully. You no longer need to say harsh things to yourself in times of confusion or doubt. Perhaps you’ve noticed a constant narrator that is sometimes (or frequently) negative and destructive. There’s no need for you to listen to this voice, as it only keeps you from pursuing your greatest self.
Instead of listening to the negative things you say to yourself, replace those things with positive phrases and thoughts. Instead of believing that you’re a failure, see yourself as a learner.
Social anxiety and fears are common and necessary to move through if you want to adventure through life with openness. However, letting go of these fears can be difficult. You can begin by asking a friend to help you through social situations that make you nervous.
Jump into the adventure of the community around you. Peruse your community with the eyes of an explorer. Dive in and see what is in store. Take a quiet moment to truly participate in the world around you.
You can engage with your community by talking with others and being kind to them.Building community starts small. Starting small helps you build confidence in approaching new people if that is something that makes you nervous.
You can get involved with the world around you by being a tourist in your own town, trying something new with a group of people, or having a conversation with the barista at your coffee shop.
When you’re diving into your community, do so with authenticity. The more you love yourself, the more comfortable you will be with being authentic. Increase the interactions with the people around you so that you can continue to practice being your true self and connecting with people from that level.
Let go of expectations. These expectations don’t serve you. Instead, bring your attention to the present moment, where all is well and you’re full of gratitude.
Mindfulness is an essential part of uncovering your true self-compassion.
You can practice mindfulness by paying close attention to what you’re doing in the present moment. Choose an activity that works for you and make it a regular part of your daily routines. Use mindfulness to grow your self-compassion practice by loving yourself in each moment.
Let go of the things that keep you from growing.
By letting go of the things that no longer serve you, you’re freeing yourself to experience life on entirely different levels. Let go of resentment, fear, and negative people. When you let go of resentment, you’re releasing a weight off your shoulders that you may not have noticed before because it has been there for so long.
When you let go of fear, you’re better able to fully embrace the future with curiosity. You will be better able to approach the present moment with a built-in sense of gratitude. When you feel fear creep in, remain mindful and express compassion for that fear while you release it.
Let go of negative people by setting clear boundaries with them. Get your needs clear and establish your limits. Give yourself what you need by recognizing your specific needs in stressful situations where you may need to have strict boundaries. Communicate your boundaries clearly and continue to follow through on them.
Take hold of the things that propel you in a healthy direction.
By embracing your true self, you can let go of the patterns that are not helpful for you. When you let go of those things, you can hold onto more positive things.
Get clear with your values so that you can use them as a compass on your journey in a fulfilling life. Look to your values to help point you in the right direction when you’re not sure where to go. Your values determine the kind of person you want to be and how you want your behavior to reflect that.
Set realistic goals that are based on your wildest dreams. Determine what small thing you can do each day to work toward those dreams. Set goals each day, week, or month in order to keep yourself moving forward.
Acknowledge your greatness.
When you’re able to look in the mirror and feel truly proud of who you see, you will know this practice is working.You can appreciate yourself, and you should.
You’re allowed to be proud of yourself and grateful for what a great person you are. Take this deep love for yourself and find security in it. As you’re living at your fullest potential, you’re able to move forward and grow to new levels of knowledge.
When you love yourself, you can live fully.