These words from the explosive song Let it Go in Disney’s Frozen sung by Idina Menzel strikes a chord with everyone who hears it and each time we listen to it we find ourselves relating to it on a new level.
Letting go of the past is a sound piece of advice but easier to preach than practice. Unfortunately, in most cases, it’s always the negative memories we keep reliving, the emotional weaknesses experienced as a result of our or others’ behaviour, the shame attached to it, especially if we have been punished for it.
What we should focus on, instead, is just how much we have learnt from our mistakes and how these have made us stronger adults. To quote Eckhart Tolle, “It is through the mistakes that the greatest learning happens on the inner level.”
It is human nature to analyse oneself harshly, replaying scenarios in our minds and attributing worse results to them than may have actually been the case. We brood over the incidents which occurred and which we can no longer change, ending up making ourselves even more miserable.
This is when it’s important to let go of the past, let go of the regrets, comparisons, anger, accusations — especially of the image of a “perfect you” in every situation and how you could or should have reacted. Remember, no one’s perfect in every aspect of life until we have learnt from our errors.
Unreasonable expectations can lead to serious loss of self-esteem, anxiety and frustration which negatively impacts us by taking the focus away from the task at hand.
Instead, we need to start focusing on our abilities and the goals we’re reaching for. We need to believe in ourselves, love ourselves and change our narrative. We cannot change others but we can certainly change our thinking and behaviour. We can choose to live healthier and happier, instead of allowing negativity to impact our lives.