Release Your Past

How do we self-sabotage and stop ourselves from moving forward? There are a number of blocks that stop people from realising their dreams.  The most common of these are limiting beliefs and unexpressed emotions.  In this post we are going to deal with unexpressed emotions, send them on their way so they no longer hurt you or anyone else. 

By unexpressed emotions I mean the hurts that happened some time ago. E-Motions that you still hold on to – the disappointments, expectations someone failed to deliver, an argument, resentments, something that happened to you. The thing is when we hold on to these stories we run the risk of adopting coping mechanisms that are unhealthy to avoid any discomfort. We re-experience the emotion each time we rehash the story as if it was happening in that moment. We avoid and/or react to similar situations as if they have power to hurt us again. Is it time to deal with those old wounds? Become free to harness your energy to achieve your goals and move you forward on your right path.

10 Steps To Release Negative Emotions 

  1. Which coping strategies do you employ to distance yourself from feeling – see link above. Each coping strategy only denies you from dealing with the emotion and letting it go. 
  2. When you are triggered what emotion you are feeling…name it – fear, embarrassment, anger? Is this emotion about the situation you find yourself in now or does this situation remind you of a previous situation/emotion?  
  3. When triggered be curious, close your eyes and take a moment to go back in time to first time you felt this or the last time.  Do so with curiosity and compassion.
  4. Allow yourself to be in that moment. What happened, why did it hurt so much? Let the emotion come and sit with it, it won’t do you any harm. If you feel like shedding a tear go for it. Let it flow and let it go, it’s in the past.
  5. Sooth your younger self, tell your younger self that it’s okay to feel the pain, tell him/her that he/she is safe now and you will protect him/her from that happening again.
  6. If it’s anger be curious follow the route cause. Is that anger fear of being hurt, being vulnerable, not being understood, not speaking your truth perhaps? A protection mechanism. Is the present moment triggering the previous emotion.
  7. If the emotion is still presenting there are a number of tools to engage, one such tool is release writing or journaling.  Write a letter to the person or situation and describe how it made you feel.  Don’t hold back, go for it, write as you feel even it ends up being a blur. Than tear up the piece of paper/emotion. It can hurt you now as you will recognise if it repeats and can repeat the release writing until it has no power anymore.
  8. Talk to a good friend.  Tell them you have something you would like to go over with them but to just let you talk and get it out of your system. When we deny our vulnerability we deny the opportunity to be heard, authentic and understood.
  9. If someone else’s behaviour was the trigger look at your values.  Which value was compromised?
  10. Update your boundaries – brave up and gently explain why that situation was not in accordance with your values.  They will understand and respect you. If not they don’t get it and you have put a marker down.

Emotion in itself is not unhappiness. Only emotion plus an unhappy story is unhappiness.

Eckhart Tolle

Take Ownership

Do not indulge in a pity party. This is an exercise in owning the emotion, allowing yourself to really feel what is going on for you, sit with it until it dissipates and let it go.  The pain can’t kill you and each time you do this you grow stronger – believe me.  Look at it as a great opportunity to look at your life and be willing to break these patterns, habits that no longer serve you.

This is Post 3 in a series to help understand and process negative emotions.
Post 1 Why We Need To Process Our Emotions
Post 2 What Is Keeping You Stuck
Post 3 Release Your Past – 10 Steps To Release Negative Emotions

While coaching is focused on the present and the future it is core to our practice to accept each client as they are and that every client is whole.  We do not focus on the past and that is the fundamental difference between coaching and counselling.  At times a client will be stuck and unable to realise a goal or dream.  To facilitate transformative change it is sometimes necessary to go back to identify what is in their way and release it in order to move forward. A eureka moment for sure! Unburden the negative emotions of the past that keep you stuck. Look to your future and see what you can do.

Try coaching…it will change your life.

Sometimes a client might require more than help than a coach is qualified to offer.  One of the reasons for the free 30 minute chemistry check call before taking on any client is to ensure that each client’s goal/agenda is coachable, that we are a good fit and if necessary redirect to someone who better suited for their needs.

Tracy O’Keeffe
See What You Can Do

Accredited Executive & Life Coach
Accredited by the World Association Of Coaching with Neuroscience
QQI Award Professional Coaching Practice & Ethics

4 thoughts on “Release Your Past

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: