When memories of painful past experiences clutter your mind and heart, it can feel impossible to move forward. As time slips by, you may find yourself enveloped in regret, frustration, or sadness. At some point, you need to recognize that lingering in those thoughts and emotions is not helping. But how do you move on? How can you truly let go and create the freedom, confidence, and space for better experiences?
Letting go is a common topic in coaching. This is the process I teach the girls I coach:
It is important to acknowledge the past experience and whatever feelings it triggered. Feel them deeply and express them authentically. This may be through coaching, journaling, art, or music. My let-it-go letter is a powerful way to process feelings and acknowledge your readiness to move on.
2. Accept and forgive.
Accept that you cannot change the past. What happened, happened. Continuing to dwell on it does nothing but hold you down. Forgive yourself and others. Recognize that in most cases, you did the best you could do with the information you had at that time. Now you have new information. It is powerful to say to yourself, it is OK that that happened. I forgive myself and I am ready to move forward.
3.Identify new wisdom and growth.
Ask yourself, what do you now know that you didn’t know before? What did this painful experience teach you about yourself or others? How did it change you into a smarter, stronger, and wiser person? Express your gratitude for the gifts and silver linings of the experience.
4. Clarify new desires.
Now that you have space and freedom, think about what you want. Dream big and get clear on what is possible as well as the small steps that will move you closer to your end goal. Visualize the people, feelings, and support you need. Believe that anything is possible because it is.
5. Focus and act.
Stay focused on your vision by creating a visual reminder like a vision board. Each day, take a powerful small step. This may be a bold action or it may be a positive mind shift. Simply spending time thinking about what you want is a step forward.
Sharing your intentions is another powerful step. When you talk about what you are going to release and what you would like to cultivate, you set yourself up for success and invite encouragement from others.
So, what are you letting go and what do you want to cultivate in 2023?