Often times when I have a client in my office they are having difficulties that stem back to something in their past. It is hard for them to let go of the past for several reasons. A lot of times it is because the past may hold precious memories that are no longer present in their current situation, whatever it may be. As I tell these clients we need to move on from this past that is holding us captive if we want to be able to move forward. By staying in the past and harvesting these negative feelings we are stopping ourselves from being able to be happy and fulfilled and leaving ourselves feeling stagnant and depressed. We can learn many lessons from the past but we need to see these past experiences for what they are, lessons. If we stay in the past and keep going back it is as if we are putting our lives on hold until something happens to move us forward and then we can often bring ourselves right back to where we started if we have not fully let go. If you tend to drift back into the past here are 5 questions to ask yourself to help encourage yourself to move forward.
1. Ask yourself if you are living in the present or in the past?
It is important that we are living in the current moment and experiencing all life has to offer. Try and see today for what it is and not how it may be different had the past worked out differently. It is important to remember you can’t force yourself to love your current life however you can consciously recognize the possibility of a fulfilling tomorrow and see the value in the present day.
2. Do I still have the same beliefs as I had back then?
Take a step back and look at how far you have grown. Throughout life our beliefs on certain things change and these changing beliefs will cause our thinking to shift. When you think about the past and are getting stuck there think about how far you have grown and if the new you would really be happy knowing all you know today.
3. What more could I learn from that past experience?
It is important to ask ourselves if there is something still left for us to learn? Everything in our life happens and teaches us something about ourselves or another person involved. So many lessons can be learned from each experience that it is very valuable to look at the situation we keep mentally returning to and think what other lessons are there that I could learn and make a different or better decision in the future.
4. Have I learned the lesson?
Often times if the same thing keeps happening to us maybe we haven’t actually learned the lesson that the past was trying to teach us. It is very important to look inside ourselves and see exactly what the common denominator is and if there is anything we could change so we could learn all there is to learn from our past to not make yourself stay there. This is key to understanding why you cannot move on and you keep yourself stuck in the past. ting go of the past. It will help you to understand why you cannot move on at this time.
5. How does the past experience serve me today?
Sometimes it is just a shift in mindset that we need. Perception and Perspective are components in everything we go through and if we just look at a situation differently it may be easier to move past it and move on.
“When the past calls, let it go to voicemail. It has nothing new to say.” – Mandy Hale
Have you ever been stuck in the past? What areas mentioned above really helped you to move forward? Please share…