First things first: There is no one size fits all approach to this process. In this post, I hope to open your mind to some thoughts, perspectives and ideas but being that I have no clue what you’re going through, take what works for you, and as always – leave the rest! (How ironic to the topic of this post!!)
I often work with clients who tell me that letting go is a STRUGGLE. They can’t seem to shake things like…
- an idea of what their life “should” look like by now
- guilt around a relationship that isn’t working
- an old habit/pattern that’s keeping them stuck
- feeing bad about setting a clear boundary with someone they lo0o0ove
- an emotion/feeling about themselves or someone else that they just can’t kick
- a belief around who they are/are not that is no longer serving
- expectations (either from other peeps like family/friends/co-workers, or themselves)
I think part of what makes it hard to let go is the fact that we constantly want everything to be “okay.”
We’re told that we should always feel good. We’re taught that in order to be a good person, we must be perfect. There is no room for discomfort… We want to change and fix everything, STAT.
I’m sorry to break it to you friend, but that’s just not always possible. It’s not really possible to please em all, to do it all, to be it all. We’ve got to learn how to decipher what we want for OUR own life and be comfortable taking it. Own that shit. It’s your one opportunity, and no one is going to do it for you. I can promise you that.
Don’t you fret. Like many other things in life – this is a practice. We don’t have to get it “right” and there’s no perfect process.
Sometimes we have to hand people back their pile of mess so we no longer have to carry it – because it wasn’t truly ours in the first place. Sometimes we have to cozy up to the idea that our life looks the way it does right now – and choose to let the fantasy life go. Sometimes we have to walk away from a relationship that may hurt someone else – because we know it’s not healthy or right for us. Sometimes we have to set boundaries with people we love – because our sanity and personal well-being MATTERS.
Sometimes we have to do hard things. And sometimes, that hard thing means letting go.
Now, I get how uncomfortable, sad, scary and hard this can be.
So let’s break down some things to keep in mind to help you get a weeee bit more comfortable around this idea of letting go:
- Decide why this feels important to let go of. What could be possible for you if you were able to create some distance between you and this thing? Why is this coming up for you as something you’d like to let go of right now? If you tune into your gut, why does it feel like it’s important to let go of this, now? What gives?
- Where does your attachment to the thing stem from? Sometimes the attachment comes from not wanting to hurt someone else. Sometimes it’s a fear of being judged. Sometimes it’s because whatever you’re doing right now is safe and familiar. Sometimes it’s the uncertainty that comes after letting go. That’s OKAY. It’s important to acknowledge that these ties and fears exist, without letting them dictate your choice on what to do.
- Realize and appreciate that you have the key to your own life. I mean this in the most loving way my friend — YOU are the only one who can choose to walk away from something that’s no longer meant for you. You have to make this choice, or you live with the consequences of not honoring your needs. Which is more painful? You tell me.
- Stop convincing yourself that you can control how other people feel, respond or react. You CANNOT.We don’t have any control over other people. We can’t make them change. We can’t make them do something they’re not ready or willing to do. We can’t control how they respond. We can’t fix them. We can’t make everything all better all of the time.
- Get really clear on how you view yourself, and the person you’re intentionally becoming. You know, that future, most alive version of yourself, how would they navigate this?How would best version of you approach this situation? What might they do? How would they feel about honoring their own needs and letting go of this “thing?”
- Forgive – yourself and others. Maybe this letting go means going back on your word, or changing your mind or making a big pivot in your life. This is a great time to practice forgiveness because the truth is that we all make mistakes and we all change our mind. No one can tell the future and we’re all learning as we go. Forgive yourself. Forgive others.
- Practice acceptance in the present moment. Let yourself be with what is rather than trying to change and control everything (remember #4?!). We create so much friction, angst and discomfort in our lives when we hold a tight grip all the time. What would it be like to embrace what is, right now? That means that you can accept how you feel about the thing your letting go of. It’s okay. All of the emotions – Accept them.
- Express yoself. Feeling frustrated about your current situation and how hard this can be? Cool. Feel into it. Get it out. Let it out. Express your emotions, feelings, and thoughts fully. You can do this with a journal, a friend, movement, art, or talking directly to the person/thing you’re letting go.
- Give yourself a lil pep talk for the kick ass job you’re doing at being intentional with your life. Listen, not for one second, did I say this stuff was easy!! If you haven’t gotten that by now, I knowwwww this can be a challenge. But you’re here. You’re reading this article. And you’re doing it. For that, my friend, you deserve the most epic pep talk. Look at you go.
- Think about the most heart centered way you can express your need to let go. Does something need to be said? A conversation to had? A letter written? A journal session to release? A cathartic release with moving your body, burning a note? Do you need to share it with a third party? Do you want to commit to it verbally with someone you trust – a friend, a coach, a therapist?
The thing about letting go is that it’s nonnegotiable throughout our lifetimes. Have you heard the quote “The only constant in life is change.” Welp, it’s true. If we hold so tightly to everything, we’re going to have a REALLY hard time learning and growing because as humans, we only have so much bandwidth. The things we hold onto often weigh on us.
Part of moving with the ebbs and flows of life means practicing the ability to let things go, so that you can step into something bigger and better for yourself.
You have everything you need within you to develop this practice. No one is asking for you to be perfect. Send the thing off with the most heartfelt love and compassion you could imagine.
See how much lighter you feel once you’ve decided to let. that. shit. go.
Now, go live your life! If you’re looking to learn more about how to truly be intentional with your life, check out my anti-suck it up approach to life.
And if you’re ready to learn how to ebb and flow with your life with more ease, if you’re feeling called to learn more about yourself and how to live from a heart centered place with less stress and anxiety – let’s chat! I have some availability for calibration calls and limited individual coaching spots opening up in July! Snag yours to get started towards a more alive version of you!