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Posted by on Oct 19, 2018 in Personal Development, Personal Growth, Self Improvement

What To Do When You Make A Mistake

What to do when you make a mistakeOkay. I admit it.

I have certainly made my share of mistakes in life.

When you make a mistake, it's not always an easy thing to admit.

We all want other people to think well of us, and part of that desire is to appear as if we do things right all the time.

As if we don't make mistakes.

But for many of us, there comes a time in life when the light bulb goes on, and we realize that our lives are full (FULL!) of mistakes because at the root of it all, we are imperfect beings.

We ALL make mistakes.

So you messed up, we all do it. Maybe you accidentally insulted someone or hurt the feelings of a friend.

Or maybe you had a misunderstanding at work.

Either way, you may be feeling embarrassed and upset, which is perfectly understandable.

Who wants to go around hurting people they care about or creating more drama at work?

And while it may be understandable that you feel badly about having made a mistake, it is important is that you deal with the situation appropriately and move on from this experience.

So, we're going to give you some simple tools.

Here are five tips to help you move on from your mistake.

 

How to Move On When You've Made A Terrible Mistake

 

two women sitting by the sea

 

1. Acknowledge that you made a mistake – The first part of moving on is always acceptance.

It is important to accept your mistake and own it.

If you accept your part of whatever problem occurred, you are going to be better able to move on to the next step.

 

woman holding yellow flower

 

2. Apologize – Say “I'm sorry”.

I know. For some of us, it can be very difficult to say “I'm sorry” or to say “I was wrong”, but you must.

If you have hurt someone, if you have wronged them in some way, if you caused harm, you have to own up to it and you have to apologize.

Be sincere – admit your fault/wrong-doing/bad behavior, and express remorse for any hurt/discomfort/problem/inconvenience/damage you've caused.

3. Fix your mistake – Whether this step consists of a simple (or not so simple) apology to someone, making amends or covering costs for damages, coming up with a plan to make things right can be the most empowering part of moving on!

There is nothing more proactive than deciding on a plan to move forward and executing it to the best of your ability.

Everyone in your life will be grateful for your acknowledgment of your part in the problem.

 

red and blue heart wooden gate

 

4. Forgive yourself – We all make mistakes, no one in the whole world is perfect!

This feeling that you're having now—the embarrassment and anger at yourself—will fade eventually.

Accept that you messed up and forgive yourself for being human.

Mistakes are a part of life and carrying guilt around with you for every small thing you do won't help you.

 

diverse group of smiling people

 

5. Understand and reaffirm to yourself that you are not your mistake – When you make a mistake (even a big one), it's something that you do, it is not who you are.

Your mistake does not define you as a person.

Your mistake is not you.

Do not waste any time dwelling on that negative thought or reinforcing untruths in your mind.

When you make a mistake, it's important to deal with it, appropriately, but then get past it.

With these simple tips you can learn to move on from the mistake that you made and learn from the experience.

Of course you're going to make mistakes. The most important thing is for you to acknowledge them, move on and be kind to yourself and others in the process.

Did you enjoy this post? If so, please share with your family and friends! Thanks!

Kimberly Clay is the founder and creative force behind What She Say. She’s a business professional, writer and editor who’s been creating and managing digital content for nearly twenty years. Her work is now focused in the areas of self-improvement and personal development, and she is passionate about helping other individuals, especially women, to find a path for living their best life.

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Posted by on Aug 11, 2018 in How To Get Unstuck, Personal Growth, Self Improvement, Success

12 Limiting Beliefs You Must Abandon Now to Reach Your Breakthrough

african american woman in field - limiting beliefs

 

The Bad News: Limiting Beliefs Are Blocking Your Success.
The Good News: You Can Fix It.

 

I'm not good enough. I am not as smart, beautiful, or successful as... I can’t.

I’m sure you've told yourself those (or similar) things at some point in life – I have.

These limiting beliefs are the reason many of us feel stuck wherever we are.

We’re supposed to be our own biggest cheerleaders, but it’s easy to become our most powerful enemies, blocking ourselves from achieving our real potential.

Mid-century American journalist and author Mignon McLaughlin once said, “Learning too soon our limitations, we never learn our powers.”

That’s the thing... as women, we are powerful. We create and nurture our families, we multi-task, we create Pinterest-worthy living rooms on thrift store budgets – and yet at the same time, we also have the power to make ourselves feel powerless.

To reach our potential and to become the women we’ve always wanted to be – at any age -- we must first overcome limiting beliefs.

It's only then we are able to aggressively pursue the path to success.

I know. It's easier said than done.

Limiting Beliefs. They’re the ideas and beliefs we hold onto, but that constrain us. They hold us back, hamper us from progressing, and prevent us living up to our potential.

