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Letting Go of the Past is the Key to a Breakthrough in Life

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Let me ask you a question: How successful do you think you would be at driving forward while looking in the rearview mirror? If you’re being honest, your answer is most likely, not at all. No one would be.

That’s what trying to build the future you desire while dwelling in and on the past is like. You’re trying to complete an almost impossible feat. Marianne Williamson famously said, “we do not heal the past by dwelling there. We heal the past by living fully in the present.” 

Wrapped up in those powerful words are the great truth that we cannot change the past. No matter how much we scratch, claw, or complain, there’s no changing it. All we can do is focus on the present and building for the future.

Well, you can’t start building the future you desire if your hands are full of the baggage from your past. You have to let go of the past to free yourself up to construct your future. And in particular, there are three things from the past that weigh people down the most. To learn the three things you need to let go of from your past so you can break through, keep reading.

1. Let go of wrongdoings

If you’ve been around long enough, chances are you’ve been screwed over or wronged in some way. Sadly, it tends to just be part of life. And when someone wrongs us in some way, it becomes very easy to hold on to grudges. 

The problem with holding grudges is that they are some of the heaviest baggage you can possibly carry around. Grudges stay at the forefront of your mind and heart. They break you down mentally and emotionally, which eventually takes a physical toll. 

Grudges keep you stuck in the past and in a vicious cycle of reliving the wrong that was done to you. You’re essentially chained there. In order to move forward, you have to release and let go of those wrongdoings from the past. When you do, you set yourself free.

I love how Lewis Smedes described it when he said, “to forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” You deserve the ability to create the life that you want. So go ahead and unchain yourself from your past by letting go of any wrongdoings that happened to you.

“You’ve got to make a conscious choice every day to shed the old – whatever “the old” means for you.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

2. Let go of your limiting stories

I come from nothing, so I’m meant to be nothing. My parent’s relationship fell apart, so finding true love must be really hard. Only lucky people get rich. 

What do all of those statements have in common? If you guessed that they are all crippling limiting beliefs that people struggle with every single day, you’d be right. One of the biggest reasons people struggle to break through and create the life they want is that they’re being held back by limiting beliefs from their past.

The saddest part about it is that the vast majority of those beliefs were given to them without any say on their part. They were like terrible gifts that couldn’t be given back. 

What I mean by that, is that most of the stories we grow up believing about ourselves and life in general are ingrained into us prior to the age of seven, which is about the time that our conscious mind comes online. Prior to that, we are like a sponge, soaking up any and everything we experience in our world.

Our perception of what reality is gets created with little to no choice on our part. So if you grew up in a poor family, where money was talked about as something that’s extremely hard to make or something that corrupts people, then you likely grew up with many of those same beliefs. Same thing if you grew up with parents who had a dysfunctional marriage, you likely grew up with a certain set of beliefs about how hard having a happy, healthy relationship is.

That’s the unfortunate part of life, is that so many children are being handicapped with life altering limiting beliefs without even having a choice of whether or not they want them. They’re like the elephant who grew up attached to the rope. 

At first, the elephant fought to break the rope and run free, but wasn’t strong enough to do so. But after failing long enough, the elephant eventually gave up trying to break it. That’s how you end up with a full grown elephant attached by a measly to a tiny stake in the ground, not even trying to break free. The limiting stories of that elephant’s adolescent experiences forever shaped and limited the possibilities for it’s life. 

The good news is though, as adults with the conscious ability to choose what we hold on to, we get to decide whether we want to hold on to those beliefs any longer. If you truly want to break through and create a great life for yourself, you’ve got to be willing to snap the rope tying you to those limiting beliefs.

“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.” – Oprah Winfrey

3. Let go of your victim mindset

The last thing you must let go of from your past in order to create an abundant future is your victim mindset. Piggybacking off of the last point about limiting beliefs, so many people have been conditioned to believe that they are a victim in life. That life is happening to them, and that they just can’t catch a break.

The problem is, if someone has a victim mindset, they are giving away their power to create the life they want. They are saying that they are not strong enough to actually achieve their goals or desired outcomes in life. If you didn’t have any say in this terrible life being created for you, why would you have any say in changing it and making it any better?

No one who has ever created anything great in their life did so with a victim mindset. Victims throw their hands up and give in when things get tough. That’s if they even get started in the first place. Those who win, on the other hand, take one hundred percent responsibility for their lives, and believe that they have the power to create anything they want.

Just like your limiting beliefs, your victim mindset was most likely given to you. You learned it from those closest to you at a young age. But, just like a bad gift, you can choose to throw it away anytime you want. And you’re going to have to if you want to break through in your life.

Like Steve Maraboli said, “Stop validating your victim mentality. Shake off your self-defeating drama and embrace your innate ability to recover and achieve.” If you can do that, you’ll be able to create the life you want.

Justin Aldridge is a Life Coach, Author, and Speaker who helps ambitious high achievers get unstuck and achieve more by stepping into their fullest selves. You can learn more about Justin and his work at www.justinaldridge.me.

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Life

The Imbalanced Problem with Work/Life Balance

Balancing is for your checkbook, gymnastics, and nutrition; not for your people’s work/life ratio.

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma

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Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.

 

Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:

 

1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.

 

2. Persistent Pain

 
Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
 
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.
 
 

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

 
Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
 
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
 
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
 
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.
 

4. A strong need for control

 
It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
 
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
 
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.
 
 

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

 
Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
 
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.
 
 

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

 
Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
 
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.
 

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

 
 
If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to awebliss.com and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
 
 
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