“Don’t brood. Get on with living and loving. You don’t have forever.”
– Leo Buscaglia
As a Self-Esteem & Relationship Coach, I’m sure you can imagine how many women I work with that are stuck on a mental loop; thinking about their ex, crush, or the one that got away. In this article, I am going to give you some practices to help you quit replaying the images, stories, and thoughts that are keeping you stuck. These exercises are for the woman who accept it is time to move on.
OK, so you liked someone or like someone and it is at the point where it is totally out of your control, The only option is to let it go, trust in the future and move on with your precious life.
But you believe you can’t, because you just.can’t.get.them.off.your.mind.
Look, allow some time to grieve, of course there needs to be time for that, but ultimately, you need to pick yourself back up and get on with your life.
I’m sorry, I know you want a magic wand, but you can’t change the past and you cannot change someone else’s mind.
If you are here reading this, I am guessing you agree with me that it’s time for you to put this to bed, right?
Well you can do that. You need to quit the ruminating, overthinking, wishing, hoping, shoulda, woulda, couldas.
Yes, distractions & getting stuck into hobbies is going to help, but before that, you need to do something about the images, stories, and memories you keep torturing yourself with.
I see certain mental patterns in the women that I work with (and who are we kidding? From personal experience too) come up time and time again. I’m going to help you with the most common ones below.
Just so you know, when I now practice these exercises below, I am able to get myself back on track, see life in perspective, feel excited about what’s been, where I am now, and what is happening.
I can honestly say, I do use this process myself and it works, it gets me out of my head, and back into my life. I know I make it seem easy, but a lot of work has gone into not giving my time, energy, and headspace to people or relationships that turned out to be a NO.
So get comfortable, and work through these exercises below that are designed to help you quit living in your head, and move on, no matter the circumstances.
If you find you do not relate to one of the ‘mental replays’, then skip that one. If there is one you think is missing, then feel free to add one in for yourself, and let me know in the comments!
(I don’t know why I went with a Friends theme, it just happened!)
If you want this to work, you really do need to grab your journal and give your full attention to the exercises.
The one where you wish you didn’t do that/say that
Ah the one that makes you want to throw up a bit every time you recall it? Look, it’s done. All you can do is forgive yourself, learn a lesson from it, & promise it won’t happen with the next person.
Action: Apologise. Apologise to yourself verbally right now, and write yourself an apology letter (do not worry about length, just as much as you need). If you have hurt another person, then if appropriate, apologise to them, if not, write a letter that you won’t send. Put your apology out into the world, and then move on. Only apologise to them directly if it is 100% necessary (do not take responsibility for their stuff, and certainly don’t do it just as a way to make contact).
Next Up, ask yourself what is one thing you can take away from this, and what will you change in your life to stop this repeating itself in the future. Write your answers down, thinking them is not enough.
The one that made you feel good and you can’t believe you have ‘lost’
This may be one memory or more. Maybe it is the time they turned up to a date with a unique gift, the first kiss, THAT conversation you had, the time you spent all weekend together. Whatever it is, it felt good and you are devastated it is gone.
It’s not gone. It happened, and you don’t have to take that away from yourself. But it also can’t get in the way of you getting up and smashing it today.
Action: I want you to close your eyes, and allow yourself to recall the memory, and find gratitude that it happened, that in your lifetime you were blessed with a moment that felt this way. I then want you to take the memory and place it carefully in a box with other pleasant memories that you have in your life, but that you don’t recall all the time. E.G. Maybe that perfect sunset you witnessed, or the fun date you went on with the last person, or the time you got an exciting phone call. Those things happened, and that’s really cool. There’s no need to dismiss them, as well as there is no need to think about them all the time. In your mind, place the memory in the box and imagine yourself putting the box away. You do not have to keep replaying this image and wondering why, it just simply was.
By the way, I have a step by step process I work through with my clients, especially for those where you ignore the poor treatment you experienced. Get in touch and book a free call HERE if this is something you want to work through with me as your Coach.
The One Where Something is Missing
Ok, chances are you are having to mourn the loss of some kind of pattern or expectation you got used to. This might be a goodnight text, a Sunday coffee, messaging them every time you see a yellow car (lol), insert the pattern you are missing.
Action: Firstly simply acknowledge where the void is. Notice any times of day, or specific moments where you are reminded of them. This will be a case of mourning and it is important to ride those emotional waves as they come. To lighten the load, what I have done in the past is make a plan for that time of day. I remember telling my best friend I found the mornings the most triggering, and she bought me lots of goodies for the morning time. Decide how you can validate yourself and meet the need that was being filled by another person.
Make a plan of action.
The one that never happened
This is a biggie. The ultimate fantasy. You are left reeling from the future that didn’t happen. The dates they promised, the holiday you pictured, the future you created. It doesn’t matter if it came from their words or you let your mind go there, the fact is, it didn’t happen, yet you still miss it.
Listen, this person does not get to take the vision of your future away.
(This exercise is one of my favourites)
Action: Close your eyes, imagine the future scenario that you had your heart set on and picture it still happening, but NOT with them. Yup, imagine this future is still there for you. Imagine yourself being there still, happy, smiling, and so content. Maybe a different person is there, but don’t give them a face (lol), this isn’t about them. Enjoy the vision. Feel the feelings as if they are real, and get excited that one day, you will have an experience like this, in its own time.
The one where they made you feel that way
I know, I know. It felt different, there was a connection, there was chemistry, you can’t imagine having that with someone else.
Action: Write a list of all the emotions you have felt since being involved with this person. You have to look at the whole picture. If you are in the situation where they are plenty of times that you have felt bad too, please now take some time to recall them, you have to choose to see them. If there are not a tonne of times you felt bad, then again, meet the feeling with gratitude. It’s proof that you do meet people you like, they are out there, and that feeling will happen again for you. Get excited about that. We don’t know who with, and we don’t know when, but you are getting closer.
The one where they rejected you
Whether you use these words or not, the truth is, half of the issue here is that your ego has been knocked. Everyone wants to be accepted, and the head does not like it when things have not gone in your favour.
Everyone in life goes through this, it’s not just you. What you are going through right now, is a life experience. Too often we get sucked into our own little whirlwind and forget we are simply experiencing life.
Action 1: Write 5 strengths/positives/lessons that you can take from this life experience e.g. Next time I will speak up sooner
Action 2: Please read this at least 3 times: “This situation does not (in ANY way) reflect my self-worth as a human on this Earth“. Write it on a post-it, on your phone, and remind yourself of this as much as you need to.
I don’t want to be the ultimate cliche, but you know what, I am here to be your biggest cheerleader and I want to tell you something you need to hear; This really is their loss. And thankfully for you, they have just opened up a space for someone who is going to see all of you, someone that will not let you go.
Work through the above exercises, then get up, play the song below REALLY loud, move your body, and go and be the person you say you want to be.
I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I’m excited for you. I can’t wait until we look back on this experience with gratitude and giggles.
If you want to chat more, book a free discovery call with Carly Ann today: HERE
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Carly Ann xx