And limiting beliefs are a part of the negative monologue we replay in our heads.

They clip our wings.

These beliefs begin in childhood, and are developed over time.

They form in different ways, but commonly by our holding onto negative thought patterns, opinions and comments of others relative to ourselves, or by taking what often amounts to one negative experience and cementing it as our new normal.

Forming limiting beliefs is an internally damaging way of making your flaws, even (and sometimes especially) imagined ones, the truth of who you are.

Then constantly repaying those flaws or negative experiences on a mental loop when you are faced with unfamiliar situations, taking risks or trying something new.

Most women have a set of limiting beliefs ranging from a mild form of protective discouragement to the much more extremes of pure self-hatred.

Regardless of how long you’ve cultivated them, limiting beliefs do not have to be your reality.

Developing methods of identifying and circumventing these negative thought patterns and monologues is a critical step in building a healthy self-image and helping you to live a life you deem successful.

Surprisingly enough, we have common limiting beliefs. Following is a list of twelve quite common limiting beliefs that stop us from achieving our true potential along with some helpful tips for overcoming them. Some you may recognize from your own experience.

sunlight through woods - limiting beliefs

 

Twelve Common Limiting Beliefs and
What You Can Do About Them

 

1. I don’t have enough (time/money/resources…etc.)

Focusing on what you don’t have is easy.

If we’re being honest with ourselves, we’d all be happier with a little more time on our hands, cash in our wallets, and so on.

Most of the top ten limiting beliefs focus on what we don’t have.

But it’s easy to focus on what you don’t have.

Instead of doing that though, take a moment to express gratitude for what you do have.

Then move forward out of that familiar place of concentrating on what you lack.

Instead, use the resources you already have to get more money (whether it's putting yourself in position to get or request a raise, actively seeking better-paying job, starting a side-hustle etc.), to gain additional skills, to better manage your time, to become the person you ultimately want to be.

2. It’s too late

At the end of the day – especially in the age of social media – it’s so easy to compare ourselves against others' accomplishments. This makes the notion of “too late” one of the most common limiting beliefs, but it’s a limiting belief we can overcome.

Maybe you grew up with a mother who constantly reminded you that your biological clock is ticking.

Maybe you've found something you’re passionate about later in life and feel overwhelmed by the steps it would take to turn that passion into a career...

Women are especially sensitive to “watching the clock” in terms of how old we are and how much less time we think we have to accomplish the things we'd like, compared to someone who is younger.

Society conditions us that way.

We’re surrounded by images of youth as a symbol for women’s health and importance - a system which is not only unfair, but extremely negative and harmful.

By the time we're 25, others often feel the need to remind us that we had better get a move on.

Find the career, get married, have kids, acquire a nice house . And don’t forget to hide any wrinkles, blemishes, gray hairs, or other imperfections flawlessly while you’re at it.

As women, we tend to fall straight out of our teen-aged years and young adulthood into a vast limbo between “not that young” and “not yet elderly”.

In the rush, many of us lose track of what really brings meaning to our lives.

By the time we rediscover them again, the “It’s too late” voice comes through loud and clear.

“I always wanted to be an artist but…”
“I always wanted to spend a year traveling but…”
“I wish I could study law but…”
“I wanted to be trilingual but…”

While the “It’s Too Late” belief acknowledges that we want more for ourselves, it sets us up against time as the enemy.

“You can’t have it because there isn’t enough time, “ is an illogical statement.

If you are alive, you still have time to pursue the things you'd like.

If you’re alive, it's not too late.

Managing new goals and learning new things later in life may have added challenges, but there are added advantages as well.

You have the grace of hard earned wisdom to guide your choices.

You have the balance of knowing what does and does not make you happy.

You’re not too late.

3. I am not as good as...

The feeling of a lack of self-worth in comparison with others.

This is a belief many people struggle with regardless of gender or age.

It’s a belief you pick up the first time you’re picked last for a team in gym class, or the first time everyone pays more attention to your best friend (rather than you) at a party.

Unfortunately, it follows us from childhood into adulthood.

Feeling less worthy or valuable in comparison to our peers turns into feeling less valuable in the workplace and at home.

“I’m not as good a mother as my sister.”
“I’m not as good as he is at giving presentations.”
“I’m not as fun a wife as...”
“I’m not as good a writer as the guy doing the main story.”

These negative thoughts are fueled by insecurity and can become a hindrance to performing to the best of your ability at work or at home.

If you’re spending your energy reminding yourself that someone else can do things better, you’re not using that energy toward your own best efforts.

What results is that your beliefs become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

They take your attention and presence out of the situation, and you fail to operate at your maximum proficiency.

