How To Let Go: 8 Ways To Stop Holding On To The Past

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Have you ever wonder, why the hell you can´t move on in your life? Why are you still holding on to the past?

Holding on to the past and not be able to let things go is a huge problem many people (including myself) struggle with.

Whether you are holding on to bad memories from your childhood, or you´re still thinking about the bad experience from work that happened a year ago, you can´t make yourself to stop it and let it go.

But, you already know that not knowing how to let things go has no benefit for you. It only stops you from achieving your goals.

That´s why in this article I am going to share with you 8 ways that help you to let things go and move on toward your goals.

Ready? Let´s start to learn how to…

1. Don´t Focus On What You Cannot Control

Majority of people feel unhappy in life simply because they focus on something, they have absolutely no control of.

When you wake up tomorrow and your level of happiness and joy depend solely on the weather you´ll see when you look outside the window, there is huge probability tomorrow won´t be a good day for you.

When you spend all your day thinking of every bad experience from your past, again, there is a huge probability you won´t have a pretty good day.

And it´s all because you focus on things, you can´t control. You have absolutely no control over whether, or what happened in the past.

So, let go of things you can´t control. Stop focusing on them and start focusing on what you can control.

2. Don´t Focus On Other People Opinions

This is related to the previous step. And it can be fixed in the same way. By changing your focus.

When all your life depends only on what other people think of you, probably, you won´t live a really fulfilled life.

You have no control over what other people think. And not all people have your best interests in heart.

For knowing the difference between those you should hang out, and those you should get rid of ASAP, check out my another article here.

There is no 1 person in the history of the world, who wouldn´t have „haters“. Even the kindest people of all time, even they have people who don´t like them. You know, as Taylor Swift sing…


You can´t please everyone. So, don´t care so much about others. Focus on what you can control, notice who is good and who´s bad for you and let other people opinions go.

Changing your focus is absolutely crucial for the level of your happiness and success of your life.

This, step by step is extraordinary covered by Tony Robbins in his bestselling book – Awaken The Giant Within.

3. Accept Mistakes

Many people I know take failure really badly. Not just that they struggle in a moment when they fail, but failure literally hunt them down for next days, months or even years.

The problem lies in their perception of failure and mistakes. They think of mistakes as something horrible. By the way, the school system is really unhelpful with that.

From school, you are forced to do as little as possible mistakes. When you make a mistake in school, you are punished by a bad grade.

To change that, you need to understand that mistakes are here for you to learn and become better. Understand that mistakes are actually good for your life. Not horrible, as you were taught.

You cannot let bad experiences dictate your future.

When you make a mistake next time, just review what you did wrong, learn from it and let it go.

You can´t change the past, you learned from it and, hopefully you´ll never do this mistake again. Let it go and move into another helpful step, that is…

4. Change Your Perspective

From my own experience, I know it´s really hard to let things go when you think that your whole life depends on it. That´s why it´s crucial to take a look at things in different perspective.

To be able to let go things that drag you down, you need to be able to control the meaning you attach to these things and events.

Dan Peňa once said:

how you interpret what happen

Many things that you think are crucial for your life, actually aren´t.

For example, you´re so angry for yourself that you miss the final shot of the last basketball match. You can´t let go of this bad experience from your head.

But, when you change your perspective and you understand, this didn´t influence your life so bad, you can let it go much easier.

Just think, you miss the shot, but you still have a home where you return after match. You still have health, thanks to what you can even play basketball in the first place.

Changing your perspective is a powerful and necessary step to learn how to let things go. Especially, when you combine it with another step, that is…

5. Be Grateful

I already touched this above. We are so focused on things that bother us, that we usually don´t realize how petty they are.

be grateful

Do you think that little child from Africa who doesn´t have clean water to drink bothers about missed shot in a basketball game?

Some of them don´t even know what basketball is.

Gratitude helps you to let things go, learn how to take action and also for discovering how to overcome fear.

So, next time you can´t get away from your head a regret or some bad experience try to think for a minute of what you´re grateful for and focus on that.

You´ll see it´s nothing compared to other people big problems and you´ll let it go easily.

6. Expect Nothing (or at least not so much)

Another reason why you might feel bad and disappointed is when you expect from others the same things you are willing to do for them.

When you expect so much from others, there are higher chances you´re going to be disappointed. That leads to holding on to this bad experience and then, it´s hard to let it go.

The solution is simple. Just be aware of this. Not everyone is willing to do the same for you, that you are willing to do for them.

You´ll avoid surprise and disappointment and you´ll easily let it go. You can take a look at this article of mine and discover how to choose the right people in your life.

7. Think Of Your Health

Another reason why not letting things go is horrible for you is the effect on your health.

When something bad happens, and you are focused on this bad experience, that creates stress. And being under the stress the whole time can have horrible consequences.

When you´re under stress:

  • your blood pressure is increased,
  • your blood sugar is increased,
  • there is higher risk of heart attack,
  • your immune system is weaker,

and many more health issues.

And if you realize, that holding on to the past only has negative effects only on you – it has no effect on the person you blame, that´s another reason why you should let it go as soon as possible.

Your health is a pretty good reason for you to stop holding on to the past and move on.

8. You Cannot Change The Past

And lastly, unless you are a wizard, or you have a time machine, you can´t change the past. It´s not possible. So, why ruin your happiness, productivity, and health holding on to it?

The key to letting go is facing what has happened, learn from that, accept that it couldn´t be changed and move on with another great learning experience.

You know this saying from Alexander G. Bell:

how to find opportunities

Once you´re able to move on and let go of your „old doors“ the new one will open.

So, stop wasting your precious time, and many incredible opportunities by starring at these old doors and trying to change the past.


Herman Hesse once said that some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.

Ability to learn how to let go and stop holding on to things that drag you down is crucial for your level of success, happiness and eventually, your health too.

The key is to understand, that you cannot change the past, and the only person that suffers by holding onto past, is you. Not someone you´re angry on.

Don´t be so focused on mistakes, think of them as something that moves you closer to your goal. Don´t be afraid of them.

And eventually, use your focus wisely. What you focus on, will affect every minute of your day. Don´t let your mind control you.

I hope this article was helpful for you, if it was, please comment below what is your 1 key takeaway and share it with your friends so they learn how to let go things that drag them down too.

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My name is Patrik. I live in Slovakia and I am owner of dayprov.com. Dayprov is about Everyday improvements in our lives. You will find here tips about success, motivation, personal development and anything you want. Your recommendations for new interesting blog posts you would like to read about send to patrik@dayprov.com.

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