“The beautiful journey of today can only begin when we learn to let go of yesterday.”
― Dr. Steve Maraboli
[Behavioral scientist, motivational psychology specialist and a keynote speaker, his dynamic speeches have changed the lives of renowned personalities.]
Letting go is one of the vital skills one needs to master to live a quality life. Spending too much time brooding over the past which could be a mixed experience of sweet and bitter taste is strongly advised against. It is imperative let go of the past instead of holding to it for long.
Researches from Mayoclinic.org strongly assert that learning to let go improves relationships, enhances psychological well being, lowers stress and anxiety, reduces depression, improves self-esteem and also strengthens your immune system and cardiac health.
Life comes in different shades leaving scars and unpleasant experiences that eventually take a toll on your emotional wellbeing. But why do we hold on to those? It is because of our emotional attachment. Poor exam scores cause serious mental setback to a student since he has put his honest efforts. Misbehavior from dearly loved folks hurt because we love and care for them. Bad criticism from boss spoils the day because we are too much attached to the job for our daily bread and butter. We just cannot come out of the past attachments and take bold steps towards the future which is pretty unsure.
Ruminating bad experiences or holding on to resentment eats up productive time and constructive thought process. Letting go is allowing the flow of negative thoughts become obsolete paving entry for the energetic positive thoughts. It is just like the birds that fly from the lower branch to the higher with each passing day. They do not hold on to the lower branches.
Time heals up all mental wounds gradually but the sooner we get out of it the better it is. During her final graduation examination, Jessica had to do extensive practical sessions that would carry marks and contribute to her grades. She had organized all of her practical experimental inferences tidily in a notebook. Just when the examination was at the threshold, one of her friends Shelly asked for practical notebook to note down some of the experiments that she missed due to her illness. Jessica lent her the notebook on good faith while asking her to return the same as soon as possible. She agreed but returned it at the last moment.
On the D day, Jessica finished her practical exam quite satisfactorily and submitted her on-site experiment results to the invigilator. Leafing through the pages, the man looked quite satisfied only before turning a page at which he paused and frowned. To her horror, the page was smeared with ink which she knew was the result of her friend’s carelessness. Jessica felt extremely nervous and was trembling with fear. The invigilator rebuked her right and left for her carelessness. Not a single data on the notebook was intelligible. She knew the fate of her examination. It was such a rude shock that she could neither eat or sleep that day. Shelly, however, did not apologize for her act.
Jessica realized it was going to adversely affect other exams as well for sure. She badly needed to recover. She shared her harrowing experience with her parents and other friends who advised her not to think over it too much and focus on other exams instead. That was a great mental boost and thus, the bitter experience faded away gradually. Jessica’s confidence was restored and she could take rest of the examinations quite confidently.
Nurture positive thinking
This is the best option to let go of the bad events and focus toward a better life. Nurturing positive thoughts gives you immense feel good factor. It breeds constructive ideas leading to value adding actions. You will find that grass in green on your side too. Hold your mind in a strong grip and disallow entry of any negative thoughts that will confuse you cutting down your cognitive potential.
Change your thought process
Keep your mind’s window open to the ever changing tide of time and relevance. What appeared meaningful yesterday might lose significance today owing to changing factors and their bearing on your concepts which suddenly look all absurd. You need to open up to reality and reconstruct your thought process to the situational demands. Noted German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche rightly asserts, “The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.”
Don’t hold on to grudges
Holding on to grudges means the fire of fury is constantly burning in your mind. The damage caused to your mental wellbeing due to an unpleasant event cannot be denied but harboring the grudge does more harm than good. The power of constructive thinking gets lost as negative energies are constantly playing in the mind. Press the refresh button of your mind and write new pages of life.
Come out of the past
Past is a mixture of good and bad memories. Holding on to the either is a sheer wastage of precious time which you could have devoted in framing plans to make your future bright. More importantly, if you hold on to bad experiences, your mind will be clouded with negative thoughts adversely affecting your self esteem and confidence. Again, prolonged reminiscence of sweet memories hardly contributes toward securing your future goals.
“People can be more forgiving than you can imagine. But you have to forgive yourself. Let go of what’s bitter and move on.” – Bill Cosby
To err is human. One cannot be sacrosanct. But too much repentance and self accusation blocks the road to future progress. One has to move ahead for a better life. Forgive yourself and start from the scratch with a positive mindset that this time you are able to make error free decisions.