Life will confront you time and time again with unpleasant experiences. Many of these difficulties can deeply hurt you, leaving you behind in great emotional pain. No matter if it is a painful breakup that you are going through, dreams that are shattered in front of your eyes or another person treating you badly, none of these experiences are particularly pleasant. What is worse, you may not always be able to get rid of the pain. Over the years, the emotional dross accumulates, which can reduce your psychological well-being drastically. The following will introduce you to 17 magnificently powerful ways to let go and move on with your life. These are the proven techniques by means of which letting go becomes much easier.
Feeling pain when you’re going through a difficult time is quite normal. However, the pain and regret can often be so severe that it becomes a part of your regular life. Even months or years after, you may still suffer from what happened. Even thinking about it will fill you with sadness and regret. The pain that doesn’t gradually subside begins to accumulate, reducing dramatically your life’s quality.
When the emotional pain becomes chronic, many other problems will emerge from it. It is very likely that thinking about what happened distracts you heavily from your present day activities and responsibilities. It may tempt you to cloister yourself away, increasing your reluctance to discover new things in your life. It may even take all the happiness and joy out of your life, leaving you as an emotional wreck.
It does not have to end up this way. By learning to let go, you can develop the necessary mindset that helps you to move on with your life.
“Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.”
By letting go you can free yourself of the drastic influence of past experiences on your life. It will help you to forgive yourself and others so that you can finally overcome what is holding you back.
In fact, the ability to let go of what happened is a central key to living a fulfilled life. It helps you to relief the pain that would otherwise pile up in your emotional landscape. It also prevents you from clinging on to the past, carrying its emotional dross wherever you go. In short, letting go is an important way of relieving mental burdens that have been with you for far too long.
How to Let Go?
Letting go is not always easy. But if you have some effective techniques at hand, the whole process will be much easier. Let’s have a look at these methods.
17 Powerful Ways to Let Go and Move on
Letting go does not necessarily mean that you will be able to forget everything that has happened in the past. Instead, it allows you to think differently about it. It will help you to see things from another perspective, allowing you to look at it without pain or anger.
1. Be dedicated to letting go
Letting go of what happened does not happen overnight. Instead, it is a gradual process that can only be taken one step after another.
The first – and perhaps most important – step towards letting go is to be actually willing to fully let go of what happened. Without this kind of determination, no progress can be accomplished. Deep within yourself, you must long to let go of the past.
The second important step consists of developing the necessary dedication it takes to let go. As already mentioned, letting go is a process that cannot be accomplished within a couple of weeks. Instead, it takes patience and great levels of commitment.
2. Understand why it’s so difficult to let go
Admittedly, letting go can be incredibly hard. But why is it so difficult? There are many factors that can make it greatly difficult to let go. Here are some of them:
- It feels good to cling on to the past. Letting go often comes with the realization that certain beautiful and joyful stages of your life have finally come to an end. This kind of realization is not really a pleasant thing. It’s not always easy to accept that things will never be the same.
- It’s easier to live an illusion. Facing the harsh realities of life is greatly difficult. Many people prefer to continue living an illusion.
- It’s comforting to remain the victim. One gets all the support and attention from other people. However, one always remains a victim of circumstances, helpless to affect change.
- Reluctance to be confronted with the unknown. Letting go of what happened often requires you to stop clinging to what has become familiar. Most people shy away from confronting themselves with that which is unknown and unfamiliar.
3. Learn to accept what happened
After developing the necessary willingness to affect changes, it is of great importance to find ways that help you to accept what happened. Without being able to accept what happened, letting go becomes almost impossible. Only by fully acknowledging that certain unpleasant things have happened in your life, you can gradually let go of the pain, anger, and regret that came with these experiences.
By accepting what happened, letting go will be much easier.
Acceptance helps you to stop pondering about the reasons why certain things have happened. Similarly, it encourages you to stop thinking about what happened over and over again. You become less attached and less emotionally involved in what has happened to you, which is a prerequisite for letting go.
4. Change how you think about what happened
Letting go greatly depends on how you think about the events in your life. Your thinking can greatly determine whether your life’s experiences break you or whether they help you to become a stronger person.
Granted, the past cannot be undone. You cannot change what has happened to you. However, you can always change how you think about what has happened. By learning to think differently about painful experiences, you can successively look at what happened from a different perspective.
Not every negative development in your life is ultimately bad. Life will confront you with many difficult situations out of which something positive emerges. At the same time, many challenges and setbacks teach you important lessons that help you to accelerate your growth as a person. Always keep this in mind when going through difficult times.
5. Learn to forgive
Forgiveness is an essential aspect of the process of letting go. Without forgiving yourself and others, you may never be fully able to overcome what is holding you back. Instead, you will only keep thinking about what happened over and over again. Even more pain, anger, and regret are the likely results of this inability to forgive.
By your willingness to forgive, you can escape this downward spiral. It will help you to avoid spinning revenge fantasies for so long that you will eventually make them a reality. Revenge, however, never accomplishes anything and will certainly not help you to let go.
Many people struggle with forgiveness because they deem that it is not fair to forgive someone who inflicted great pain upon them. However, it is important to realize that you don’t necessarily forgive others for their own sake. You forgive others for your own sake and your own emotional well-being.
6. Try to empathize with the other person
Walking in another person’s shoes can go a long way towards better understanding their actions. You don’t necessarily have to agree with their taken course of action but it will help you to better understand why they did what they did.
