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Learning To Let Go Of Past Mistakes

Updated: Aug 26, 2023

“You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you are re-reading the last one” - Michael McMillan


When emotional pain is holding you back from healing, it is a true sign that you are not moving forward in a growth-oriented way.

One of the best ways to heal is to take the time to learn from past experiences and use those lessons to focus on growth and forward momentum. Let those lessons give you the power to propel yourself forward in life.

If you are trying to move forward from a painful experience or past mistake, but you do not know where to start, check out these 8 tips to help you let go.

1. Create a positive mantra to counter limiting beliefs

How you talk to yourself can help you move forward, or keep you back. Reciting or reading a mantra to yourself in times of emotional pain can help you reframe your thoughts.

Instead of telling yourself, “I can’t believe this happened to me!” try a positive mantra such as, “I am fortunate to be able to find a new path in life-one that is good for me and will help me grow.”

2. Practice mindfulness

Some of the ultimate breakthroughs we have in life come by applying learning strategies, developing an empowering story, and ensuring that you are in the right state to move forward. Practicing mindfulness can help you achieve these breakthroughs by helping you become fully aware of your thoughts, which can help you re-focus on your goal of moving forward.

To help you practice mindfulness and condition your mind, feed yourself empowering stories and practice being mindful and present. When we start to plan too far ahead or think too much about our past mistakes, our freedom to choose how we respond to our lives can feel limited.

3. Engage in self care

Finding the time to do what you truly enjoy, and taking some time away from work and other responsibilities, can be a rewarding and necessary action to take to help you re-focus on your goal of moving forward. Many of us do not practice self care as much as we should.

If you struggle like me, then you may feel like there just are not enough hours in the day to do what you would like. Try waking up earlier or asking for help to get your daily tasks done, and spend a little more time prioritizing yourself and your needs.

4. Do not let your past control you

In some cases, when you are holding onto the past, you are trying to retain control of something that is simply out of your control. Acknowledge what is holding you back and determine why you want to move forward. This can be the most important part of letting go, because keeping it in mind can help you stay committed to moving on from the past.

Dwelling on the past is letting the past affect you now.

Let that sink in.

You only control one thing, and that one thing is you.

You can regain control of your life, shift your mindset, and start the next chapter of your life today, by letting go of your past.

5. Get out of victim mode

Do you ever think, “Everything bad is happening to me? What about me? Why me? I can’t do this.”

These are signs that you may be falling into a victim mode or mentality. When we think of things that went wrong in our past, we may use these experiences to make excuses for, or justify, our current actions.

We have all had things happen to us that were out of our control. However, try to remember that it is not what happens to you, but how you react to it that truly matters. Encourage yourself to get up, grow, and enjoy the fruits of your growth.

A higher sense of self, self-esteem, self-efficacy and self-empowerment are in your future!

6. Focus on the present

The more we focus on the present moment, the less impact our past and future have on us. We can be so preoccupied with the past and the future, that we forget to stay grounded in the present. Any growth that you want to achieve in your life will be sparked or maintained by a decision that you make in the present.

You have the choice to determine who you would like to be and how you live your life.

Choose to live life in the now and claim your ability to change, grow and evolve.

7. Learn how to forgive others and yourself

Forgiving and forgetting can be easier said than done, but achieving this can help you move on from wrongs that others have done to you and that you have done to others.

Try addressing or reflecting on someone who has hurt you in the past and express your forgiving mindset by saying, either to them or to yourself, “I do not accept what happened between us, but I forgive you and I am putting it behind me.” Lift the weight of negative emotions and memories off of your shoulders.

On the other hand, if you have hurt someone in the past, you will need to forgive yourself. If an apology is in order, make your amends. Then, start to forgive yourself by reminding yourself that you understand that you have caused pain and that you have learned and grown from that experience. This process can help you drop the negative emotions that you have been carrying from that experience and become a better and happier version of yourself.

You carve your own path. Take your own journey. Make this a life that you are proud of and happy to be a part of.

8. Seek professional help

Coming from someone who has actively sought out therapists and counsellors over the years for personal growth and development, this can be a game-changer if you just do not know where to start or how to get to where you would like to be.

If you are not sure whether or not this is the right step for you, why not take a chance and try it out? You may love it, or you may find that it is just not for you in the moment, which is okay.

The Takeaway

To let go of past emotional pain and mistakes, you need to make the conscious decision to take control of the situation, which can take time and require many attempts.

You are in control of your life. What has happened in the past is in the past, and remember that you are constantly evolving, so make the choice to move forward every day. Give it time. Be kind to yourself as you practice re-focusing on how you see the past, and celebrate the small victories you have along the way.


Katelyn @ Happy By Design Co

You can read more from Happy By Design Co here. Also, check out Happy By Design Co on Instagram.


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