How to Move on & Put past Hurts Behind You

Everyone makes mistakes and goes through difficult times in life. But it’s not your mistakes or your difficulties that define you, but rather what you learn from them that truly matters. How you think about the past can be an excellent teacher and a great source of motivation for learning how to move on, or it can interfere with your happiness and hold you back from living your best life.

It’s not your mistakes or your difficulties that define you, but rather what you learn from them that truly matters. @JackCanfield (Click to Tweet!)

So, how do you put the past behind you?

Here are four tips I’d like to share with you today to help you heal your old wounds and move on to a better and brighter future.

1. Practice Forgiveness

Whether it’s forgiving yourself for a mistake that you made or forgiving someone who you believe harmed you, forgiveness is one of the best possible things you can do to heal yourself from the past.

You may have heard the saying, “Holding onto anger and resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” It’s true. When you continue to be angry and bitter about something that has happened in the past, the only person you end up hurting is yourself.

So whatever old grudges or disappointments you’ve been nursing, I encourage you to let them go. You will feel a lot better about yourself and about the world around you if you do.

2. Practice Gratitude

Take time every day to feel grateful for everything that is good in your life. And I do mean EVERYTHING.

Be grateful for the people who love you, and who have helped you, mentored you or taught you something on your journey through life. Be grateful for the roof over your head, be grateful for your health, be grateful for the opportunities you’ve been given in life, the flowers blooming outside your window and the blue sky overhead, the things that make your life easier and more enjoyable, and the people who were involved in making those things and bringing them into your world.

The more you cultivate gratitude and appreciation for everything that’s good in your life right now and focus on those things, the easier it will be for you to forget about the things that have hurt you in the past.

And also remember to be grateful for the people that have made your life difficult at times.

It is because of them that you have developed qualities like courage, perseverance, and compassion. Make sure to develop a daily practice of gratitude, whether it is in meditation, writing in your journal, or just walking around and appreciating everything you see for a few minutes in the morning.

3. Remember Your Thoughts Determine Your Reality

So if you want to improve any aspect of your life your life, make the effort to think better thoughts.

Every time you find yourself thinking about something negative that happened in the past, consciously transform that negative thought into something positive.

For example, if you’re thinking, “I can’t believe I wasted all those years on someone who betrayed me!” replace it with the new thought, “I am so happy and grateful I am now free to find someone who truly appreciates me for who I am.”

Learning how to meditate is also a powerful tool that can help you with this. When you meditate, you can simply assume the position of a witness to your thoughts, which always seem to come in a constant stream.

As you become more aware of your thoughts in meditation, you will more easily and more often begin to recognize when you’re going into a negative spiral and be able to then consciously shift your thoughts toward something more positive.

It takes constant vigilance and work, but the ultimate rewards are so worth it.

4. Remember That You Are Amazing

Focusing on the failures of your past can be crippling to your self-esteem, your self-confidence, and your happiness. But the opposite is true as well. When you focus on your past successes, of which there are always many, you build your self-esteem and your self-confidence.

List Your Past Successes

One great way to acknowledge your past successes is to sit down and make a list of your past successes. Here are a couple of ways to do that.

The first one is a simple exercise I call Nine Successes. To do this exercise, simply divide your life into three major time periods.

For example, if you are forty-five years old, the first time period could be birth to 20 years old, the second would be twenty years old to 33 years old, and the third would be from 33 to 45.

Make the first time period from the present until you are 18 or 20 years old, and then divide the rest of your life in half.

Then list three major successes that you accomplished in each time period for a total of nine successes. Don’t discount things like learning to drive, graduating high school, getting your first job, or buying your first car.

They were all big deals at the time.

Once you complete your list, look back over it and remember that if you were able to accomplish those things in your past, then you can accomplish whatever else you want to accomplish now and in the future. Acknowledge the fact that there are plenty of accomplishments in your past to feel good about, and allow that sense of accomplishment to elevate your self-esteem.

List 100 Successes

Another exercise is to make a list of 100 successes you’ve had in your life. Give yourself several days to accomplish this.

Make sure to include all the things that you may now take for granted, like learning to speak a second language, passing that difficult English literature course in college, achieving sharpshooter status in the military, raising a healthy child or learning to grill the perfect steak.

