In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the 5 milestones in letting go of the past.
First a quick update:
The Breakup Test
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Time Doesn’t Heal All – Get Over Your Ex Now!
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Now, let’s talk about the 5 milestones in letting go of the past.
What has happened that still controls you or stops you from enjoying life?
A relationship that ended?
An unrealized dream or goal?
Life is full of things that occur which we did not want, ask for or expect.
Life is full of things which are beyond our control.
And yet, those things that have occurred, which are in the past, still affect or control us today.
In this article, I reveal the things that are within your control – the 5 milestones in letting of the past.
Letting go of the past is about dealing with adversity and going beyond a return to baseline – it is about learning, growing, understanding, and thriving. It is about new adaptation. It is not about prevention and repair which simply views life as a threat whereby you are constantly reacting and trying to bring it back to normal and which in turn, results in the absence of color, passion or growth in life.
If letting go of the past simply means returning to normal or baseline, then your focus becomes just holding onto what you have (avoiding loss) and never thriving or going beyond.
Where is your focus: surviving or thriving?
Often, unresolved trauma leads to a paralysis of focus: Survival but never thriving. So, too, does our attitude to past events.
Letting go of the past requires that you stop trying to change what has already happened and which cannot be changed; letting go of the past is a subtle yet enormous shift from the emotions and beliefs that prevent you from enjoying and thriving in life to acceptance and adaptation. I will contrast the mental attitude of ‘acceptance’ with ‘resignation’ shortly.
1. Cease ruminating: Cease obsessing over the past event
This principle is about ending the constant mental reference to an event that is over and which you keep playing over in your head like a loop, constantly complaining or wailing but never identifying a solution, and never making a decision or taking action to resolve anything.
2. Change perspective & reframe: Transform your thoughts about past
What meaning have you given to this past event? In what ways does it define you?
In what ways does the event define your value or your meaning & significance in life?
3. Release painful or destructive emotions: Release and transform emotions associated with the past
To let go of the past, you need to first identify all of the subconscious emotions you have associated with the past event: anger, frustration, bitterness, resentment, disappointment, injustice, guilt, shame, helplessness, hopelessness, sadness, and so forth. How do those emotions paralyze you?
With my clients, I use SRTT – Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique – a therapy technique I developed over many years which easily and gently releases all of the emotional pain – and without reliving it.
4. Form new thoughts and beliefs about yourself, the world around you and life
When an event occurs, we not only use it to define ourselves, we also use it to blame ourselves, and we form beliefs about our value, our abilities & autonomy, and we form beliefs about how safe or welcoming or painful the world is and our opportunities or lack of in life.
5. Build Motivation: Adapt by creating new goals and aspirations in life
The ultimate measure of whether or not you are free from the past is the resulting motivation: what did you learn, what do you understand, how have you repaired the damage, how have you grown from what happened, and in what ways will you adapt by also finding new goals and motivation for life?
This leads to the critical understanding between the difference in the mindsets of ‘acceptance’ and ‘resignation.’
Resignation mindset is the acceptance of what happened with one major difference – resignation results in the belief in hopelessness, helplessness and perhaps endless frustration – ‘nothing else is of value…I have no control over my life or my goals and dreams…everything is meaningless and worthless…I can never rise up over my obstacles…my life is completely predestined.’ Resignation results in apathy and loss of meaning and purpose in life, or it can result in simply concluding that ‘what you see is what you get and no more.’
Acceptance mindset begins with admitting and agreeing that something has happened – albeit frustrating, distressful or painful. Acceptance includes admission and not denial of the emotions and thwarted goal. The most impactful difference between the acceptance mindset and the resignation mindset is that the acceptance mindset leads to action: “I can learn from the mistakes…I can rise above failure…I can replan and find new goals and new meaning…there is still value in life…I can adjust my vision and purpose…I can still thrive in life!’
(Extra reading: Maria Miceli & Cristiano Castelfranchi (2001) Acceptance as a Positive Attitude, Philosophical Explorations)
Admittedly, the above 5 milestones are still the goals or objectives, and you need strategy and techniques to achieve each of those milestones. If you would like help to let go of the past or any of the painful emotions or behaviors, and to build an acceptance mindset with a focus on thriving, book a one-on-one session with me.
You can add to the conversation below.
I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist
Anointed “The Woman Expert” by WGN Chicago, Patrick Wanis PhD is a renowned Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert who developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis’ clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers. CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for his expert insights and analysis on sexuality, human behavior and women’s issues. Wanis is the first person ever to do hypnotherapy on national TV – on the Montel Williams show.