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How to let go

Releasing your "old" story to create a better one

How to Let Go of the Past

A grudge, a feeling, a memory, an experience… these are all things we hold onto from the past. But why do we do it? We like to hold on to things, situations and circumstances because in some weird way, it’s fulfilling. There’s comfort in familiarity and justification, even when it’s rooted in a negative experience. But, ultimately, holding on to the past has no real benefit – it only holds you back from achieving your true potential.

Sometimes, we use the past to justify our current decision-making, and that’s the reason why we don’t want to let go. Remember that nasty thing someone did to you years ago? That affects whether or not you go to that family gathering,or if you will ever date again. Those memories justify everything for you. So, when you’re unable to let go, that becomes a part of your “story” and works against you, holding you back. The question is, are you willing to change your story?

Image © Subbotina Anna/shutterstock

Will you live inside your story or let go and move on?

So, what is your story? Your story is what you tell yourself to justify your decisions. For example, you tell yourself that you can’t have a successful relationship because of how you grew up. Your parents argued in front of you all the time, and eventually divorced. You then believe this is why you can’t maintain a healthy romantic relationship. You use this past experience to justify why you won’t know how to deal with a breakup. You don’t have to negate the truth – if that is, in fact, true – but you shouldn’t let that influence your current path because you’re unable to let go of it. If you want to find love, and are letting go of a relationship from the past, don’t let bad experiences dictate your future. Instead, use your experiences as a tool to push you further, not as an excuse.

When the facts are terrible or heartbreaking, it is human nature to blame someone else or even a past incident, not ourselves. This is why is it can be so hard letting go of someone you love, and very tempting to blame them for your misfortune. This is why you blame others when learning how to deal with a breakup, or another person for something terrible that happened; however, the energy it takes to stoke and maintain the fire of blame is on our own backs. The person we are targeting is gone, but still we keep the blaze going at our own emotional expense.

If we can’t get out of the story we’ve constructed for ourselves, then we cannot move on toward bigger and brighter things.

Letting go of the past

Let’s say your relationship ended, and you still feel incredible amounts of anger and resentment toward your ex. Maybe at first you felt righteous about it, like the anger was helping you move forward. However, after some time has passed, you start to see that it’s unhealthy for you, and you’re not sure how to let go of someone you love and move on with your life.

By recognizing this behavior as unhealthy, knowing that you don’t know how to let go of someone and looking for an answer toward how to move on, you are already on the right path. You will find what you’re looking for, and have the power to follow through. Once you decide to commit yourself toward letting go of a relationship and moving on, you may discover other moments that you can afford to move on from as well.

Moving forward

But no matter how thin you slice it, there’s always two sides to every issue. Your ex hurt you, but they did it because they needed to feel more stable in their romantic relationship – they felt their needs weren’t being met in your relationship, and they decided to take actions that they may regret later. Regardless of who initiated the breakup or the reason behind the split, you need to move on. Don’t worry about forgiving them for now. Instead, work on learning how to forgive yourself for getting so caught up in the drama of your personal life and allowing your anger and resentment to hurt you and hold you back.

Letting go is not as hard as it may seem. Bad things happen, sure, but you cannot change the past, so why continue to perpetuate it? The key to letting go of a relationship or a painful past experience is that you have to face what has happened, accept that you can’t change it and then move on. Once you’re able to move on and close old doors, inevitably new doors will open up, better opportunities will arise and, most of all, you’ll have a better story that moves you forward, instead of holding you back. Start writing your new story today.

Header Image credit © MJTH/shutterstock

Team Tony

Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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