Or things like learning to play an instrument, learning how to type, saving enough money to take that trip to New York or Europe, beating your dad at chess, learning to swim, making Eagle Scout, painting a picture, learning to take great pictures with your camera, getting a promotion, developing a website, figuring out how to use social media like Pinterest and Facebook, helping a political candidate get elected, talking a friend out of committing suicide, getting sober if you were battling some addiction, learning how to bake a cake, coaching your kid’s little league or soccer league team, and so on.

5. Try Tapping Therapy

Finally, one last tool I would like to call your attention to is EFT tapping or tapping therapy.

As many of you know, EFT stands for “emotional freedom technique” and it’s a powerful way to release old thoughts and beliefs, and the feelings those thoughts and beliefs create, that are no longer serving you.

EFT tapping is similar to acupressure in that it focuses on systematically applying light pressure to key energy points on your head and chest to help you release negative thoughts and emotions and energy. It is a very effective tool that I have used with phenomenal results in my own life and the lives of my students.

Given that EFT exists as a tool, there is no reason to stay stuck in the past.

Do have any old wounds from past hurts that you haven’t been able to put behind you? Going forward, what are some of the strategies you will use to heal those wounds?

As the beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, Jack Canfield fostered the emergence of inspirational anthologies as a genre—and watched it grow to a billion dollar market. As the driving force behind the development and delivery of over 100 million books sold through the Chicken Soup for the Soul® franchise, Jack Canfield is uniquely qualified to talk about success. Jack is America’s #1 Success Coach and wrote the life-changing book The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be and Jack speaks around the world on this subject. Check out his newest book The 30-Day Sobriety Solution: How to Cut Back or Quit Drinking in the Privacy of Your Own Home. Follow Jack at and sign up for his free resources today!

Image courtesy of Michal Janek.

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Why black girls are targeted for punishment at school — and how to change that | Monique W. Morris

Around the world, black girls are being pushed out of schools because of policies that target them for punishment, says author and social justice scholar Monique W. Morris. The result: countless girls are forced into unsafe futures with restricted opportunities. How can we put an end to this crisis? In an impassioned talk, Morris uncovers the causes of "pushout" and shows how we can work to turn all schools into spaces where black girls can heal and thrive.
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How to Take Back Control from the Negative Script in Your Head

“You don’t have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.” ~Dan Millman

I’d love to say I had an “Eat, Pray, Love” moment where sitting sobbing in the bathroom I received divine guidance to leave my husband and go traveling the world eating amazing food. But sadly, it wasn’t quite that profound.

It was more a long series of nights sobbing in the bathroom, looking at myself in the mirror, and concluding “You’re broken.”

I wasn’t depressed and hadn’t been for a long time. My anxiety, a lifelong companion, was under control. So what was wrong?

A general feeling of discontent, a lack of energy and enthusiasm to do more, a loss of my spark, a quietening and turning inward, and these overwhelming onslaughts of negativity and tears whenever I felt criticized or something went wrong, which was often. A sense of resentment and frustration that I’m sure ensured those around me felt less inclined toward being loving and giving me the care that I needed.

So all those nights in the bathroom crying didn’t lead me to any insight, but thankfully the universe did send me guidance in other ways.

Someone posted a video to a Facebook group I was part of by a guy named Richard Wilkins. It was called “My F*ck It Jeans.”

Richard is well in his sixties, yet here he was making a Facebook video about how he doesn’t let his age dictate how he feels, acts, dresses, or his enjoyment of life. He doesn’t worry about others’ opinions or society’s views of how someone his age should be, but instead lives true to himself, and has never been happier. And here I was in my early thirties, feeling wiped out and like my spark for life had been put out before I’d even realized I had one!

Over the next year I followed Richard on Facebook, and was drawn to drive one faithful Saturday morning to Northampton, to his Recharge Day.

Richard always says, “The reason you are there is never the reason you are there.” This certainly proved true for me. I thought I was there to find out if the course would help my husband, but after I cried myself through the first half of the morning, I quickly realized I needed to be there for me.

“You are not broken.” Richard’s words cut into my thoughts.

