How to Let Go of the Past: 7 Powerful Tips to Follow

Here, we discuss the seven most important things someone should do if they are ready to let go of the past.

When you feel that the past is dragging you down and you refuse to let it be a burden any longer, you have already taken the first step towards a happier and brighter future. 

Below, you will find the most powerful things you can do to keep taking steps and finally move forward. 

  • Commit to letting go

The most important step in letting go of the past is making the commitment to do so.

Of course, not everyone will be ready to make such a pledge right away. However, once you realize that letting go is necessary, the weight of your past’s burdens begins to lift from your shoulders, and a feeling of empowerment overcomes you. 

You may be ready to make this commitment if you are at a point where you have had enough and feel motivated to start the healing process.

  • Take responsibility

Sometimes we make mistakes that end up hurting us in ways we could not have imagined, and sometimes, it is others that have wronged us. 

However, in most situations, we were not wholly innocent. Whether you experimented with a drug just for fun or ignored the red flags shown to you, responsibility must be taken to move forward. 

Taking responsibility for your actions is essential to healing and moving on. If you don’t recognize your faults and mistakes, you can not learn from them. There will be a higher risk of history repeating itself. 

  • Forgive those that hurt you

Although it is easier said than done, forgiving those that hurt you is essential to moving on.

We are all human; therefore, we all make mistakes. Remember, nobody gets to choose the genetics or upbringing that caused them to be misguided, emotionally scarred, or hurtful. So, if someone has hurt you, try to have a sonder and realize that everyone’s life is just as complex as yours. 

Grudges are anchors that keep you stuck in the past and once you can truly forgive those that have hurt you, moving forward takes a lot less strength.

  • Practice acceptance

Yes, we are aware of what has happened in our past but being aware is not the same as accepting it.

Practicing acceptance is saying “it is what it is,” realizing the past can not be changed, recognizing that you can change your future path, and embracing your emotions instead of running from them.

We develop a more optimistic mindset when we stop focusing on the “what ifs” and the “how could they’s,” we develop a more optimistic perspective. 

The past is set in stone, so the only thing you can do is accept it as fact and ask yourself how you will do things differently next time. 

  • Be positive and think about the future

If you want to let go of the past, you must focus on the future. 

One of the hardest parts of dealing with mistakes and trauma is how it affects your outlook on your future, and as long as you dwell on those negative thoughts, you will remain stuck in the past. 

Motivate yourself with the thoughts of following your dreams and healing, and become excited for what is still to come. The future is undecided, and no matter how low you feel now, you can make something great for yourself.

  • Create distance

Maybe a friend betrayed you, you went down a dark path, or you were irresponsible with your money. You can avoid future mistakes and pain by creating distance from the problems or triggers.

For example:

  • If you become addicted to drugs, you should distance yourself from the people or places that supplied them.
  • If your family caused you emotional damage, take a break from speaking to them until you are ready.
  • If impulsive spending makes you go bankrupt, let someone else handle your finances or limit how often you go shopping.
  • If you were in an abusive relationship, distance yourself from that person and take a break from dating until you are strong enough to walk away if it were to happen again.

Creating distance shows yourself and others that you have self-respect and deserve better.

  • Get help and learn how to cope

Some situations may have taken such a toll on you that you don’t know where to start or how to begin healing. 

Therapy sessions, treatment in a recovery center, and support groups are great starting points when you need extra help moving forward.

Sometimes we need to talk through our problems, get unbiased opinions, seek medical help, or have moral support before we can fully process the past and start journeying into a better future. 

The places mentioned above can show you how to cope with your emotions or triggers and teach you to detach your current emotions from the past and turn them into memories. 


Letting go of the past requires commitment, forgiveness, accountability, acceptance, positivity, and sometimes outside help. 

With the right mindset and motivation for the future, you can turn any situation into nothing more than a learning experience. 

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