In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal why it is critical to burn your bridges and create a point of no return to let go of the past and thrive again.
First a quick update:
“Beware Of Control Freaks”
Control freaks have an obsessive need to dominate or command other people and situations. There are two types of control freaks – those who have had a lifelong habit of controlling (stemming from childhood experiences) and those who have adopted a controlling nature in response to stress and life’s present circumstances. Here is how to handle control freaks.
“7 Different Ways To Handle Rejection”
Rejection is one of the hardest things we all have to face. For some people rejection can be traumatic. Why do we fear rejection so deeply? Watch the video and discover 7 different ways to overcome rejection.
Now, let’s talk about why it is critical to burn your bridges and create a point of no return to let go of the past and thrive again.
Xiang Yu, was a prominent warlord in the late Qin dynasty who in 207 BC, overthrow an army of 300,000 soldiers in the Battle of Julu against the Qin armies led by Zhang Han.
How did he do this?
He created a literal point of no return.
After crossing the river, Xiang Yu ordered his men to sink their boats and destroy all but three days’ worth of rations. Yu’s men now had no choice – they had to win in 3 days or die trapped before the walls of the city with no supplies or any hope of escape. Despite being heavily outnumbered, Yu’s men defeated the 300,000-strong Qin army. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiang_Yu#Battle_of_Julu
This is one of many examples of the ways leaders throughout history created points of no return, forcing their men to look only forward and never consider going back or running away. The soldiers had to forget the past and build their future by focusing on the present moment.
How many people actually do that – let go of the old path, the familiar, and focus on building a new path?
How many people let go of the past and focus on the present?
How many people cling to something that needs to be left behind – a bridge or a ship that needs to be burned?
“Why do people persist in a dissatisfying relationship, unwilling either to work toward solutions or end it and move on? It’s because they know changing will lead to the unknown, and most people believe that the unknown will be much more painful than what they’re already experiencing. – Anthony Robbins
It is easy to get stuck in the past because it is known and therefore seemingly certain.
And yet, the past is the past – good or bad; it is over and cannot be recreated.
The only true certainty lies in the present moment. The future cannot be controlled – it is uncertain – and one can only plan for it, though not control it.
“The greatest loss of time is delay and expectation, which depend upon the future. We let go the present, which we have in our power, and look forward to that which depends upon chance, and so relinquish a certainty for an uncertainty.” – Seneca
What does it mean to ‘let go of the past’?
“To let go is to release the images and emotions, the grudges and fears, the clingings and disappointments of the past that bind our spirit.” – Jack Kornfield
When we choose to hold onto images and emotions, grudges and fears of the past, we imprison ourselves and we cannot move forward; we cannot have new experiences while we are clinging to the past.
We cannot experience the present when we are mentally and emotionally living in the past.
When one’s energy and focus is on the past, one cannot allow new people, new adventures and new experiences into one’s life.
This applies to relationships, career and lifestyles.
It is easy to fool oneself into thinking about getting back together with a former partner because the mind is rewriting history and hypnotizing one with happy memories. And even if the relationship was great, neither of the 2 people are exactly the same people as they were before. The relationship ended for a reason.
Perhaps there was a particular job or career you loved and thoroughly enjoyed and it ended for various reasons – within or outside of your power. Yet again, you cannot return to that place, that time or that job because all of them are over – you as with everyone else are different people now.
“I demolish my bridges behind me…then there is no choice but to move forward.”
– Fridtjof Nansen
There are times in one’s life when one must burn the bridges or ships.
How can one identify that moment?
- Are you in a rut?
- Are you trapped in your own comfort zone?
- Do you feel trapped in a relationship or career?
- Have you stopped growing or are no longer being challenged or challenging yourself?
- Are you unproductive?
- Do you feel blah, depressed or stagnant?
- Do you think of the good ole days more than the present?
- Have you stopped dreaming?
When you get to that point that you recognize you are not moving forward, not having new experiences and just existing and not living, then it is time to “Break the kettles and sink the boats.”
Sometimes the only way can force ourselves out of a rut to make a positive change to be living and thriving again is to burn the bridges so that we must only look forward and stop running backwards to a time that only exists in memories.
All of this boils down to one decision, are you willing to burn the bridges and take on a new challenge by creating a point of no return?
If you need assistance to be let go of the past, live your passion, create a new path and life, book a one-on-one session with me.
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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