What's important to remember in these situations is that each of us is an individual, and thus we have different strengths and weaknesses.

Instead of focusing on how you stack up against the strengths of others, remind yourself of your own strengths.

“I’m not as good at giving presentations,” can turn into “I’m a quick learner. I can easily learn how to speak more effectively.”

“I’m not as good a mother as my sister” can turn into “I’m a very dedicated mother, therefore I can learn to better listen to what my kids have to say”.

Change the narrative of your limiting belief to highlight what makes you qualified and create real solutions.

It’s a much better use of your time and energy.

 

woman in window - limiting beliefs

4. I don’t know who I am (anymore)

For women, this is another very common limiting belief.

It’s easy to get lost in our responsibilities – career, family, relationships.

To overcome this limiting belief, make the time and the effort to take some time for yourself.

Think about where you are now, consider your core values and beliefs, and what it is you want from your life.

5. I already tried

We’ve all heard the saying “once bitten, twice shy.”

It’s as true as they come.

Once we’ve experienced negative results to an endeavor, we're hesitant to venture into that territory again.

It’s a protective measure of our inner self to shield us from pain and disappointment.

But pain and disappointment are often important parts of our developing as a person.

Trying and failing happens to everyone, and by no means makes us failures.

“I already tried to get a book published and it didn't work out.”
“I’ve already been married and it didn’t work out. I don’t want to go through that again.”
“I tried to finish college, but it didn’t happen. I don’t see the point in going back.”

These statements are half-truths followed by a barrier. You acknowledge that you tried something new, but immediately bar yourself from trying it again.

Without trial and error, we don’t grow - we don’t learn and evolve.

Instead of not trying something again, identify a lesson in each failure and use it as a stepping stone for the next attempt.

“I will make sure to avoid these red flags in future relationships and find someone who really wants to grow with me.”

“I had an issue dedicating the time I needed to studying in college. This time around, I will make certain to manage my time more efficiently.”

Identifying what aspect of the last attempt did not work and developing a new plan of action is the best way to combat the “I Already Tried” belief.

Explore your failures or negative experiences, no matter how severe, learn what you can from them that will be helpful in the future, then learn to let them go.

6. I’ll be judged

Let’s take a page from the playbooks of two contemporary and empowered women: Oprah and Beyonce.

As each has grown in age, womanhood, and her career, she has become more and more of herself, unapologetically.

In turn, her authenticity draws people to her.

Of course, it also serves as a magnet for people interested criticizing her every outfit, life choice, and career moves.

Does either Oprah or Beyonce care? Maybe, but I sincerely doubt it.

Does it stop her? Absolutely not.

Being afraid of what others might think is a common limiting belief but being true to yourself will make you more confident, more empowered – more like Beyonce.

7. I have never been good at.../ I am not good at...

When looking at gender differences in math and science, for many women, there is a perception that they simply cannot be good at math.

For me, higher math was the bane of my existence in high school and throughout my entire college career.

I was never good at it in school, and avoided it like the plague as an adult.

For women, this limiting belief is one of the most damaging.

It functions as an excuse for ignorance and poor performance, keeping untold young girls from pursuing successful and often lucrative careers as scientists, computer technologists and engineers, as well as mathematicians.

“I was never good at math, so I can't pursue technical studies.”
“I have never been good at telling significant others how I feel, that’s just me.”
“I’m not good driver, so I don’t drive on trips.”

These statements acknowledge a flaw or weakness, and then bolster it as a valid limitation. As if nothing can be done to change or overcome it.

Living with these kinds of beliefs can keep you from performing at your best , and diminish you as an asset to those around you.

Identifying our weaknesses is actually a good thing. Of all people, we should know our weaknesses and true limitations.

However, we should not allow our weaknesses to be limitations when we're perfectly able to do something about it.

“I have never been good at telling significant others how I feel, but I’m working on being much better at communicating this time around.”

“I’m not the best driver, so I signed up to take a driving refresher course.”

Instead of turning deficiencies into a mental block, use them as a reason to learn something new.

8. I can’t pull off...

This is a vanity belief, or the exact opposite of one.

Immediately counting yourself out of fashionable trends and styles that interest you only assures that you won’t find a renewed confidence in yourself.

"I can't wear pink, it doesn't look good on me."
"I've always wanted to try that eyeliner, but I can't pull it off."
"I love some of these sun dresses, but I'm not a dress person."

For some of us, there are set boundaries in our heads that develop after a questionable or bad experience.

This is equally true with what we perceive as possible with regard to our physical appearance (age) and wearing stylish clothes.

Does that mean you should go out and buy the same outfit your teen-aged niece wears?

Obviously not.

