If you hate your past, then that means you still haven’t recovered from whatever you’ve been through.
Unhealed wounds from your past can impact your present and your future as well.
Low self-esteem, feeling that you’re stuck, not knowing what to do with your life and so many problems can be caused by the ugly past, if you didn’t do something about it. (Read: I Hate My Life: Here’s Why And What to Do About it).
Now, this post is for those of you who hate their past and want to get over it, they want to change. Before you continue reading, ask yourself “I do hate my past, but am I willing to do what it takes to overcome it? Am I willing to be optimist and work hard?”
If the answer is yes, then read on. Otherwise, go back and do what it takes to be able to answer this question with an enthusiastic YES.
Because overcoming your past is all about creating a better present and future after you make peace with your past. And that requires the willingness to change and the willingness to go through discomfort, and that only comes from within you. (Read: The Truth About Uncomfortable Emotions and the Comfort Zone)
Those 5 Tips Will Help You Overcome Your Past And Move on With our Life
Start applying these tips and you’ll start healing. Sure everyone has a different past and different intensity of pain associated to it, but still you can apply those tips almost in any situation.
Some of these tips are aimed to change the mindset, some of them are supposed to get you moving and actually do something about your situation.
Let’s get started …
1. Lack of control over the past
Here’s the truth, regardless of what has happened in your past, you no longer can control it nor change it.
And not only that, back then when it happened you couldn’t act differently. You’ve acted with what you know and have back then, you’ve acted with all of your resources.
Yes if you were to go back in time you would act differently, because now you have a better understanding, but back then you didn’t have this understanding.
In fact, this “understanding” that you might use to act differently wouldn’t probably be here in the first place if you hadn’t gone through that situation that you hate right now. It’s like a lesson learned because of a mistake.
I, for example, made a lot of socializing mistakes when I was a little kid. I was very shy and awkward. I didn’t go out of the house unless I was going to school or going to a friend of mine who my parents approve (who’s another awkward kid like me most probably).
As a result I didn’t grow up to become a sociable teenager. I didn’t know how to handle most of the social situations. And, of course, I didn’t know how to communicate with girls as I’ve never done that before.
At some point I could’ve been very angry and frustrated because I’ve grown up this way. I could’ve looked at myself as a victim. And most probably all of this happened because I’ve lived with low self-esteem for a while.
But as soon as I realized that this was my past, now this is my present and up ahead is my future, things changed.
I realized that I was just a helpless child, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I was put in situations that led me to become that way, but I don’t have to stay there anymore.
Back then I didn’t have enough resources, awareness and understanding to pick myself up and become a different person. I was only 10 years old!
Yes I had no control over my circumstances back then, I acted with what I have and what I know back then. And now I don’t have control over what has happened, and it’s insanity to try to control an uncontrollable thing, frustration and helplessness are the result.
Now, all these points lead us to the next one …
2. Your past doesn’t equal your future, unless you live there
Remember how shy and awkward I was in the last point?
Well, I realized that even though I was this awful way, I still can start today and become in a different place tomorrow. My past doesn’t have to define my future, present or destiny.
Just because you were a certain way in the past, that doesn’t mean that you have to continue being that way in the present and in the future.
And back to what we said in the previous point, back then you couldn’t act better, but now you can.
Look at most of the successful people out there, they don’t necessary have bright pasts, in fact many of them have dark pasts. Many of them grew up in dysfunctional families, gone through serious financial issues, suffered from a lot of deep psychological (or even medical) problems.
Oprah Winfrey, for example, was sexually abused when she was young (9 years I think). And she’s brave enough not only to not let this past to stop her, but also to share that with the public to inspire the people as well.
I can go on and bring more stories, but the point is: your past doesn’t have to determine your future. Just because you didn’t have the best past, that doesn’t mean that your present and future are going to suck. You can make them glorious if you decide to.
Of course you need some values and strong character traits, such as courage, to admit that you do can create a better future than your past.
Accepting full responsibility of your situation, even if you don’t like it, and committing to change it. Not seeing yourself as a victim and knowing that change is possible. That will help you to make the mental shift to be able to really realize that your past doesn’t have to equal your future.
This is helpful as well:
3. Get professional help
This had to be on the list.
Sometimes you won’t be able to do it on your own. Sometimes your situations are much more complicated (i.e, you witnessed a trauma).
You need, in such case, some professional help. I’ll explain what I mean by professional help in seconds, first let me tell you why you need it and in which cases you need it the most.
Some childhood experiences can impact someone hugely. A trauma, witnessing a war or a lot of violence, getting kicked every single day and so on.
Some of these experiences can leave psychological wounds that are really painful and hard to heal. From inferiority complex to extremely low self-esteem and even depression.
