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Last Updated on January 25, 2021

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

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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!

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.

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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?

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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Featured photo credit: emprize via 123rf.com

More by this author

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 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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