How often do you find yourself dwelling on the past? Playing it like a movie in your head over and over again. It could literally be any chapter of your past – regrets about certain things, mistakes you might have made, a broken relationship, losing a friend, having your heart broken, failures, bad experiences, and so much more. I have some news for you. Your past doesn’t define you.
It is a natural human tendency to live in the past and allow it to affect our present and set the tone for the future. Most of us have this fear that our future has a direct link with our past. If you feel that way too, you certainly aren’t alone.
However, it is extremely important to understand that your past doesn’t define you, your future, or even your present.
Yes, we all make mistakes. We have regrets about so many things, and for many of us, if we had the chance to go back in time and change our past, we surely would. There is also no denying the fact that our current life does have something to do with our past actions, experiences and choices to some extent.
But, while our present may be a result of our past, our future doesn’t have to be!
Your Past Doesn’t Define You Or Your Future – It’s An Opportunity to Grow and Learn
They say the past is in the past. And rightly so.
Regardless of what happened in your past, it is important to move on from it and not dwell on it endlessly. Instead, you can take it as an opportunity to grow, learn and become a better version of yourself.
Despite the severity of bad experiences, regrets, or mistakes that happened in your past, you can choose to look at them in a positive light. Instead of letting all that affect your present and your future, you can actually consider that as valuable lessons and learn from it.
The important thing to realize here is that your past doesn’t define you or your future.
For instance, if you had certain failures career-wise in the past, it is natural to feel that the future holds something similar for you. Or, if you hurt a certain someone in your life some years ago, it doesn’t mean that the same is going to happen to you in the future.
You are not the person that you once used to be, and you are definitely not going to be that person in the future.
The funny thing about the past is that while it’s literally in the past, it continues to haunt us and becomes an obstacle in our present life. And we simply can’t change it. No matter how much we wish there was a time machine that could take us back, it is something impossible.
But, what we can do for sure is we can stop dwelling over our past experiences, we can learn from it, and we can use it to create a difference in our future.
How to Let Go of the Past
Every person in this world has some kind of baggage from their past life. And it’s very easy for our emotions and sentiments to get the better of us and make us feel like the past controls our future. In actuality, though, the control of our future simply lies in our own hands. And, to be able to make our future better and brighter, it is very important to let go of the past.
It’s easier said than done, yes, but it’s nothing impossible.
Simply understand that your past doesn’t define you or your future.
Be Kind and Gentle with Yourself
A lot of people often tend to blame themselves for their past mistakes and regrets and continue to feel bad and guilty about it all their life.
Well, the first step here is to be kind gentle with yourself. It is easy to criticize yourself, but it’s about time that you showed yourself some compassion and kindness.
Let the Negativity Flow
The past is generally associated with feelings like hurt, regret, guilt, disappointment, anger and other such negative emotions for many people. So, an important step to letting go of the past is to let the negativity flow. Instead of bottling up all these emotions and allowing them to get in the way of your present and future, you must let it all out from your system so that they can be replaced with positive emotions.
Forgive Yourself and Others
Blaming yourself or others for your past experiences certainly won’t do anyone any good. If anything, it will simply just mess with your head and prevent you from living in the present, thereby affecting your future as well.
So, a key requirement of moving on from the past is to forgive yourself as well as others. You will actually be surprised to know how liberating forgiveness can be. It’s almost like setting yourself free or breaking free from the grasp of all the negativity that you are feeling.
After all, nobody is perfect. Every human being has a tendency to make mistakes. So, know that forgiveness can go a long way, not just for your present but your future as well.
Talk About It
If the past is bothering you a lot, you must talk about it and let things out.
Holding on to past emotions and feelings is one of the worst things that you can do to yourself. So, in order to be able to move on, you should talk about it either with yourself, a friend, someone you trust, or even your diary! It could be anything or anyone, but the goal here is to unleash all of it from within.
Create a Positive Mantra for Yourself
They say you are a product of your thoughts. So, if you think that your past defines your future, it might just actually end up doing that because you’ve wired yourself that way.
One thing you can do here to prevent yourself from feeling that way is to create positive mantras or affirmations for yourself. These are nothing but simple statements full of positivity and optimism. They are designed to help you focus on the present, set goals for the future, and take charge of your success in life. In other words, if you flood your brain with positive self-talk, you will gradually get over your past and not let it define you, your present, or your future in any way or form.
Some great examples of positive mantras and affirmations include the following:
- I can and I will, and there’s no one that can get in the way of that!
- I will overcome my fears by following my dreams.
- My past doesn’t define me, my present, or my future!
- I am in charge of what and how I feel today, and I choose to feel happy, optimistic, and grateful!
- I am my own superhero.
- My happiness does not depend on others, it depends on me. Today I choose to be free and happy.
- I will not dwell on my past because my future is what matters more, not what happened many years ago.
- I have the power to change my future, and I will change it for the better!
For more tips on positivity, check out this post on attitudes of gratitude: finding positivity in life.
The Past Is In the Past
No matter how bad your past was, it still the past. Your past doesn’t define you! The choices, experiences, and actions of today are what will ultimately define your future.
So, learn from your past. Make yourself understand that it is the past after all. There’s absolutely no way that can affect your future.
Believe in yourself! Believe that your past doesn’t define you or your future. Know that you deserve all the happiness and love there is in life!
So, why not make your present worth living and your future even better so that you have something great to look forward to?