But don't wall yourself into a set look or a set way of being, when other things interest you.

If you've always been a laid-back dresser and suddenly you feel like dressing up a little - do it!

Your physical appearance (age) does not have to be a hindrance to looking fashionable or stylish.

Don't count yourself out of finding a look that makes you happy before giving yourself the opportunity to experiment with a variety of fabrics, styles and looks that appeal to you and learning what helps you to look and feel your best.

 

women cocktails - limiting beliefs

9. They don't want me

When the voice in your head convinces you that you're unwanted or don't fit in, it can cause self-isolation that is both damaging to your self-esteem and to your relationships.

It can happen in a variety of situations - in romantic relationships, friendships, family situations, and even with simple acquaintances.

"All of the mom's in PTA sit together at the games, but I don't think they want me over there."
"My coworkers go to happy hour every week, but I'm sure they wouldn't want me to come."
"The guy who approached me and my friend at the party is nice, but he definitely didn't come over for me."
"They're hiring for a position I'm really interested in, but I'm sure they want somebody different than me."

Counting yourself out before you begin guarantees that you miss out on opportunities and experiences you may well have enjoyed and benefited from.

Even if you are not typically an assertive person, it's possible to navigate inclusion without being pushy.

Strike up a conversation, say “hello”, let someone know you're interested in an opportunity or want to be a part of a group.

Don't sideline yourself in your own life, and don't assume you know the minds of others whom you may mistakenly believe don't want to consider or include you.

Remember that you have something to offer the world, and removing yourself from opportunities before you can be considered for them deprives those around you from what could be a meaningful and beneficial partnership for you both.

10. I am less valid

This is a particularly difficult limiting belief to navigate. Feeling invalidated, or of somehow less importance or significance than those around you, strips you of the very basic sense of belonging within the human experience.

Self-esteem and more importantly self-worth are critical components to your sense of well-being.

"I want to share at the club meeting, but I've never gone through anything as meaningful as some of the others in the group, so I don't."
"I'm in a bad place right now, but my friends have more important things to do than to worry over me."
"I'm uncomfortable with this person's behavior at work, but she's an important person and I'm just administrative support, so I'll just have to deal with it."

Realize that you have a story, you have an experience, you have a point of view.

These are things that every human being gets.

While you may not have it as good or as bad as some others, that does not make your story any less real , significant or valid.

Expressing yourself and seeking support when you need it is not a selfish thing to do, so long as it's done in a way that is mindful of those around you.

You may know that someone in your workplace is disrespectful to you and to other coworkers who have chosen not to say anything.

But that does not negate the discomfort you feel.

Your unique experience is valid and real.

Others experiencing different (or worse) conflict than you without speaking up does not mean you did not experience your own conflict.

This limiting belief of feeling less valid can be one of the most harmful.

It keeps women from reporting situations of abuse and harassment and seeking the help they may need in order to put an end to bad behavior and heal.

Remember that what you experience and feel is just as valid as any others' experience.

Pain and difficulty are not a contest.

What you're going through in no way diminishes the experience of others, nor what they experience should diminish yours.

Everyone is valuable regardless of situation or circumstance, and all have a right to feel safe and be heard.

woman in dark walkway - limiting beliefs

 

11. I always do this

When a negative behavior becomes a pattern, we can sometimes turn it into an excuse for why we do not change.

"I know I shouldn't yell at him, but I always do when I'm stressed out. He knows I don't mean it."
"I'm always late, everyone who knows me expects it by now."
"I'm a jealous girlfriend, I've always been like that."

Accepting poor behavior as a part of your character limits you from growing as a person.

Part of adult life is responsibility.

Taking responsibility for your actions and behaviors and working to keep them from hurting those around you is an important step in being a good friend, partner, coworker, and family member.

While it may be difficult to break habits, taking gradual steps to improve a little at a time will change your behavior as a whole.

Instead of lashing out when you feel upset or jealous of a partner's activities, remind yourself that while your emotions may be natural, using them as an excuse to say or do hurtful things is not okay.

If you're always late for work, start by waking up 3 minutes earlier every day, then 5, then 10 until you've reset your inner clock to be on time.

Changing this belief is not easy, but it is an important step in being the best version of yourself.

12. I deserved this (negative consequence or punishment)

When we mess up, even in a big way, there is sometimes a piece of ourselves that never lets the event go - even long after those around you have.

"I cheated on my last boyfriend, so I guess I deserve it when my new man doesn't respect me in the way I'd like."
"I was such a brat to my parents growing up, so I guess I deserve to have such a difficult time with my son"
"I didn't listen when my parents told me not to marry him, and now look at how unhappy I am"

This belief, that you deserve bad things, limits your ability to process and ultimately deal with the adversity we face in a healthy way.

