The phrase “moving on” is familiar to anyone who has ever experienced heartaches and hardships in life. You may need to move on from a romantic break-up, a job that didn’t work out, or a falling out with a friend. Any situation that requires you to let go of someone or something is hurtful. Moving on from the experience is a challenge.
We all have our own ways of moving on. Some of us bounce back quickly while others take longer to process their feelings and set themselves right again. Depending on the circumstances and the depth of the relationship between the individuals involved; moving on can shape our personalities and affect our outlook on life in a very profound way.
Example, whether it be good or bad, has a powerful influence.— George Washington
We have relationships we have moved on from, are still moving on from, people who have moved on from us, and people we still keep with us. All have a huge impact in how we live our lives today. So it is important to look back and reflect on how these people contributed to our current outlook in life.
Challenge Yourself to Move On
Let us review our relationships. Reflect on the things we can learn from the persons who were around us back then and those who are still with us now.
- Take a notebook or a sheet of paper, a pen and 2 highlighters with different colors. Make 3 columns on the page.
- Label these columns as follows: Person, Negative and Positive.
- In the Person column, write down at least 50 people who influenced your growth and development until now. These can include your parents and relatives, schoolmates, teachers, friends, mentors, etc. You can write more if necessary. They can include departed people as well.
- On the next 2 columns, write down how each person influenced you in a negative and a positive way. There may be a relative or friend who acts selfish and complains a lot (negative). Their behavior also taught you how to be patient (positive) with others who act like them.
- Using your highlighters, mark the persons you still keep in touch with until now in one color. Mark the persons you don’t want to keep in touch with anymore in another color. For the departed ones on the list; you can decide to skip them. Or you can include them if you feel that they still exert a major influence in your life until now.
In the process of making the list, think about why you chose the person. Try to remember the worst but also the best about each person. What has changed in your life for the better or for the worse after meeting them? Who did you have an easier time moving on from and who did you have a hard time letting go?
The Wind Beneath Your Wings
The people you choose to keep or let go, reflect the kind of life you have been living until now. The positive and negative traits they embody are also the same traits that you have been exhibiting and/or struggling with. They affect you mentally, emotionally, physically and greatly influence your overall quality of life.
There may be some past relationships that you have moved on from. You may realize that you are still carrying with you their negative influences. Your challenge then is to learn how to be grateful for the experience; be thankful for the lessons so you can finally let it go.
Not all relationships can be categorized as purely negative or positive. There are always shades of the other in each relationship. You may choose to stay in a relationship with a person who negatively influences you because it has positive results.
Attitude is greatly shaped by influence and association.— Jim Rohn
For example, you may dislike your best friend’s nagging most of the time. However, you admire the fact that they are able to speak their mind openly. You appreciate that they always tell you the things that you need to hear. They don’t always agree with you when they think you’re wrong. You label them a “kill joy”. Most of the time, their actions help prevent you from doing something foolish that you may regret later on.
Or you may sometimes think of wanting to move far away from a friend who is socially awkward. It’s hard to be with them at a party. They don’t talk that much and you have to keep inserting them into the conversation. You have to keep talking to them so as not to make them feel left out. Their behavior frustrates you but you still keep in touch with them. They are always ready to lend a shoulder for you to cry on when you need it. They also listen to your woes and petty complaints without judgement. They’re also the friend who gives you the best advice.
Moving On and Moving Forward
You can consider these aspects of yourself and your relationships the wind beneath your wings. Each person is your wingman for different circumstances. Some of them help keep you afloat and rise up in tough times. Others may seem like they are dragging you down most of the time. Yet, they are still able to help you in different ways. How you balance these different aspects of your relationships with others and within yourself, will help sustain you through your life experiences.
The people you surround yourself with influence your behaviors, so choose friends who have healthy habits.— Dan Buettner
Once you have identified these aspects that you wish to move on from and those you want to keep; then you can truly move on and move forward for the better. When you have clarity on the things you like or dislike and what you can tolerate; then you have identified the things that you value the most. This will make it easier for you to make decisions in life that are aligned with your values. This also makes it easier to choose which friends to keep.