How to Positively Redefine Yourself by Letting Go of the Past

How do you redefine yourself? If you feel like your life has gotten off track, you may wish to redefine yourself before you can start moving forward in the right direction again. Start by figure out who you currently are and how that person differs from who you want to be in the fast-approaching future. After that, start working on transforming yourself and achieving your desired goals.

Redefine Yourself

Redefine Yourself: Different Stages and Evolutions

If you’re like me, then throughout your life you have had different stages and evolutions, from childhood to adolescence, and then into adulthood.

In some or all of these stages you might have struggled with something, lacked a certain trait that then you worked hard to build or you did something consistently that you weren’t proud of.

Sometimes, you move on from those stages and there’s stuff still lingering – that means you didn’t have closure with that former self of yours. Here’s my personal story about this.

I wasn’t always this open and willing to share my emotions, thoughts, and feelings because I was a soft, little person growing up, and by little I don’t mean size, I was 6ft 4in by the age of 15!

My childhood was ok, but when puberty hit, it was like a tidal wave of new feelings and thoughts that raced right through me. I had no idea how to deal with them, nor did I have anyone to tell me how to deal with those overwhelming feelings.

I think 99 times and find nothing. I stop thinking, swim in silence, and the truth comes to me. –– Albert Einstein

My parents, bless their soul, they were a little older than me now when I was going through all this, coming out into a free world, from a former oppressive regime, both from rather authoritarian homes, so I don’t blame them. Hell, I was a lot of trouble for them during this time – smoking, drinking, staying up late, hanging out with girls, etc.

But coming back to my early teens, this caused me to interiorize a lot of these things, and consider them wrong for some reason.

Combine that with an education based on avoiding confrontation and taking the “safe route”, and I had become, as a former bully of mine told me, a rather soft, weak person, an easy picking.

Recently, I reached out to one of my former bullies. I had remembered that I was skateboarding in front of the Utilu store in my home town, and I was starting to try to come out of my shell.

I wanted to impress girls that hung out with us, skaters, so when this guy passed through demanding to have his coolness acknowledged, I didn’t. I stared back at him with intent but ultimately didn’t have the guts to do anything more than that.

That’s when he told me “What are you looking at?” and lightly slapped me. It wasn’t even a proper slap. But I felt the shame twice – once for not retaliating right away, and the second time because I knew I had faked bravery and he saw through it.

Later on, when we talked now, 20 years after, he apologized. He also confirmed the stuff I just said, regarding my then-weakness.

What’s more, he also said that he couldn’t even fight too well, so I could have probably overpowered him, since I was bigger, and he was only messing with people to be perceived as cool.

kinds on the beach holding hands at sunset

Your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over.

I bring this up because that was a time in my life I chose to remember differently, and so I had forgotten about some key parts of myself. I had actively tried to rewrite my own history so I wouldn’t feel that shame. But it kept bubbling up.

Now that I have talked to that person and I have processed my feelings, it’s a lot easier to go back and look differently on those times, relive them a little bit and extract all my learnings, turning those times into cherished memories, into what they really are – parts of myself that I take as is, that I don’t need to hide anymore.

Sure, I was a wimp back then, but it made me who I am today.

This is closure and it’s not even about a bully or someone who wronged you in the past. No, it’s about closure with yourself, your past selves, especially those you won’t tell your boss, coworkers or someone on a first date about.

We all had our hardships, especially the ones that try to hide it the most, that seem to have it all together. They work 2x, since not only they are dealing with the hardships, they are working hard to keep up the facade.

Be kind to people around you, listen to them, don’t judge them and know that they are probably going through the same things that you went through at some point.

Trust me, you’ll feel a lot freer once you start practicing this type of closure.

photo source | adobe 

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