That can happen.
In this case, I want you to look at the two previous points and then go and seek professional help.
Professional help can be an experienced therapist or a life coach. You can find him/her online or in your local area, just start searching and you’ll find.
However, I know that therapy isn’t an option for all people. Some people can’t afford it, some people don’t have it in their countries, and some people just reject the idea of going to a therapist or something like that.
In this case, don’t worry you still can get professional help.
Thankfully you’re living in an awesome time. Start educating yourself by yourself, start reading books related to what you think is your issue. Indulge in self-development and learn as much as you can.
Read about psychology, read about your issues and how to solve them, join course or whatever. It still counts as a professional help somehow.
You see, knowledge is power. With knowledge you can change your life. Seek this knowledge, get it and apply it. Get this knowledge from a professional therapist/life coach or if you can’t/don’t want to go then seek it by your own.
Which leads us to the next point …
4. Get a better present and a better future
I mean take action. Right now!
Get up and do something that will make you future better than your past and your present.
Don’t expect to overcome your past just by sitting there and thinking about how you have no control over it or how it doesn’t have to be your destiny.
You need to put in the work and the effort.
Go out there and build self-confidence, overcome shyness, overcome inferiority or whatever it’s for you. I, for example, had to work (and still working and will be working forever) on my confidence and social skills, until I reached a place where the past doesn’t hurt that much anymore.
It doesn’t bother me that I was shy back then, because I know that I’m not today. I know that I’m a different person.
That, however, won’t come easy. You have to work on developing your skills and working hard. In other words, healing the wounds from your past.
Creating a better present and future is the best way to overcome the ugly past.
Look at Oprah Winfrey again, she created something better than her painful past.
Also we can say that this is like using your ugly past as a motivation to build a better future and present.
So, get up right now and get to work.
5. What about the mistakes
Some people hate their pasts because of their past mistakes.
They’ve done some horrible mistakes in the past, and still those mistakes are affecting them negatively.
If you hate yourself/your past because of your past mistakes, then I want you to read the 4 last points again, after that I want you to listen to me closely.
It’s done. I don’t care what it was. You can’t change it.
That might sound painful, but in fact it’s liberating! Just like the first point when you had no control over the situation and you’ve acted based on the resources that you had back then.
You can start from now and work on correcting those mistakes. How do you correct them? By committing to not repeat them again. By learning your lesson. And by fixing whatever that can be fixed. After that moving on!
There’s no point in crying over the spoiled milk. Cliche but very true.
Mistakes have the power to destroy you. But also they have the power to build you stronger when you deal with them probably. Acknowledge the mistake, learn your lesson, commit to never do it again, fix what can be fixed and repeat this if you made the mistake again.
And, most importantly, get rid of perfectionism for god’s sake! That’s the most destructive mentality ever.
Know that making mistakes is a part of being human. You can’t avoid making mistakes. You’re not going to be 100%.
Yes aim to do your best, but don’t try to be perfect. Sometimes we try to be perfect without even realizing that we’re trying to be perfect. If you find yourself becoming upset because of the smallest mistakes, then there’s a big chance that you’re a perfectionist.
And, please, read this article about mistakes and personal failures for If I kept talking about this I would make this article VERY long:
(Seriously, read that article. It’s going to help you a lot in dealing with mistakes in general, a valuable skill to learn in an imperfect world).
An inspiring example
I can’t leave you with tons of information without any practical application, those insights do work if you put them into action, and that’s why I’m going to end this article with this real story, take a look and enjoy.
Nick was born with a very rare disorder, and I’m sure that this disorder made his past really hard, maybe even harder than anybody reading this.
He was born with no limbs! Yes, no arms and no legs!
Now, Nick Vujicic is a motivational speaker, more like an inspirational figure, he speaks at events and inspire everyone from young people, to people with really tough situations.
And Nick’s story is very inspiring, because he was put into a position where it was acceptable from him to just give up and lose faith, but instead, he is now living his life to the fullest, traveling all around the world, inspiring people and leading a happy marriage.
Last but not least, he is very thankful for all that he got, he is not complaining about not having arms and legs, it’s like he considers his life as an awaken for others, and that’s clear in his words:
If you didn’t get a miracle, you still can be the miracle for someone else.
What a mindset! what a wonderful soul he is! I know some people who complain and consider themselves “unlucky” because they don’t have an iPhone!! (I admit, I did this before), really!! this guy is teaching us lessons in gratitude and faith.
You can search more about Nick Vujicic, but here are some videos for him:
And this one too:
And his TEDx talk:
Now it’s your turn, take your life’s story and make it worth remembering, don’t let your past hold you back, you can overcome it and be the person you always wanted to be, and don’t ever let anybody tell you the opposite 🙂