Assuming that karma or fate are the cause of your unhappiness functions as an excuse.

If you deserved it, there's not much you can do to fix it.

This is inherently wrong.

Cheating on someone in the past is a terrible thing to do, but that does not mean that you deserve to be in a relationship that harms you or is demeaning to you.

Learn from your mistake, and take yourself out of a situation that is unhealthy.

If you believe another person's bad behavior is recompense for the way you've behaved, it guarantees that you won't effectively communicate your concerns and try to find solutions.

Try considering the circumstances and lessons from your past experience and apply it to what is happening now.

Perhaps after your relationship experience, you learned that relationships need honesty and trust to be healthy.

Is there honesty and trust in your current relationship?

If not, what are you willing and prepared to do to solve the problem?

If you were a problem child who now has problem children, consider what actions and advice got through to your younger self?

What methods of discipline did not work?

Identifying what did and did not help your relationship with your parents can lend some insight into how to communicate with your kids.

They say history repeats itself for those who don't learn from it.

Instead of thinking the negatives in your life are karmic punishment, focus on what you've learned and how you can apply it to better your life now.

 

blue sky cloudscape - limiting beliefs

 

Limiting beliefs are something we create. They stand between you and all of the amazing things you can do, and be, and can accomplish.

Don’t stand in your own way. Don’t let the mental blocks keep you from finding a path that immensely enhances your life.

By not merely keeping those limiting thoughts in check, but truly eliminating them, your life becomes fuller, and your unique experience deeper, sweeter, brighter, and brimming with possibilities.

Anything is possible.

If you have enjoyed this post, please share it with your family and friends. Thanks!

Kimberly Clay is the founder and creative force behind What She Say. She’s a business professional, writer and editor who’s been creating and managing digital content for nearly twenty years. Her work is now focused in the areas of self-improvement and personal development, and she is passionate about helping other individuals, especially women, to find a path for living their best life.

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Posted by on Apr 29, 2018 in Personal Growth, Self Improvement

12 Effective Ways for Letting Go Of The Past, Moving On With Your Life

Discover 12 Effective Ways for Letting Go of the PastYou’ve probably heard the familiar adage that in order to truly move forward in life it's important to let go of the past.

This is much easier said than done.

Letting go of the past involves having command of several things, not the least of which includes immense self compassion, the ability to trust yourself and live in the present moment.

In all reality, letting go of the past is a lot of work. And, it's an ongoing process.

If you’re interested in starting the process and learning how to let go of the past, there are some simple steps you can take to get started.

But first.....

 

What Does "Letting Go of the Past" Mean?

 

For the purposes of our discussion, “letting go” means no longer allowing yourself to dwell on moments in your past that cause you distress or pain.

Letting go of the past is about acknowledging that these memories are uncomfortable or distressing.

It means that instead of focusing on them and letting them influence or consume your present and future thoughts, feelings or actions, you choose instead to release them.

By doing so, you redirect your focus to the present moment and from there, look forward to the future.

Letting go of the past can be as simple as forgiving yourself for a mistake that you made yesterday instead of beating yourself up about it.

Or it can be as hard as letting go of negative thought patterns ingrained in you from a bad relationship in your history.

 

Why is Letting Go of the Past Important?

 

Life is uncertain.

On some level we are all fully aware that life is short and that even carefully laid plans can be usurped at any given moment.

All we truly have is the present moment.

In order to be fully present in the now, we must let go of the past.

If you're consumed by your past, it is impossible for you to be fully “present”.

You have probably experienced this at some point— going for a walk in a beautiful place but not really being fully aware of it all because your mind, your attention, was focused elsewhere.

You may have been concerned about something that had happened in the past or worried over some future event.

Ultimately, letting go of past moments that are gone and no longer in your control, instead of maintaining a neverending grasp on them, has the power to transform your life.

Letting go can help you feel happier, allow you to be more focused, and feel more in touch with reality.

You may have heard before of mindfulness techniques.

At the very heart of mindfulness is the idea of immersing yourself in the present moment.

If you find you are having a hard time detaching yourself from something that happened in the past, whether a misfortune such as your car breaking down or a bad breakup, it can be helpful to practice a simple mindfulness exercise to help you.

Check out the exercises at the end of the article for some easy examples to get you started.

 

What is “Dwelling on the Past”?

 

Dwelling on the past is the act of focusing on past events, so much so that it colors your current mood and affects your present moment.

Replaying an embarrassing moment from a few weeks ago over and over in your mind, holding a grudge because of something that may have happened years ago, or hearing the negative and destructive voice of a past abuser (even when they are no longer part of your life) are all examples of dwelling in the past.