Did I hear him right? Did he say I’m not broken? Did I dare to believe that? And how did he know that’s how I felt? There were over 200 people in the room. Was it possible that some of them also felt broken? If so, was it likely that I was the only one who really was?

It was this question that led me to turn up on Richard’s front door step a few months later to attend a five-day Broadband Consciousness (BC) course with him and his partner, Liz, and seven other strangers, who have now become friends.

For the next five days I shared things I’d not shared with anyone before. Then I shared more.

I listened and didn’t jump in with advice. I made no plan for what I must do when I got back from the course. I didn’t look at my phone.

I struggled, then I had a breakthrough, then I struggled harder. I spoke up when I did and found others had the same struggles. I supported others and they supported me in return.

I woke up easily and full of energy. I laughed. I cried. I ate lots of biscuits and didn’t care. I felt like a very heavy weight had been lifted from my back. I felt like life didn’t have to be so damn hard anymore.

I learned a way of separating that negative voice in my head (which BC calls “the script”) from the real me.

I learned that the script is anything that doesn’t serve me and I would not choose.

I learned to recognize the real me.

I learned that the script is just thoughts based on incorrect beliefs, and that they are not true.

I learned that if I’m not choosing my experiences, my actions, and my feelings, the script will choose for me.

I learned that it’s not necessary to listen to, analyze, or try to change the script. All I need to do is recognize when it is the script talking and not me. And not believe it. And not act on it.

And I learned this not from talking about myself but from witnessing other people and the script in their heads. Because guess what? The script told them they were broken too. And useless. And they always get it wrong. And they are fat and ugly. And they are not good enough. And they are not loved. And on and on… We were literally all reading from the same script!

Since returning from the course, the impact has stayed with me and grown. After over thirty years of listening to the script, for every month I spend not believing it I get to know the real me more and ignore the script more easily.

So how can we all take steps to turn away from the script and tune into our true selves?

First off, you have to recognize the script and be open to the possibility that what it’s saying isn’t true.

In fact, make it your job to discredit the script, to prove what it’s saying to be fake news.

Remember that time it said you were dying because you were having a panic attack? Not true!

What about the time it said you couldn’t do that thing, but then you did it? Yup, it was lying!

Oh, this is a good one—how about that time it said you were worthless and no one would hire you? Ho ho ho!

Once you recognize the script you will be surprised by how many times it pops up!

Secondly, remember that you are not the script.

Think of the script as a physical book. It has many chapters documenting every mistake we’ve ever made, all the bad things that could or have happened, detailing how we ‘should’ behave, think, and feel about every situation under the sun.

The script also has an audio version, which is what we can hear in our heads each day. But it is not us. It is just the script being read to us.

If the script says you are useless, this is not true, nor relevant. It is just the script’s opinion.

Mentally put down the script and accept that, although we can’t change what’s in it or get rid of it, we don’t need to read it all day long, and we certainly don’t need to act upon what it says.

Lastly, choose! Don’t let the script sit in the driver’s seat.

The script lives in our reptilian brain and is much faster at responding than our conscious brain. If we don’t consciously choose thoughts, feelings, and actions, the script will jump in and choose for us.

Start with small things: What would I choose to eat? What activities do I love? Be mindful of what you say. Cut off the script and choose to think of something else. Get out of bed at the time you planned to. Choose not to engage in arguments. Choose to take a bath or read a book.

Every small choice moves us away from the script and strengthens our choosing muscles.

Here are my top tips for doing so:

1. Laugh or smile.

I recently went to a laughter yoga class for the first time and learned that your body and mind don’t understand the difference between forced laughter and natural laughter.

When you smile or make a laughter sound it makes you feel better. It strengthens your relationship with your true self and draws you away from the script. So as well as remembering to smile and laugh for no reason, building opportunities to laugh into your life can also be a real help.

2. Focus on what the script doesn’t see.

When you’re walking down the street, the script is on high alert for potential threats. It’s trained to look out for all the negatives and potential problems. If you (your higher self) are not alert, you will listen to all the bad things the script has spotted, not just in the street but in your job, your relationship, the activity you’re doing, your children’s behaviour, your body… and on and on.

