7 practical Tips To Let Go of Past and Regain Control

Let Go of Past:


“You can never run away from your past”

How many times have you heard people say that?

“It is something we all have to live with. We don’t have a choice! πŸ™ “

How about this one?

No matter where we are, I am sure we all have something we would like to have changed, maybe it was the way we did things, the words we said to someone or the emotions we went through. Of course, we did talk about 9 simple and effective tips to overcoming guilt which will help you in the process to forgive yourself, this post is more about how we prevent ourselves from slipping into the thoughts of the past. And that is what we meant by letting go of the past to look ahead!

1. Let go of past: What has happened so far

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Let go of past – What has happened so far (Picture – Pixabay.com)

1.1 Let go of past: Accept It!

Whatever has happened, has happened! None of us have access to a time machine. No matter how many times we wish there was a way to change things, we hardly can. I accept that in retrospect, we all can think of ways we could have made things better – so stop beating yourself up for this and thinking of a 100 odd ways you could have solved the problem and accept what has happened and permit yourself to start thinking ahead.

1.2 Let go of past: What does it mean to you?

What does this past event mean to you – what was the incident and what was the situation that prompted a particular action from you?

Try to understand what it means to you now, how it has affected you and whether it is drawing you down or pushing you ahead. If it is pushing you ahead, then it is a wonderful thing to happen. If not, maybe you need to revisit how you think about it. A simple trick can be to identify what you can appreciate about your behaviour at that time? What were you really impressed about yourself?

Please do not say NOTHING – that rarely helps. Most times we are so caught up in the negative effects that we tend to forget some impressive shifts within ourselves.

1.3 Let go of past: What can you do about it?

The utility question quite simply asks you this – what can you do to make things better. We appreciate that most times the answer is nothing in this case, but then we reframe the question – What can we do now to make ourselves feel better?!

The common answers are music, watching movies, playing sports – all of which represent the classic distraction techniques we use to prevent ourselves from feeling the pain. But the pain can be a very powerful motivator at times to take us beyond that emotion.

But apart from that, what can you do to make things better? What actions can you take to find a way to forgive yourself for the past. The answer can be as simple as an apology or writing a letter or

1.4 Let go of past: What holds you back?

We are now moving to the MOST IMPORTANT question about letting go of the past. Most times the past is just an occurrence which logically speaking should not have any direct connection.

But we do live in a world of emotions where LOGIC sometimes takes the secondary place and rightly so.

We are talking about the ramifications of the past here – a past failure holding us back, something which stops us in our current actions and so on. Identify those events which hold you back and the way they are holding you back. It doesn’t matter if it means going back to the good old lists, but do them anyway. Wikihow does a similar version of getting over the past which we think is quite decently done and can as well be used as a reference guide for the same.

2 Let go of past: The way Ahead

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Let go of past – The future ahead, (Picture – Pixabay.com)

We all like to make huge strides of progress in life. It is awful when something holds us back. The question now is how do we identify the ways to move ahead?!

2.1 – Let go of past: It is a new situation

Each time we find ourselves going back to the past, we need to tell ourselves vocally and very clearly that this is a new situation. This is a situation where we have moved on from the past failure, gotten better and captured some new skills.

2.2 – Let go of past: It is an opportunity

Our mind plays tricks on us! It makes us feel so overwhelmed by the failures that it prevents us from looking at things a different way – as an opportunity and a chance for us to get over our previous short comings. It is very rare that we are given a chance to rewrite our history and when we are provided with one such, it would be a shame not to make the best out of it. That way, we also get to rewrite our past story into something which we can like.

2.3 – Let go of past:- Gratitude

None of us would naturally go out and say Thank You! when we have an unpleasant situation to handle. It may sound a bit unconventional, but it really helps to say that. We don’t mean just go out and say Thank you without meaning it – this wouldn’t make any difference at all. The trick is to identify what you are getting out of it, the advantages you are receiving from it which makes you offer your gratitude. This makes you look more at the outcome than the challenge alone.

These were our top practical tips to let go of your past. Do let us know which one you liked the most amongst these and which one you are most likely to disagree with. We would love to take the debate ahead.

Stay tuned for more.

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We'd love to hear your thoughts below..

    • Thank you Maniparna.. True, it is certainly very very hard and the past does haunt us quite terribly. I have often felt guilty about what happened a long time ago only to realize that there is nothing I can do about it now except for the part that understand what I need to learn from it and how to move on.. I think the past did happen for a reason and a purpose and perhaps that purpose was to tell us something and it did live its purpose. Anything beyond that is completely on us, whether we let it affect us or not, does come to a choice and a pretty hard one indeed!

        • πŸ™‚ Very sound one Maniparna.. I think it is one of the most valid thoughts to have. It gives us a great position to overlook the thought of coming back to the past and thinking a lot in retrospect. It gives a good dimension to look ahead and a certain motivation to take things in the right stride which is one of the prime thoughts often missed out on ..

