Letting Go of the Old and Embracing the New

We humans, for whatever reason, have a tendency to want to hang on to what was, lament about what could have been, or what should have been happening. This mindset is often the very thing that presents us from seeing the possibilities that lie ahead.

Women who remain in an abusive relationship, as awful as it may be, because it is familiar rather than risk venturing into the unknown.

An alcoholic or drug addict endures the pain of their addiction, a familiar pain, rather than get help. Many times because of the fear of living without drugs.

The employee who for months or even years after being laid-off is still talking about how “they” were wronged and how “if it were not for such and such” they would be happy.

Or the spouse, who for years after a divorce is still angry and holding a grudge against their former mate.

Why you want to let go of the past

Simple, by holding on to past hurts and grudges and the like, you are connecting an emotional anchor that is keeping you stuck.

It has been said that holding on to anger towards someone is letting them live rent free in your head. The past is the past. Whatever happened to you, that put you in the position that you are now in, is over and done with. Its fete de compli.

Embracing the New

If you want to reboot your life and move toward a more exciting future, one filled with possibilities and opportunities, you must learn to embrace the new.

A great metaphor for this idea of letting go of the past is something I learned years ago while involved in professional golf.

At the time, my company was producing a series of videotaped golf lessons and we had been working with some of the top professionals of the day.

One of the pros that I had the pleasure of knowing was Al Geiberger, a wonderful man who still holds the record for the lowest score in a tournament.

Al shot a mythical 59 at the Danny Thomas Classic on June 10, 1977. Watching Al play was an experience. He is elegant, focused, a great golfer and a great individual.

One of the traits that he and most of the professionals have that separates them from everyone else is their ability to remain in the present.

They are focused on the shot in front of them and have totally let go of the previous holes.

If a professional golfer makes a poor shot, he or she immediately lets go of it. If they don’t, it will ruin the rest of their round.

The “secret” to living a happier and fulfilling life is to plan for and visualize your ideal future while living in the present.

All we can do with the past is learn whatever lessons it may have for us and move on.

Next: Why taking responsibility is the key to unlocking your personal power

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