4 Steps to Letting go of past emotional experiences – CALL technique©

CALL Technique© – 4 steps to letting go of past emotional experiences

Has there been a time when you’ve reacted to something and later on, with hindsight, wished you’d handled it differently?

We’ve all been there and at the moment, something takes over and we have an urge or a rush of emotion and that’s what makes us react in the way we do.

Next time you find yourself in a situation where you are reacting to something, and you don’t want to react that way, or you would prefer to have different feelings in those moments, consider what it is that is causing you to react that way.

Is it because you’re reminded of something unpleasant from the past? 

It is a feeling that rises up in you and you don’t know why. 

(Probably either consciously or unconsciously you’re relating to something similar that happened in the past).

Either way, you’re reacting, behaving or feeling a way that you don’t want to

Take a look at the following 4 step process next time something like this happens and notice how with each step, how it helps you see things differently.

Connect  🔌

Connect with what’s happening for you – sit with and understand WHAT is happening?
How are you feeling? 

What are you thinking? 

What are you saying to yourself? 

What are you seeing going on around you?

Connect with the situation you’re in, the trigger, the emotion(s) you’re feeling – stop and connect with them and acknowledge what you’re feeling

Acceptance  🙌

Accept what has happened – you can’t change the past, you don’t have to like or agree with what happened, but understand that accepting your past is part of you gaining back control and moving into your life.

Acceptance is just that – acceptance – it means you acknowledge that this event happened – you don’t have to do any more at this stage than accept that it occurred, just acknowledge and accept this has been part of your life, part of your past

There’s an old saying “What we resist persists” and to stop that, we must let go of those old feelings, thoughts and emotions that keep us small and stuck in the past. 

Start to focus on what we CAN control, which is our perception of and response in the present and future.

We can’t change the past and we can’t change others, but we can control how we respond to things.

When we decide to let go of those feelings that are not serving us anymore, that are holding us back, keeping us small or making us sad, 𝙬𝙚 𝙩𝙖𝙠𝙚 𝙗𝙖𝙘𝙠 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙩𝙧𝙤𝙡. 

And YOU have the ability to let them go now.

Let go  👋

In order to move forward and look to our future, we need to create space to allow new things in. 

We can do this by “letting go” of any negative emotions from our past. 

We can let go of things, that maybe once helped us, but are no longer helping. 

We can let go of past behaviours, thoughts or feelings that we may be holding on to our of fear, resentment, anger, sadness or because we’re scared if we stop holding on to these feelings, we won’t know who we are anymore. 

You can only experience something new, if you’re brave enough to let go of the past and create space for new things.

Learn 🤔

Life is a constant journey, we are always learning.  Reflecting back and looking at what’s happened, learning from those events, acknowledging what we did well and what we can do differently next time are all steps in Learning from life.

Stop and think about your behaviours and look at whether you can see patterns in how these events play out.

  • Are there common themes about these events?
  • Is it when you’re in a certain environment?
  • Is it when you’re around certain people?
  • Does a sound, smell or image make you act out, became angry

One of the biggest things I hear as a coach is that people get “stuck” in not knowing why they behave in certain ways.  They may be self-sabotaging good things in their life, or put themselves last because they’re people pleasers, they may not speak up, but they don’t really know why.

Taking the time to reflect and learn about what it is that is causing you to react that way can help you formulate a different response in the future.

As Albert Einstein said  𝑾𝒆 𝒄𝒂𝒏’𝒕 𝒔𝒐𝒍𝒗𝒆 𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒃𝒍𝒆𝒎𝒔 𝒃𝒚 𝒖𝒔𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒂𝒎𝒆 𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒅 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒘𝒆 𝒖𝒔𝒆𝒅, 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒘𝒆 𝒄𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒎.”

Sometimes we get caught up in the emotion of things and that can create a chain of events, that lead us back to the same old feelings.

Taking a moment to stop and consider what is it about the situation that triggers you or makes you react in that way can help you learn and be able to work on changing that reaction and create a response that will serve you better today.

With awareness comes choice – if you don’t stop to consider what it is about each situation that is making you behave, react, act out, in those ways, then you can’t change it.

But now that you know there’s a way to step through the process you have a choice to do something about it or not.  It’s up to you.  The choice is yours and yours alone.

And . . . if you decide you don’t want to do anything to change how these events or situations make you feel, then that’s OK -that’s your choice.

And if you DO want to do something about it, you have a process to help you.  Or you can reach out and make contact to see if we can work together to help you navigate letting go of these old emotions that are no longer serving you.

Hope this has served you, here’s to letting go and moving forward.

Above all else, be kind to yourself

About the author

Helen Luxford is a Leadership Coach, Hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner.  Helen’s passion is helping  stressed professionals turn overwhelm and uncertainty into calm and confidence in 6 weeks or less.

Helen is an experienced Executive and HR Leader.  Helen combines her corporate experience with her qualifications and skills in coaching, Neurolinguistic Programming and Hypnotherapy to provide tailored programs for her clients. 


Helen is the co-author of Amazon best-selling book, Heart Centred Leadership.


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