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When You Start to Let Go of Your Past, These 10 Things Will Happen

When You Start to Let Go of Your Past, These 10 Things Will Happen

We have all experienced the loss of something significant that has caused us great sadness and pain. Maybe you are holding on to a relationship you know in your heart is not healthy, hoping it will turn back into how things were in the beginning, before all the pain and hurt.

Starting to let go of your past in relationships, or anything significant, is one of the hardest things you will experience in life. We are comfortable with the known, and we will often choose known suffering over an uncertain future. We resist change and hold onto the past often long after it has quit serving us.

So, maybe you need a push to view letting go of your past in a new light. Below are ten wonderful things that will happen to you once you start to let go of your past.

Notice the phrase “start to let go of your past.” Letting go is a process that takes time. But the sooner you move through the process of letting go of what is hurting you, the sooner better days are to come for you!

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1. You will realize a new positive version of yourself.

“I use memories, but I will not allow memories to use me.” – Deepak Chopra

Our brains are fascinating combinations of pure miracle, computer processor and organ tissues. But did you know that the memories that you hold are not necessarily all that accurate? Did you know that your memories can actually be altered and defined by you today? You have the power through what you choose to focus on to change your future. When we are experiencing a negative aspect of life, our brains scan the past looking for similar memories to match up with this, confirming the current negativity. That voice that says “You always end up in these bad relationships. Why do you always do this?” That comes from this filtering and matching process. Once you let go of what is hurting you, your mind and memories will work on creating a powerful new positive version of your life.

2. You will make room for the new.

“Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.” – Eckhart Tolle

When you keep replaying the past you are forfeiting your present. Once you decide to let go of the past, however, you become  drawn towards new goals, new visions and new people that will lead you to an exciting fresh chapter of growth in your life. Our lives our not meant to be static. Change does happen for a reason, and the less resistance you create against change, more growth is available for you. Think of the process as a tree that has to drop it’s leaves and become bare. The reason the tree is stripped down to it’s core is the miraculous coming of Spring. New growth that is powerful, beautiful and necessary for that tree’s survival follows the winter. No, we are not trees. But we are living the same type of growth and rebirth cycle all through our lives. Embrace the truth of this, and come to peace with it. Think back over your life. How many changes did you despise at the time that you now can look back on with appreciation for how they helped you grow?

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3. You will handle new obstacles with grace.

“The past should be a learning experience not an everlasting punishment. What’s done is done.” – Unknown

Once you move through a difficulty life has thrown at you, it will enable you to handle the next one with even more grace and ease. It’s a learned skill to let go of your past and move on. Think back to how difficult break-ups were early in life. If you’ve had some dating experience, the ability to let go and move on gets easier. Trusting yourself gets easier the more you experience it. Future change and more experiences that require letting go lie ahead guaranteed. The more practiced and comfortable we are with this process, the more we will grow gracefully.

4. You will learn to love yourself first.

We all want to feel loved in our relationships. But the key to feeling loved is actually to love yourself first. No amount of actions or absence of actions or words of another can fix a lack of love for yourself. We stay in relationships that are not great for us because we are searching for something outside of ourselves when we really need to be finding that inside ourselves first. Turn inward during this time of letting go.

5. You will inspire others.

Without even knowing it, you will touch and inspire others. When I meet smiling, kind-hearted, generous, tender souls that I know have gone through great loss, I am always awed in their presence. These people are proof positive that recovery can, and does, occur if you let it. When you let go of your past you will own that as a part of who you are and positively show others in your life how to let go with grace. Early in my life, I experienced an abusive relationship. I don’t enjoy revisiting those memories. But I do so if I feel it will help another in need and inspire them to think differently.

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6. You will grow closer to your destiny.

We are all here for a purpose. Every experience, each hardship, every burden, even all our hurts have shaped and formed us into who we are supposed to be at this very moment. We are each here to balance out the universe in a very unique, and intricate, way that only we can fulfill. All of your experiences are creating the very fiber of your being, bringing you closer to what you came here to learn. Believe that each learning experience is meant to draw you closer to learning your life lesson. It is not necessary that we view each experience as positive or negative, but each experience is necessary for our growth to unfold.

7. You will naturally attract what you need.

“Abundance is a process of letting go; that which is empty can receive.” – Bryant H. McGill

The piece of your past that no longer fits in your life came to you at a time when you were a much different person than who you are today. Are you the same person now that you were ten years ago? No, you are a vastly different person right now. You send off different vibrations than who you were before did. Who you are now will naturally draw to you exactly the situation, the person, and the future that you need right now. Know that, trust in that and step into that in faith. What you need will come to you at exactly the right time for you.

8. You will realize that YOU are really all you need.

“You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are.” – Eckhart Tolle

Being in a blissful, supportive, loving relationship is wonderful, but do you really think that is the only path to happiness? Look around you. Who do you know who is not in a relationship that seems to have it all together? What do they do differently? They find joy in themselves, their interests, and build a life not dependent on someone else. There is a difference between love and attachment. When we become attached and dependent on another for our own well being and happiness that is not love. Love is without attachment and dependency. Love yourself as much as you love another, and your relationship outcomes will naturally become more positive.

9. You will grow in your empathy for others.

In addition to inspiring others, you will become more in-tune with other’s pain. When we ourselves have experienced pain, loss and disappointment, that enables us to see the same in others. You will have the heart to notice the young girl you work with who is in the midst of an unhealthy relationship. You will have the experience and empathy to feel her pain and to offer support. You have been changed by your experience into a more advanced, soulful person who now can help others with what you’ve learned. We are all here to help each other on this journey and lean on each other for support.

10. You will know in your heart what is good for you.

“Regret doesn’t remind us that we did badly, it reminds us that we know that we could do better.” – Kathryn Schultz

At the end of a relationship we experience things that just aren’t good for us. These can be things inflicted by others that we know are against our core values, or they can be things we put upon ourselves. When we don’t receive the love and support we are looking for, we can turn bitter and angry. When we hold onto grief, we can punish ourselves with guilt. We can only hold onto bitterness, anger, and grief for so long before we have to let go of the pain. We know these burdens are poisoning our heart, and robbing our soul of the joy it needs to thrive. So we must learn to feel what is good for us more fully. That is how we learn to go forward and do better, live better, choose better.

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I would love to hear your insights as to what letting go has taught you, and any positive growth you have to share through learning to let go.

Featured photo credit: emprize via 123rf.com

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Dawn Hafner

Dawn is a Practical Life Coach who offers concrete tools to help people implement life changes.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you realize you aren’t really happy about this, wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, I finally got to this question: “What do I want?”

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

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Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. He said,

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

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How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest, using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

The 3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying ‘No’ Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

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Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say ‘No’

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

4. When the Request Comes In, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time, or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your ‘No’ with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

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6. Consider How to Use a Modified ‘No’

If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

Final Thoughts

Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

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Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

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