Dwelling on the past is ultimately harmful because it can make you form limiting beliefs about yourself and your abilities which in turn limits your present and future.

Dwelling on the past takes us out of the present moment and prevents us from living our best life in the here and now.

 

woman holding red heart - what is forgiveness?

 

What is Forgiveness?

 

Very simplistically, forgiveness is a conscious decision to let go of something that hurt or wronged you in some way.

Ultimately, forgiveness allows you to stop dwelling on the past.

It's not just about repairing relationships, but more importantly it is also about allowing you to move on from something that hurt you.

 

1. Letting Go of the Past - How to Forgive Others

 

Letting go of the past is impossible if you don’t forgive others.

But forgiveness is often extremely difficult because of overwhelming feelings of anger that we might have towards those who have wronged us.

There are two main ways to forgive others. The first involves an ongoing open discussion in which the parties in a relationship are aware of and acknowledge that one or the other has been hurt, and decide together how to move forward.

This works best for long-standing friendships and minor, “forgivable” hurts.

This type of forgiveness allows for a continued and often strengthened relationship between those involved.

In many of the hardest situations, this kind of reconciliation is not possible.

You might have betrayals or hurts from years ago that still linger.

In these cases it can be hard to deal with the intense anger when it seems there is nowhere for the anger to go.

You might wonder how it could be possible to forgive someone that harmed you YEARS ago and whom you never see anymore.

You might wonder how it is possible to forgive something truly unforgivable, like a betrayal of trust, breach of privacy or emotional abuse.

This is where the second type of forgiveness comes into play.

In this type of circumstance, you aren’t forgiving to repair a relationship but rather to let go of your own anger and allow yourself to move on.

Forgiveness, especially in this scenario, is ultimately for you, as it allows you to let go of something poisonous and caustic, leave the painful past behind and walk into the future.

You can forgive and still decide that someone should not be in your life.

This method of forgiveness is for past abusers or false friends, or other people who you’ve decided to remove from your life.

This is a much harder type of forgiveness, as it involves letting yourself forgive “unforgivable” offenses, and to close a chapter in your life without the emotional closure that involves acknowledgement or apology from the individual who hurt you.

It is important to allow yourself to reach a point where you can forgive those who have mistreated you, even if that means you will never see them again or never “forget” what they did.

This type of forgiveness allows you to stop dwelling on the past and move on.

One tangible way to work through this type of forgiveness is to write a letter to the person who hurt you.

The intention is not to actually send it, but to allow you to express your feelings and any anger and hurt so that you may truly put it behind you.

It can also be helpful to recognize that forgiveness is a process that often takes some time, especially to forgive some of the worst offenses.

Although it may take a considerable conscious effort, forgiveness is utimately essential in allowing you to let go of the past.

 

2. Letting Go of the Past - How to Forgive Yourself

 

You may find it easier to forgive others than to forgive yourself. Surprise.

This is a very common feeling, especially among those of us who are particularly empathetic.

However, forgiveness starts with you.

In order to truly forgive and move forward, you must cultivate a sort of self love that allows you treat yourself as you would a close friend.

Try extending the same kindness to yourself that you would show your best friend.

What would you tell them?

Whatever it is that you are struggling to forgive yourself over, pretend you were consoling a friend struggling with the same guilt.

This is one of the easiest ways to start the process of forgiving yourself.

 

road through the woods - how to move forward?

 

3. Letting Go of the Past - How to Move Forward

 

Sometimes the challenges life throws at us seem insurmountable, and moving forward feels utterly impossible.

But nothing is insurmaountable.

From the loss of a loved one to the discovery of a chronic illness to struggling with mental illness, the fact is you are still alive and here on earth no matter what the hardships with which you've dealt.

With God's grace, you are an incredible amalgam of atoms that has gotten through all of this to where you are right now.

But, you must move forward.

Using mindfulness techniques, such as those at the end of this article, can help put you on the path to moving forward and learning how to “be” in the present moment.

If you have suffered a severe trauma, it can be extremely beneficial to seek professional help through therapy.

Therapists can help you move through complicated and difficult times, and figure out how to start the process of moving forward after a life-altering event.

 

4. Letting Go of the Past - How to Let Go of Past Hurts

 

Our bodies really do keep the score.

Unless you do the work to actively let go of past hurts, the emotional scars they cause end up being carried with us through life as a result.

And, those emotional scars can and often do manifest themselves in our physical health or lack thereof.

It is important then to recognize the power of corrective experiences in healing trauma.

Corrective experiences are experiences we encounter, and because of things that have happened in the past, we expect those experiences to have a negative outcome.

But what happens is we actually receive a positive outcome.

(I know, it's a little confusing. Let me explain.)

