10 Reasons Why You Should Let Go of the Past

I regularly read self help books because I want to be a better person. Recently, I bought a armful of older self help books for 25 cents a piece at Goodwill. One of them, Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz, brings up the issue of the past. He retells a story about a writer who saw a demonstration by a hypnotist. When she asked how the hypnotist was able to change a person so quickly, she learned that the hypnotism purged the memory of past failures. Well, she thought to herself, if he can do it, why can’t she do it without the hypnotism. She began her experiment by intentionally ignoring all of her past failures. She moved forward with her experiment, writing more than she ever had before and she even discovered new talents within herself simply because she wasn’t basing her abilities on the past. Dorothea Brande continued to move forward in her life, being both a writer and becoming a public speaker.

If she could do, the rest of us can do it as well. We all need to let go of the dark past and move into brighter territory.

1. You Can’t Change It

You can’t change what happened in the past, only the way you feel about it. If something bad happened to you or you faced some horrible humiliation, holding onto that memory does not help you. You can run it through your head a thousand times and it will always be the same.

Make a solid commitment to yourself to not bring up the past anymore. There is no point in reliving it. Instead, let it go. If you find yourself thinking about it, stop yourself immediately and move on to thinking about something that makes you happy.


2. It Holds You Back

Bad memories and all the bad feelings that go with it hold you back from becoming what you truly are. The negativity weighs your spirit down until you feel like you can’t do anything right. When you let the past go, the heaviness goes with it and suddenly you feel like you can tackle anything. You can finally move forward.

3. Try New Things

By letting go of the past, you are giving yourself permission to try new things. You are consciously deciding that the past is not going to prevent you from living life. In spite of whatever might have happened, you are a living, growing, learning individual. You need new experiences to better yourself.


4. You Will Learn to Love Yourself

Learning to love yourself is an adventure and only when you let go of the past can you experience the love you have for yourself and your life. Ditch all the negative feelings you have for yourself. They don’t help you succeed in life and prevent you from living life fully.

5. Nothing Lasts Forever

You may have been called a loser, ugly, or other things in the past, but nothing lasts forever. You do not have to be a loser or any of those things forever unless you actively work at holding yourself back. Besides, those were the words and accusations of weak people who had their own demons to tackle. As I always remind myself when things get tense, “This, too, shall pass.”

6. Become Responsible

You are responsible for your actions and your reactions. While people may have hurt you in the past, you are in control when it comes to how you will react to the past right now. The moment you become responsible for your actions, you will gain the strength to break free of a tumultuous past.

7. Gain Opportunities

You are surrounded by opportunities, but the negative past prevents you from seeing them. When you let go of the past, you let go of your old fears and the crippling fear of success. Suddenly, you can move forward and explore new and diverse opportunities that await you.


8. Move Into the Present

When you hold onto the past, you live in the past. You can’t move forward into the future if you are always looking back into the past. Let’s say you were in an abusive relationship. While you are no longer with that person anymore, you still dwell on what happened. You don’t date anyone because it might happen again, but you are lonely and secretly wish you had a life partner. In this case, you will have to forgive the past and let it go before you can go out into the world and find a positive relationship.

9. Freedom

The moment you make the decision to let go of the past, you will feel lighter. As you begin to act on it, moving forward as though the past never happened, you will experience a freedom like you have never felt before. Let go of the guilt, the pain, and the fear. Clear the slate and start your life fresh and new.

10. Make Room for the Good Stuff

Nature hates a vacuum. When you finally decide to let go of a past hurt, you have the opportunity to fill that empty space with a good memory or thought. You can also replace the bad past with a good wish for the future. Instead of rehashing the past over and over again, start planning your success. Set a goal for yourself and spend your free time thinking about how you are going to reach that goal, the actions you need to take to reach the goal, and how good you are going to feel once you have reached it.

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purl3agony profile image

purl3agony 15 months ago from USA

Amazing advice, and simply stated for all to understand. A lot of your suggestions are things we know (or should know), but have a hard time putting into practice. Thanks for sharing this sage advice!

Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 15 months ago from Oklahoma

Great idea to get rid of the past, but easier said than done:-)

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