Life Hacks

7 Ways to Let Go of The Past and Move Forward

Sometimes, most of us find it difficult to let go of the past and live a happy life because we’re still nursing the past and we’re yet to let go. Consequently, we’re prompted to believe that only our past mistakes matter as we’re often brooding and losing the ability to focus on the present. Leaving the past behind you is one of the best things you can do for yourself. What you become from now shouldn’t be defined by your past events or experiences. You’ll be able to achieve your goals and enjoy more success when you open up to a happier life by choosing to be positive, relishing in your happiness, and focusing on the present moment. Let’s discover together 7 ways to let go of the past and move forward.

1. Let the Emotions Flow

One of the wrong things we use to do is denying our emotions. We act like our emotions don’t matter and as we continue to ignore them, they begin to hurt us and gradually taunt us.


Learn to let your emotions flow. Feeling your emotions is very necessary if you want to move forward. For you to let go of the past and live a happy life, find what’s best for you to let your emotions flow; whether it’s by screaming into a pillow or crying till you feel calm.

Always remember that it’s okay to cry but be mindful of the fact that you’re in control of how you feel and you are not your emotions. Thus, don’t get lost in the emotion. 

2. Don’t Let Negative Thoughts Cloud Your Mind

Letting go of the past will become harder and you’ll be distracted from the positives in life when you unproductively engage in thinking negatively. Yes, it’s good to express your emotions but dwelling on them isn’t healthy.

You’ll not enjoy your right to live a happy life and self-sabotaging thoughts will continuously plague your mind if you give room to negative thoughts. You’re as well likely to find yourself in a depressed state if you’re constantly all about the negative.

Moving on from the past can be very herculean if you let negative thoughts abide in you and this is why you must brace yourself to steer your mind away from these negative thoughts whenever they cross your mind. You’ll see that you’ll enjoy more positive results by the time you start using positive thoughts to replace negative thoughts.

3. Learn from Your Experience

Your experiences are not only meant to hurt you; they also serve to help you learn and grow. You’ll be able to understand what makes you happy and even learn about yourself when you learn from an experience.

Whatever experiences you might have had, take away the positives from it and hold on to that. For example, let’s say you were fired from your job; you can think of what’s next for you and take the next step to become happier.

Likewise, let’s say you broke up with your partner and it was a very tough one. You can use this opportunity to look for more meaningful relationships and be more aware of what you don’t want in a partner and what you need to improve upon as well.

Opportunities presented by our experiences do help us to know more about how to become happier.

4. Stop Being the Victim 

Whatever happens to you in this life, you can choose to either see yourself as a victim or a survivor. Take note that it will be very herculean for you to stop living in the past if you allow your thoughts to keep leading back to past traumas by having the mindset of a victim.


You’ll often find yourself in a state where you’ll be thinking nothing will go right for you when you let your victim feelings take control of your mind. Remember that the fact that you failed before doesn’t mean that you’re automatically bound to fail.

Rather than playing the victim, see yourself as a survivor. With this, you’ll surely feel good and your mental health will improve naturally.

Being a survivor means that you accept your experiences and you’re ready to work and walk through them to become even better. Being a survivor also means that you choose not to be defined by your past.

5. Don’t Wait for an Apology

Learn to forgive and forget. When someone offends you, don’t be so particular about waiting for the person to come and apologize to you. It isn’t helpful when you have this idea or mentality stuck into you because it will make you hold on tightly to the past and secondly, it will make you hurt yourself more.

You deserve a happy life and the mistakes of someone else shouldn’t stop you from getting the happiness you deserve. Whatever happened has happened. Let your focus be on you moving forward.

What’s even the guarantee that the person that offended you will come back to apologize to you? So, if there’s no guarantee, why must you wait till eternity expecting an apology?

Don’t waste your time over apology expectations because it will hurt you more and it can keep you trapped in your past.

6. Expand Your View of Yourself

How well do you know yourself? It’s high time you started learning what makes you happy and get to know who you are. Shift more time and attention to yourself.


Learn and love with passion, take risks, and partake in rejuvenating activities. Don’t be shy to put yourself out there and get to know more about who you are.

Learn to love who you are now, be kind to yourself, and treat yourself well. You can make yourself a nice meal, go for a solo walk in the park, take yourself out to lunch, or do anything that makes for a nice alone time.

7. Live in the Moment

Many people bother too much about what people will think of them or what will happen soon that they’ll always miss out on living in the moment. Earnestly and wisely, live in the present moment; don’t anticipate troubles, don’t worry about the future, don’t mourn for the past.

This is one of the wise sayings of Buddha and it’s a secret to a healthy body and mind. Whatever you’re doing, make the most out of it.

The moment you’re in now, bask in it. Enjoy the present. Tomorrow can wait. Let the past be the past.

Focus on yourself and your doings. However, you may want to develop a mindfulness meditation practice if you’re finding it difficult to live in the present.

Check also our post on self reflection here.

Please share this article with your friends and family if you find it helpful.

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