One way to practice disconnecting from the script and tuning into the real you is to focus in on all the good stuff the script filters out (in BC we call these “pearls”). Pearls don’t have to be anything huge. It could be a text from a friend, a hug for your child, a chance to grab a cup of tea in silence, or a warm bed at the end of a long day.

3. Be mindful of your language.

The more we look for something, the more it will show up in our life. This is true not just in terms of what we see in the world but also the stories we tell ourselves.

The reptilian brain (where the script lives) doesn’t take time to fact-check what it tells us, yet because it’s coming from inside our own head we tend to believe it. It’s like taking in a headline but not reading or researching the article, then accepting that headline as fact and maybe even repeating it to others.

So, if someone asks you how you are and you immediately jump in with “tired” or “stressed,” this is what you will believe and therefore how you will feel. If you moan about your partner or say critical things to them, you are repeatedly telling yourself that your partner isn’t good enough. How do you think this affects how you feel and act toward them? And the response you get in return?

4. Choose.

Start choosing instead of allowing the script to choose for you.

Choose food you know will make you feel good. Arrange activities that bring you joy. Say no to that event you don’t really want to go to. Choose to go for a walk at lunchtime. Choose to give your opinion or choose to forget the ironing and take a bath.

Do whatever you feel called to do when you really tune into your feelings rather than letting autopilot or society’s demands take over.

5. Let it pass.

A food craving lasts three minutes, so if you can ignore it for that long it will be gone. I’ve found it’s the same with the script.

When something triggers the script and you suddenly feel angry, sad, or inundated with critical thoughts, it will generally abate after a few minutes. No need to act on the script either by saying something or doing something. Let it pass, then, when you’re no longer in the script, decide if you need to act.

Also, remember that whatever triggered the script is not responsible for your subsequent feelings, it is the script making you feel bad, not your colleague, partner, or the guy who cut in front of you in the line.

6. Share. Learn. Explore.

The world of self-development can be overwhelming. The script will always tell you that you need to learn more, fix this problem, work on yourself just a bit more. Be conscious of this and instead stick to readings and learnings that align with the simple practices I have mentioned above.

Focus on sharing as you learn rather than feeling drawn to learn more and more and more. This will reinforce the messages and in turn, you will learn through the telling.

Be aware of your learning style. If you learn from sharing, then talk to people about what you have learned here. If you learn from writing, write about your experiences or doodle your own version of how to explain the script to a stranger.

When we share what we have learned and help others, we move away from ourselves and our own problems, and this prevents us from dwelling and drawing more problems to us.

7. Exercise.

Everyone says this, but it’s for good reason. Exercising for twenty minutes a day is as effective in boosting your mood as some antidepressants. So whether you’re depressed or not, that has got to be good for you! It gets you out of your head, where the script is, and into your body.

By getting into your body, you can tune into your conscious mind, and you’ll likely find that ideas, inspiration, and solutions to your problems present themselves.

8. Listen to music that uplifts you.

Similarly, use music to get yourself out of your head and into a chosen state. Choose music that reminds you of happy times, or music that gets you energized and ready for inspired action.

9. Get competitive but not angry.

Try to avoid getting angry with the script, since it’s only trying to help, although ineffectively. Instead, develop a healthy competition with it.

If the script thinks you are too lazy to go for a walk, do it.

If the script thinks you are too scared to do something you’d love to do, do it anyway.

If the script thinks you should say no to an amazing opportunity, ignore it.

If the script wants you to lose it with your partner, choose not to.

Thank the script for its input, but remind it that your real self has the resources, experiences, and skills to deal with life without its help.

10. Keep asking, “Is this true? Would I choose this?”

Odds are, once you’ll tune into your higher self, you’re realize the answer is no. And you’ll be able to choose for yourself instead of letting the script run the show.

About Kathryn Reay

Kathryn Reay uses her experiences to deliver a one-day version of Broadband Consciousness. These intimate workshops for a maximum of six participants focus on letting go of negative self-beliefs and identities, learning to recognize the script, and choosing more positive thoughts, feelings and experiences. Past participants have described them as “life changing”! You can connect with Kathryn on Facebook and Instagram.

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