“You can’t see where you’re going if you keep looking in the rearview mirror.”
Whether you are struggling with guilt over something you’ve done or the hurt others have caused you, letting go of the past can be so hard to do.
Maybe the thought of “letting it go” feels irresponsible—almost feel like you are saying that whatever happened didn’t really matter, or that you are letting that other person—or yourself—off the hook.
Or perhaps you’ve tried really hard to let go of the hurt or the guilt, but the thoughts keep coming back.
Letting go of the past is crucial to moving forward. When you stop rehashing the past, you break the chains that are holding you back.
There are six common mistakes we make when trying to let go of the past. Avoid these traps and you will be on your way to more peaceful, fulfilling relationships.
- You try to forget about it. God gave us the capacity (and the command) to forgive, but He didn’t give us the ability to forget. I personally believe it’s because we are as dumb as sheep and if we had the ability to forget, we’d likely make the same mistake again. So instead, recall the hurt and learn what you need to learn from it. You’ll be more likely to move on from there.
- You mistake forgiveness for trust. Forgiveness is an act of the will, not an emotion. Forgiving someone—or yourself—does not mean that you have to enter back into relationship with the person who caused the hurt, or that you are condoning your own bad behavior. Remember, forgiveness is given, trust is earned. So don’t wait to “feel” like forgiving.
- Keep talking about it. If you want to keep a fire burning, add oxygen. If you want to keep stewing over the past, stop “venting.” You can’t let something go if you keep rehashing it to anyone who will listen. Even in my counseling practice, there comes a point when the focus needs to shift to a strategies for moving forward. At some point you’ve got to let the fire die out.
- Keep it in. Just because you don’t talk about it doesn’t mean you’ve let it go. If you are the type to throw old issues in someone’s face at the first sign of a fight, you haven’t let it go—you’ve simply kept it in.
- You don’t change the channel. Rehashing the past can be like watching a horror movie, knowing that you’re going to have nightmares but you can’t seem to turn it off. Your job is to give up on trying to shut off your mind; instead, just change the channel. It’s not like there’s nothing else to watch.
- You see the small things as the big picture. Is the $1000 that some guy owes you really going to matter in 10 years? I sure hope not. If it does, you are missing the big picture of where God is taking you and what He’s trying to do in your life. For the amount of time and mental energy you’ll likely spend on trying to recoup the money, you could have invested that into something that would have yielded you a much greater return.
If you struggle with letting go, you likely suffer from negative thinking.
But there’s good news!
I’m getting ready to host an epic, highly interactive, intensive workshop to help you:
Overcome Toxic Thoughts
You can enjoy peace of mind, confidence and never again be confused.
If you’ve enjoyed my blogs and videos, you are so going to love this intensive workshop. I hope you can make it. This is the perfect opportunity to experience my coaching and training in action – and ask me your questions.
During our time together you will learn:
- How to decipher the 3 types of toxic thoughts – no they are not all created equal.
- The 4 steps to Winning the Battle in Your Mind – this is my secret reciepe. and it’s so easy, you’ll kick yourself for not doing it sooner.
- Slay self-doubt that’s keeping you stuck.
- How to get rid of the what ifs that rob you of peace. yes, it is possible to live life worry-free.
- How to control your emotions so they don’t drive you. (off a cliff)