It can feel almost automatic to hold onto the past. We may not really enjoy it, but it’s what we know, and it can feel easier than making the changes that our necessary to living more fulfilling, joyous, meaningful lives.

After a while, the past can seem to take on a life of its own, gaining control and momentum and leaving us feeling like we are under its power.

That mistake you made? Maybe the guilt and “I should/shouldn’t haves” grow with time.

That choice you wish you could have made differently? The “if onlys” and “what ifs” soon multiply enough to fill a book, but they don’t change anything, other than the negative feelings you have about yourself and your life.

The time you gave your heart away and it didn’t work out? You see this as proof that it never will work out, or it’s there in the nagging doubts that crowd your mind.

The leap of faith you took where things didn’t turn out like you would have hoped? You tried. You did your best. Or maybe you didn’t. Maybe you knew better, even at the time, but didn’t listen to that voice. Either way, dwelling on what happened or what you did won’t change anything now.

You can’t change the past. None of us can. The only thing we can do is learn from it as we embrace where we are right now and step into our futures knowing more than we did in the past.

Is your past worth a future of pain, fear and anger? Is holding on to how someone wronged you worth your emotional turmoil now and in the future? This isn’t saying that person was right, but how much power do you want to give that over your life?

How long will you continue beating yourself up emotionally over that mistake? Is that decision worth weeks, months or even years of criticizing yourself at every turn, undermining your capabilities and strengths?

It’s time to start fresh. By all means, learn the lessons from your past. Sincerely apologize and make amends where necessary. Forgive where needed, and yes, this includes forgiving yourself for what may have been your less than stellar moments.

Remind yourself that you are not perfect but that you are doing your best.

Tell yourself that you know you’ve made mistakes. You’ll make some from the future too, but you are committed to learning from them. Tell yourself you will take the necessary caution, but you won’t let anxiety and fear run the show.

Your new beginning can start today.

What new beginning are you committed to making in your life, starting right now?

Author's Bio: 

Elizabeth Spevack is the founder of Heart and Soul Living. Elizabeth specializes in empowering women by helping them refocus on their strengths, dreams and goals instead of letting their anxiety and fear run the show. Her passion is helping women who long to be more realize they are more than enough even when they are not perfect and to help them dream big and take steps towards their unlikeliest of goals. Having lived with anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for years, Elizabeth loves to connect deeply with others and help them break down the walls that have been keeping them stuck.