An example would be if you, as a child had always been criticized for singing in the car.

But then, as an audult, you find a friend or have a partner who not only doesn’t mind you singing in the car, but actively enjoys it and comments on it positively.

This would be a corrective experience.

Focusing on these positive experiences in the present moment, that correct the negative experiences of the past, can be exceptionally helpful in letting go of past hurts.

 

5. How to Reconcile Hurt Feelings

 

It is extremely important to be open and honest with those you love.

If a close friend or loved one has done something to hurt you, it is vital that you tell them and make them aware of the situation instead of bottling it up.

This can be easier said than done, as this may make for an uncomfortable situation especially for those of us that dislike any possibility of confrontation.

However, in order to foster the kinds of strong and healthy relationships that you truly want, it's important to exert genuiness and honesty and that includes being truthful about your feelings and emotions.

If the person who has hurt you is really worth keeping in your life, they will be willing to recognize and acknowledge your hurt and their part in it even if the hurt happened a long time ago, and should want to make amends.

Sometimes, the best and kindest thing two people can do for each other is realize that a relationship, whether it be friendship or romantic in nature, isn’t going to work out and let the other person go.

 

couple holding one another - how to let go of the past in a relationship?

 

6. How to Let Go of the Past in a Relationship

 

In any relationship, both people involved within it are constantly evolving and changing.

And in a world where no one is perfect, this means that inevitably both people will make mistakes.

Acknowledging this growth and change is key to maintaining a healthy relationship over the long term.

This means that holding things against each other that might have happened years ago is toxic to the relationship and keeps it from flourishing.

If something big has happened, like a betrayal of trust involving cheating or dishonesty, professional help can be sought to start the process of repairing the damage done to the relationship and moving on together from such an event.

If it’s something simpler like a misunderstanding or miscommunication, it may be best to either let those things go or talk them out if something remains that needs to be resolved.

Ultimately, a relationship is one aspect of life that benefits most from you living in the present moment.

Letting go of the past issues, hurts or mistakes is something both members of the relationship need to do in order for the relationship to flourish and grow, be healthy and strong.

 

7. How to Let Go of the Past and Trust Again

 

Trust is extremely difficult to rebuild once it's been broken.

If you have had a breach of trust in a relationship, or find it hard to trust a new person after a past toxic relationship, it is important to engage in mindfulness practices to help you to let go of these negative feelings.

Especially with issues of trust, it can be helpful to work through the specifics of how your trust was broken with a counselor or therapist and make a plan for building corrective experiences into your life that will enable you to get to a place where you are comfortable to trust again.

Letting go of the past is difficult, but ultimately vital in helping you live the life you truly want.

Negative feelings about past events that you cannot control simply way you down and keep you from being in the present moment.

Try some of the exercises we've outlined below to jumpstart your journey to letting go of the past.

Exercises for Letting Go of the Past

 

woman swimming on her back - how to let go of the past and live in the present?

 

8. How to Let Go of the Past and Live in the Present

 

This exercise will help you get in touch with the present moment and gently let go of negative thoughts and fears.

Set aside 5 minutes.

It is helpful to set a timer the first few times so that you can stay fully focused until the timer rings.

Find a comfortable seated position and close your eyes.

Draw your attention to your breath, and the feeling of it entering and exiting your body.

Try to keep your attention with the breath and with the feeling of it coming in and leaving your body.

When you notice your mind start to wander, as it inevitably will, don’t get frustrated and angry with yourself for failing to clear your mind.

Instead, gently let go of that thought by returning your attention to the breath, and thus the present moment.

If you have a particularly hard time focusing on the sensation of the breath, it can sometimes help to repeat a simple mantra to yourself such as “Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in.

Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out” or even something as simple as “in breath, out breath” or even “in, out”.

After the 5 minutes are up, reflect on how you feel in your body.

Does the sensation of your breath feel more vibrant?

Are you feeling calmer?

Simply take note of how you are feeling without passing judgement.

Try repeating this exercise every day for a week and notice how it gets easier.

 

9. How to Let Go of the Past and Be Happy

 

Mindfulness can extend to more than just focusing on the breath.

Once you have practiced this idea of gently returning your attention to the breath, you can try a more complicated exercise.

This exercise will help you to find happiness in the present moment by letting yourself explore without judgement or dwelling on the past.

Go for a 15 minute walk around where you live.

Try to focus on the world around you, the sky and the air and the trees.

When your mind starts to wander, return your attention to something around you, whether it is a dog walking by or a particularly tall blade of grass.

Let your attention stay wherever it wants to around you in the physical world.

You will find that you naturally gravitate towards the things that make you happy.

