So often in life, unpleasant things and situations happen “for” us. Sometimes these things are out of our control but they tend to cause us pain and grief. But what we fail to realize is it’s not the pain that keeps us down it’s our indecision to process it and move forward. Holding on to pain doesn’t fix anything. Replaying the past over and over again doesn’t change it, and wishing things were different doesn’t make it so. If you struggle with letting go and moving on, these 5 steps will help lead you in the right direction…
1. Make a decision to let it go
Either you can continue to dwell on what’s happened or you can make a conscious decision to let it go. Sounds really easy huh? Well, it is! You have to make a commitment to yourself to release everything associated with the situation and wash your hands clean of it. Now, of course, this isn’t going to just magically happen overnight. It’s a continuous process that you have to work on daily, but it can be accomplished.
2. Express yourself
Keeping your feelings bottled up is never a great idea. It causes stress, frustration and will put a damper on your overall mood. There are several ways you can express yourself and let out how you feel such as journaling, talking to a therapist or a trusted friend.
3. Self Reflect
Sometimes you need to take a few steps back and self reflect in order to gain clarity on a situation. When our emotions take charge our judgments become cloudy and we’re unable to see different viewpoints. Realize that everything in life doesn’t always happen the way we want it to and accept that. Be thankful for the insight the experience gave you and let go. Take ownership and personal inventory on what happened and work on ways in which you can grow from it.
4. Clear your mind and redirect your focus
This is where meditation and journaling come into play. Write down all of your thoughts about the situation and do something I call “brain dumping”. That’s where you free up some space in your mind by transferring your thoughts onto paper and leaving them there. After you’ve done that, it’s time to redirect your focus. You can do so by simply giving your energy to something more productive and investing in that. Write down some goals you want to accomplish and then write out how you plan on executing that.
5. Forgive and let go
Forgiveness is the first step to setting yourself free from the situation. The longer you hold onto feelings of anger and resentment, you’re prolonging the healing process and making yourself suffer. This doesn’t imply that you have to communicate directly to someone that you’re forgiving them. Forgiveness is an inside job so forgive and always remember to “grow through what you go through”.