  1. Wonderful post. There was a time when I wanted to leave my past behind and actually did follow some of the above mentioned points. It will nice if you follow it up by a post on how to move forward. πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€

    • Thank you Gaurab :). Nice to hear that few of these steps relate to an experience. Sure Gaurav, I would be more than happy to do that and notify you as soon as I do it πŸ™‚

  2. It is true, If we live in our past then what about our future, therefore live thinking of future and stop living in past. Past is gone and it will never return

    • Thank you Sampat :). You’re right, past is gone and it is never going to return. All we have is the now and the hope of later which can go a longer way than what was…

  3. Yes I used to live in the past until recently but now I have let it go after reading your post. Thank You. Wish you would publish a book with all these valuable posts soon. Try Penguin or Partridge.

    • Thank you Nikhil for such kind words. I would love to do a publish sometime soon. I was thinking of an e-book in sometime with a short collection of about 50-70 articles which I had written on different stages of motivation for an IAS aspirant. Hopefully I shall get it rolled out soon πŸ™‚

      • Please do not publish anything online. it is your blood work! A person from portridge published called me from Philipines, he warned me not to kindle and publish online. people can lift it off. Try a printing publishing like patridge or penguin. You need your name and ownership in written form to start off.

        • Thank you Nihil :). That’s an interesting point. I will keep this in mind when I start my book. I am still waiting to finesse my writing skills a bit more before making a book out of it. But I would certainly love the idea of being published πŸ™‚

  4. Thanks Vinay once again for a great post. There is no better doctor than time. Time heals everything. But its up to to decide whats good and bad for us and move on with our life.
    From my personal experience I can say that both reading and writing has been a wonderful tool to forget our past and move on to our future.

    • πŸ™‚ Happy you liked it Krishna! True, time is THE BEST healer, it makes the best out of the worst and gives us so many opportunities for a relook.

      I couldn’t agree more, reading and writing has been a phenomenal support all through. I remember my first time was when I completely down and was introduced to a book – Awaken the Giant within which got me hooked! And from then on, books have proved an exemplary treasure. And what we get to derive out of them is nothing short of fascination πŸ™‚

      • True. Awaken the giant within by Anthony Robbins. I have not read the book, but have heard a lot about the book. Will read it next. Btw I have heard lot of youtube videos of Anthony Robbins. He is simply great and inspirational.

        • That’s a brilliant book Krishna, one of my top favourite books of all time. It kinda changed my perspective towards life. From then on I have been following his books, talks, audio tapes and what not, turned out that in some way it is highly influential for me to start this site and bug a lot of people at once πŸ˜› πŸ˜€

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  11. Past is definitely something I used to dread, but sometimes its just so hard to think of it is an incident , no matter how hard we try one moment the person who hurt you crosses you and all those bad memories and fear falls back on our face. Lovely post Vijay, this is one thing that truly inspired me.
    (Ps: Bookmarks the page for re re reading in future)

    • Thank you Najm. I am indeed flattered to see this lovely message from you :). I do understand that it is never easy to completely forget the past, something about it keeps haunting us. At the same time, it challenges us to move past it and embrace the world a little better. The process in itself is damn awesome :).

      Very very happy to hear this from you. Thank you Najm :)..

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  15. This point
    What has happened has happened. You have no control over what has happened now. But you sure have control about what you are going to make out of it. You can sit here and keep feeling bad about yourself or you can step outside and move on from it
    is awesome and true , i wish i could follow it 100% and use my talents to renew me instead of dwelling on past.

    Thanks for this post πŸ™‚

    • Thank you Gayathri. Much honored to see this comment :). Honestly even I wish I could follow it up to a 100%, but then I realize even getting close to that is a pretty big deal indeed. After all, we all need to falter a few times to get it right when we need it the most. It is kinda the perfect balance or preparation of our mindset if I can call that so that when the requirement or the necessity strikes, we can really be well prepared πŸ™‚

  16. A beautiful post Vinay with some very meaningful steps. Letting go of one’s past and moving on is one of the most challenging aspects of life and you have guided with optimum wisdom to come out of that miserable phase of life. Thanks a lot for this inspirational dose of self justice.

    • Thank you Maitreni. I agree, it is pretty hard to get out of it sometimes. Esp if we have a reservation about something, it somehow keeps resurfacing every now and then. Another way to look at it is as an opportunity for us to rewrite it so that we don’t feel the same old hurt again and can write a new page in our books. That can get us back on track and provide a new purpose to reach the goals.

  17. Past sleeps like a coiled serpent to raise its fangs at the moments when one is most vulnerable. So as you have rightly pointed out as tough as it is we must not let our past haunt us, accept the present for what it is. It certainly helps to inculcate a sense of gratitude.