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How To Let Go Of Your Past

Failure is a natural part of life. Here’s how to move past it.

28/09/2017 6:20 PM AEST | Updated 28/09/2017 6:20 PM AEST
Olya Kuzovkina Unsplash
Your past is behind you and you are not moving in that direction.

No one likes the feeling of failure. As humans we're programmed to protect ourselves from pain and so when we are hurt it's our instinct to make things better as soon as possible.

The problem with that is that often times we're not dealing with the failure. We bury our true feelings toward the issue and then carry those feelings subconsciously into our present and future.

Learning to let go of the past can help us be better prepared for failure in the future.

"One of the ways in which we pick ourselves up after a failure and thrive through and beyond it is by integrating all the lessons learned, re-calibrating to find new ground, and expanding into who we are today -- not who we thought we should become," Author Cassie Mendoza-Jones told HuffPost Australia.

Mendoza-Jones is a business alignment coach and motivational speaker who has just released her second book, 'It's All Good', which is a practical guide to accepting where you are while navigating through hardship.

Mendoza-Jones suggests implementing some of the following ways of moving through failure and letting go of the past:

It's okay to change your mind

"Did you know that you're allowed to change your mind? After a failure, or when you're going through challenging times, or when you're holding onto old beliefs about yourself that may be holding you back, you get to change your mind," Mendoza-Jones said.

Just like you make a decision about what to eat and what to wear, you can choose to face pain and failure in a more caring way and be gentle with yourself about it.

"Just like how you get to decide what you'll have for breakfast at that café you love, you get to decide today how you'll look after yourself."

"You get to decide where you invest your time, energy and attention and who you spend your time with (mostly!). You get to decide to start fresh and to also acknowledge the times things haven't felt so on-track. Both are necessary for you to be who you are today."

"It's okay to change your mind. You get to choose -- what do you need to let go of? What do you need to align to? What do you need to embody more? Also, do you want another coffee?," Mendoza-Jones said.

Stop future tripping

Future tripping is when you try to preempt hurdles in the future so you can potentially stop them happening, therefore preventing the pain.

"To expand into the very best version of ourselves -- challenges and failures and flaws and all -- we must be living in the present moment."

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Worrying about the unknowns of the future does little to change the outcome.

"I'm saying this as someone who's been known to future trip when I'm feeling imbalanced or worried, so I get it -- when we're worried, we think about the future because we think this'll help us solve some issue that hasn't yet arisen," Mendoza-Jones said.

"But in fact, what I've found time and time again is that it simply leaks our energy. Instead, call your energy back to the now and be present and grounded. It's from this space that we can expand, rise and show up as our best selves."

Be compassionate to yourself (and live in the present)

This is about looking your past -- and your perceived failure -- in the eyes, acknowledging it, and then allowing yourself to move forward because of it, not in spite of it.

"I used to be all too hard on myself when I thought I'd failed, or when I'd set incredibly high expectations of myself that, in truth, didn't even matter. By beating myself up all that happened was I lived in the past, allowing myself to stay stuck in regret, pain, anger, resentment and shame."

If you're picking yourself up after a failure Mendoza-Jones believes it's paramount you take the pressure off yourself.

"Realise that if you could have done something differently, you would have. Then, be compassionate to yourself on the way back up, and if you fall again, be compassionate to yourself on the way down too."

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Being kind to yourself, just like you would be toward a friend going though hardship, is imperative to healing pain.

"Don't be scared of your failures, of challenging times, or of your old belief system. Instead, expand into who you are today by looking your challenges in the eye, taking the lessons that are necessary for your highest growth, and then moving forward anyway," Mendoza-Jones said.

"You are strong enough to make it through (or over, or under) what you face. Trust yourself."

Trust you're exactly where you're supposed to be

Mendoza-Jones believes you're exactly where you're supposed to be, even if you didn't think this was where you wanted to be.

"Things have a funny way of working themselves out, and if they don't work out, that's also perfectly okay. There's so much more joy to be found in not micromanaging our lives. You'll find so much more flow when you simply let go of your mind's rigid perceptions of where you thought you should be."

"Be here, now, today, and honour yourself for exactly where you are. Only from this space can you take aligned action and move forward. Only with this mindset can you trust and surrender to the bigger plan," Mendoza-Jones said.

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