When I first started in business I made so many mistakes and made so many people mad it was unreal! I called myself putting on events but didn’t even know the first thing about event planning. Because my lack of knowledge, study and patience I ended up creating a past that has kept creeping up even today(2 years later) even when I am successful at an events.
I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights. Nights when I was so worried about something that happened in the past that I let it dictate my future.
I’m talking about those times when you just can’t shake the past. Whether it’s something small, like making a terrible first impression, or saying something you wish you hadn’t, to something big, like having to shutdown your business. Harping on negative experiences is painful and, when we hold on to that pain, we can’t move on to something more positive.
1. Learn from the past but don’t dwell there.
Yes. Those negative experiences you had can actually be used for learning and future experiences — no matter how painful they are. Take some time to reflect on the experience and look at ways at it can actually benefit you down the road.
You can learn from your experiences by reflecting on these few simple questions:
- What really happened? Answer only by confronting the facts.
- What emotions do I feel? I write mine down.
- How can I use this to empower myself and my feelings?
While reflecting on the past for a little bit of time is acceptable, dwelling on it will only keep those negative thoughts and feelings around.
2. Express yourself.
Don’t hesitate to get the pain you’re feeling off your chest. Whether it’s talking to the individual who has harmed you (or who you harmed), venting to a friend or writing it down, expressing your feelings can assist you in sorting out what, if anything, needs to be done to move on.
3. Stop pointing fingers.
Playing the role of the victim is easy and sometimes feels pretty good, especially compared with accepting the truth. The problem is, blaming others prevents you from going forward. Most often, pointing fingers is just complaining.
4. Focus on the present.
One of the most effective ways to let go of the past is to embrace the present. Instead of reliving the past and getting consumed with negativity, keep yourself active and enjoy the current moment. Learn a new skill. Meditate. Exercise.
Living in the moment, also called mindfulness, involves being with your thoughts as they are, neither grasping at them nor pushing them away. Mindful people are happier, more exuberant, more empathetic, and more secure.
5. Disconnect for a while.
Allow yourself to take some time away so that you can clear your head. You don’t have to go backpacking through Europe. Just remove yourself from the situation by distancing yourself from the people, places and things that remind you of the past. Practicing ways to disconnect for a while will give you the chance to experience something positive.When you return, you’ll have a perspective on the past.
6. Think about the people around you.
Take inventory of the people around you. Who is negative and always bringing you down? Who are the people associated with the past that you’re trying to move away from? You may need to move away from these individuals to find more positive people who will empower you.
7. Forgive those who wronged you — including yourself.
If you’ve been hurt by someone, the last thing that you may want to do is forgive them. But, forgiving others is essential for spiritual growth. Forgive someone, like embracing the past while moving on, making a new agreement with yourself, not going to sleep angry and being kind and generous.
While you’re at it, forgive yourself. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes. Instead of kicking yourself for your past mistakes, cut yourself some slack and focus on the lessons that you’ve learned. Once you’re not carrying that anger and resentment, you’ll be able to move on.
8. Make new memories.
Finally, start making new, positive memories to replace those negative memories from the past. Spend your time with the people who make you happy, the things that bring you joy and in the places that bring you peace. Making new memories is better being stuck in the past.
Here’s to living in the now.