Are you holding a grudge against someone? Regardless of your answer to this question, it is important to learn how debilitating a grudge can be to your success.
When you hold a grudge, a part of your mind is always thinking about it. A part of your emotional focus is always on the person who's harmed you or the person you resent. This means that it's eating up the concentration and confidence you need to advance to your own goals and make yourself the best you can be.
So how do you tackle the very difficult task of letting go of a grudge?
Here are some tips.
1. Look the Grudge in the Face
Acknowledge the fact that you have a grudge and that it's affecting your forward momentum. You can't solve a problem until you admit it exists.
2. Decide Whether You Need to Win the Battle
A grudge usually has its roots in a battle of some sort. Usually you're holding the grudge either because you feel that you lost a battle or because the battle never reached a conclusion. Ask yourself: Is this battle winnable? Is it worth the costs you'd pay to win it? Is it worth it to you to continue the battle? (Your answer will be no.)
3. Be Honest About the Pain
When you hold a grudge, you're often doing so as a defense against the pain that the situation causes you. Take a big step toward letting go of the grudge by acknowledging that this pain exists.
4. Talk About It
Sometimes a key step in getting rid of a grudge is to talk about it. If you're close to the person you're holding a grudge about - for instance, if you resent a sibling's success - summon up the courage to admit your feelings to that person. If that's not possible, find a willing ear to listen. You may find that expressing your feelings out loud helps them dissipate.
Forgiveness is a powerful tool, and one to take seriously. You don't have to condone the other person's behavior to forgive it, and you're likely to find a sense of relief from working through forgiveness. When you forgive, you're essentially saying, "I can't change the past," which is a step that helps you let go of the past. Don't forget to forgive yourself for any behavior you're not exactly proud of.
When you hang on to a grudge, you only hurt yourself emotionally, motivationally, and even physically. Stop letting a past grudge drain you and work on letting it go, so you can then use all the energy you're devoting to the grudge for better purposes.
My challenge for you this week:
Focus your attention on releasing grudges by taking the following actions:
Make a list of people that you have negative feelings toward from both your past and current life.
For each person, write down the reason you have negative feelings about them.
As you wrote down the reasons, did you experience positive or negative emotions?
Directly beside each person's name, in big letter write, "I forgive you, forever"
Throw the piece of paper in the trash.
Are you ready to let go? When you take these actions, you will then be free to focus your attention on other, more important things in your life!