When you make a decision, you do it based on what you know from experience. This is an important part of learning how to stop living in the past. By recognizing that you can make better choices in the future, you can let go of past mistakes.

One of my clients was recently in a situation where the relationship didn’t go great. There were kids involved, decisions were made, and it ended.

When I alluded to the fact that it was both his fault and his partner’s, he started rehashing the past, going over all of the details that had happened. So then I really challenged him. I told him, “It’s ALL your fault.”

There was a pause.

And then I asked him what that made him feel. He said it made him feel guilty.

The only way to learn how to stop living in the past is to move on and make new choices. Sure, you can always make a decision that you regret, and it may have very real consequences. But you only ever make decisions based on the knowledge you have.

Those poor choices you made in the past? Do you think you’re ever going to repeat them in the same way again? With the knowledge you accumulate through experience, you can make better decisions in the future.

By forgiving yourself for your mistakes, you can begin to see them as an opportunity for growth. If you want to learn how to stop living in the past, you have to move forward. You make a decision and then you learn from it. That’s the only way to move on.