Perhaps you may even realize that this particular person has the same flaws and is confronted with the same problems everyone else is. Maybe you’ll find that this person simply made a stupid mistake.
7. Shift your attention to the present
When confronted with difficulties to let go, it is only natural that your focus is heavily centered on the past. No matter if you ponder about the reasons why certain things have happened or if you miss the good old days, your focus always rests on the past. The only place where the past still exists is in your mind and if the past predominates your thoughts, it will greatly deprive the present of its power and joy.
Letting go requires you to re-center your focus on the present moment. It challenges you to finally come to terms with the past. By letting go of what happened in the past, you can make better use of the present to build a better future.
8. Redirect your focus away from the problem
Instead of focusing on the problem, try to focus on what you can do about it. Lamenting about what happened will never bring you any far. Similarly, focusing on the things you cannot influence will not bring any positive change to your life.
Only by fully centering your attention on the things you can influence can important changes in your life be affected. By doing so, you stop seeing yourself as a helpless victim that cannot do anything about the difficulties confronted with. It will also help you to assume responsibility for your life, helping you to actively do something about the problems you’re facing.
9. Find meaning in what happened
Finding meaning in suffering is not always easy. Life will confront you with many difficult situations that seem to have happened for no good reason at all. However, once some time has passed, you may be able to discover that these experiences taught you important lessons.
If you are able to learn from these lessons, you will be able to see meaning and purpose in what happened to you. You will no longer regard what happened as random punishments by life. Instead, you will consider these experiences as important lessons that have helped you to grow a stronger person.
10. Learn to be thankful for what happened
The popular American writer known under the pen name as Dr. Seuss always highlighted that one should not cry because it’s over but to be grateful and happy that it has happened. Similarly, when trying to let go of certain things, it may prove to be helpful to develop a certain level of gratefulness for the things that have happened.
This does not necessarily have to be limited to being thankful for relationships that have come to an end. It also means to be thankful for all the things that made you cry and the experiences in your life that were painful.
Thankfulness will help you to discover the many positive things that emerged from difficult experiences. You will begin to understand that these experiences offered opportunities for making important improvements and adjustments in your life.
Learning to let go is all about having the courage to seize new opportunities that change introduces to your life. It’s about discovering the – often times hidden – value that difficult experiences provide.
11. Assume responsibility for your life
Taking control over your life can go a long way when it comes to letting go. It’s the realization that no one else will ever assume that responsibility for you. Consequently, if you don’t take responsibility for your life, no one else will.
However, in order to assume responsibility for your life, it’s necessary to finally let go of blaming others. Blaming others – especially for your own faults – won’t lead you anywhere. Instead, it cements your role as a helpless victim that cannot do anything about the problems confronted with.
12. Gain some distance, find distraction
When trying to let go, it can be greatly helpful to introduce change to your life. By breaking free of old routines and by distracting yourself, you can distance yourself from what happened. Doing so will help you to prevent thinking excessively about whatever you are trying to free yourself from.
13. Reflect on what happened
By taking yourself the time to reflect, you can gain important insights about what happened. It will help you to understand what role you played in the unfoldment of events. Perhaps you will be able to see your own actions from another perspective. At the same time, reflecting will enable you to understand what can be done to prevent similar things from happening in the future.
It can also prove to be helpful to reflect on the things that are holding you back. Try to discover the reasons why certain things are stopping you from finally letting go of what happened. By understanding what it is that prevents you from moving forward, you will make an important step towards finding effective solutions to overcome these obstacles.
14. Be patient, give yourself time
There’s no point in trying to rush things. This will seldom provide any results. Instead, be patient with yourself and don’t try to force things. In many instances, a certain period of time has to pass until you can finally let go of what happened. During this period, essential processes that are necessary for your emotional healing take place. Trying to rush through this stage may make things even more complicated.
Similarly, it’s important to avoid becoming discouraged too quickly. The process of letting go can be difficult and time-consuming. You may not see results instantly. Understand that this is natural and don’t allow this to discourage you from gradually moving on with your life.
15. Have the courage to confront your fears
In many instances, fear can prevent you from letting go and moving on with your life. When you’re confronted with a situation in which fear makes it difficult to let go, consider confronting your fears slowly but progressively. Doing so may be quite difficult in the beginning. However, you will quickly see that it is much better than to continue running away from your fears.
16. Find what you need to give up in order to let go
All the tips pointed out in the above centered on techniques you can implement to let go of something. But it is also quite helpful to develop an awareness of the things you need to give up in order to move on but your life.
It can be quite beneficial to analyze what is holding you back, which helps you to gain an understanding of the things you need to stop doing in order to let go.
17. Understand that letting go is not a one-time only thing
Having to let go is certainly not something that only happens to you once in your lifetime. Instead, it is something we all need to do numerous times in life. Letting go is a central aspect of life. Each and every one of us will continuously be confronted with the question how we can move on with our lives.
By understanding that you will be regularly confronted with the difficulty of having to let go, you can mentally prepare yourself for this complex process. It will aid you in developing the willingness to quickly let go of the things that are no longer part of your life.
Letting go takes time and a lot of work. If you are willing to take yourself the time it takes, you will be able to gradually introduce change to your life. Always remember that by letting go of certain things that have become familiar, you make room for something new to emerge.
I hope you enjoyed this article about powerful ways to let go. What has helped you to move on with your life after your own setbacks?