Maybe you will find yourself wandering into a bookshop and stroking the spines of books, or you’ll walk to a dog park and observe the joyous play and activity of the dogs.

Notice how you feel being surrounded by the present moment, and allow happiness to fill you.

If walking isn’t your thing, you can try this exercise in all sorts of spaces— on a train, in the shower, even while commuting to work.

 

woman sitting on bed having a tantrum

 

10. Letting Go of the Past - How to Let Go of Anger

 

It is important to let yourself express your anger in a healthy way.

Bottling up anger causes us to erupt at unfair and inopportune moments, creating conflict.

A good first step when confronting your anger is to give yourself time to evaluate what needs to be done.

Anger is a powerful emotion, and some of us will feel the urge to act immediately.

However, it can sometimes be much more helpful to do something restorative and just let yourself exist with the anger for a bit.

Take 30 minutes for yourself.

Ask yourself what might help diffuse some of the sting of your angry feelings.

You might decide to go to the gym or go for a walk or run.

Or you might try taking a bath or shower to help you relax, give yourself some quiet time to allow your anger to diffuse and give yourself some needed emotional space.

You could try painting, journaling or some other art form to viscerally let out your emotions.

While doing this, try your best to keep your attention on what you are doing.

When your mind wanders to what you are angry about, recognize the anger and then bring your thoughts back to the task at hand.

How do your muscles feel, or how does the paint smell?

Once your body has relaxed a bit from the anger, then you can begin to evaluate whether what you are angry about is something you can control or whether it is something you should simply let go.

If it is something you can control, begin to figure out an action plan for how to reconcile your anger, such as talking with a manager, friend or partner.

If it is something you cannot control, try to focus your energy into the present moment as you have just done in this exercise.

 

11. How to Let Go of the Past and Forgive Yourself

 

Think back to a painful mistake you made in your childhood.

Try to pick something that isn’t too raw, but definitely still stirs emotions, such as a painful rejection or a particularly acute failure.

Now imagine that this is happening not to you, but to a small child.

For truly, it did happen to a small child.

That child is you.

Imagine how you might comfort this upset child if she were your own child or the child of friend.

What would you say to her?

How would you comfort and encourage her?

You may even choose to write down the things that you might say in order to comfort the child.

Now, try saying those things to yourself and notice how you feel.

This exercise can help you on the path to cultivating a kind, loving inner voice to soothe and forgive yourself when you need it most.

 

smiling dark haired woman - letting go of the past

 

12. Letting Go of the Past - When all else fails, pray about it.

 

I firmly believe in the power of prayer.

It has helped me too many times out of too many situations that I thought were insurmountable.

And let's face it...When you're trying to let go of the past, especially when dealing with issues of betrayal and hurt and anger, some of that “stuff” is incredibly hard to deal with, get over, get past and work through.

So I encourage you to try prayer.

It doesn't have to be a long, drawn out, dramatic kind of thing.

Prayer is simply a conversation.

It's just that in this case, you happen to be talking to the Creator of the universe.

I've undergone my share of life situations where I've had to learn to let go of the past.

They were not easy life lessons.

But what I have learned s that letting go of the past allows you to be able to rid yourself of a terrible burden.

The past is often a tremendous weight that we carry around with us for much longer than we were ever meant to.

And when you can finally let go, you wonder why in the world you carried it around so long in the first place.

You feel so much lighter, freer, better.

Let go of the past that's troubling you.

Leave behind the hurt and pain and anger.

Get on with your life and discover the multitude of good things in store for you not only today, but as you move on into your future.

Have you ever had to let go of the past? Tell me about it in the comments.

Kimberly Clay is the founder and creative force behind What She Say. She’s a business professional, writer and editor who’s been creating and managing digital content for nearly twenty years. Her work is now focused in the areas of self-improvement and personal development, and she is passionate about helping other individuals, especially women, to find a path for living their best life.

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Posted by on Oct 16, 2017 in Inspiration, Personal Growth

21 Words of Encouragement Sources: Daily Devotionals for Women

Words of Encouragement for Women Everyday: Daily Devotions for Women

Updated 06/06/2018

Words of Encouragement - Daily Devotionals for WomenSo you’ve (finally!) made the decision to begin a daily devotional. But as you scour the Internet searching daily devotionals for women, how do you choose the one that is most appropriate for you?

To begin a habit, especially if it’s something you haven’t done before or it’s something you’ve attempted but didn’t stick with, you have to choose the thing that best fits you.

Kimberly Clay is the founder and creative force behind What She Say. She’s a business professional, writer and editor who’s been creating and managing digital content for nearly twenty years. Her work is now focused in the areas of self-improvement and personal development, and she is passionate about helping other individuals, especially women, to find a path for living their best life.

Read More
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