Have you thought about the positive effects of letting go? There are all kinds of things we would be better off letting go, but let’s focus on one of the hardest – the past. Letting go of the past is critical. I’ll start with a simple definition: Letting go of the past is making a choice to live life in the present, in a positive way, regardless of anything negative that may have occurred in before.
Anthony Robbins says time and time again, “The past does not equal the future.” What does this mean, and why is it so important? What usually happens when we fail at something – try hard and fall flat on our face? Right! We say to heck with that, I’m not trying that again. It happens all of us, but do you remember when it began?
When we are kids, we usually would just get back up and try again until we got it right. We let go of that past failure quickly and tried again. I remember how many times I had to try to catch myself while skating backwards trying to play roller hockey. Falling and falling and falling again was certainly embarrassing, but eventually I got it.
Then I got a bit older, and I failed an organic chemistry exam my junior year of college (well who hasn’t, right?). But that was a hump I never let myself overcome. I was so afraid of failing – petrified in fact – that I ended up failing another exam and, ultimately, the class. To this day, I cannot stand the idea of taking a written test; that old fear is still there.
This has shaped my destiny in many ways. I finally took the GRE,but still decided to join the 9 to 5′ers. Work wasn’t as scary. I’d done work. I didn’t fail at work. I was good at work. We tend to do what (we think is) is easier. Eventually, I was able to get the courage to start college. So glad I did.
Do I regret not overcoming some fears? Yes ! I hate the idea of letting something defeat me. But here’s the trick: That decision to let fear rule me? It’s in the past. So I need to let it go. Once I do that, I can decide whether I want to walk the same path today, or try something new.