It’s hard to let go and be emotionally free, especially when that something that you are letting go of once felt right or good for you.
Similar to trying to break a habit, quitting something you were once passionate about, or trying to venture outside the norms of a daily routine. We all know how difficult these things are to overcome whether or not they are good or bad for us.
What happens when we can’t let go? We become emotionally attached – maybe even more than we already were. We overthink, we get antsy, and we become restless as we ponder all of the possibilities that could have been.
Eventually, though, if we don’t let go, these addictive behaviors can become harmful. The more time we spend prioritizing the past, the more the past consumes our present and takes away from our future. That is why you need to learn how to let go so that you can be emotionally free.
The Art of Letting Go
I am a firm believer in having no regrets in life. And for the record, yes… every time that I hear “No Regrets,” I immediately think about the movie We’re The Millers.
It may sound cliche or naive, but I used to have so many regrets. I would prioritize my regrets and think about them nonstop.
What if I would have done this?
What if I would have done that?
What if I talked to that person?
What if I talked to this person?
Blah blah blah.
You get the point.
Every time that I would focus on the things that I regretted, some new opportunity would present itself. Instead of jumping on the opportunity and seizing the moment, I would let it pass me by only to have it added later to the list of things that I regretted not doing.
The bottom line is that there are going to be things that you wish you would have done or done differently. But the more you spend your time focusing on those thoughts, guess what happens? Life keeps going and it’s going to pass you by in the blink of an eye.
Quit prioritizing what it is that you can’t change. You are never going to be able to relive the past, so stop focusing on it. Instead, why not learn from the past and use that gut-wrenching feeling in your stomach to help motivate and drive you towards becoming the person that you want to become?
Life is going to continue whether or not you are ready, so you might as well strap in and enjoy the ride.
Learning How To Let Go
How do you actually learn to let go though? I mean, it’s one thing to say that you want to let go (or need to let go) of something, but it’s a completely different thing to actually take the steps necessary to actually let go.
1. Admit that there is something to let go of.
This goes with anything from emotions, addictive behaviors, healthy habits that can turn into unhealthy ones, etc. If you want to overcome any obstacle or learn how to let go of something, you must first admit that there is something to let go of.
When I think about letting go, I think about my obsession with exercising, eating healthy, with relationships, and so on. If I don’t first admit that there is something to let go of in any of these areas, I am simply just putting myself in denial. It is this denial that slowly starts to eat at us until we break.
2. Take a break
If something becomes an addictive behavior, start tapering down on the frequency or take a break entirely. Don’t give it up entirely, but tell yourself that you are just taking a break instead.
See, when we tell ourselves that we are letting go of something completely, we tend to revert back to our previous ways when the going gets tough. We can’t possibly imagine life without whatever it is that we are letting go of. But when you tell yourself that you are taking a break from something, not only are you freeing yourself from that addictive behavior, but you are also proving to yourself that life moves on without it.
3. Give yourself some damn slack
This, my friends, is the biggest key point, and it’s also the one that I am the worst at. Life isn’t perfect. Life will never be perfect. So quit trying to be perfect.
Instead, be the best that you can be because who you are is already plenty.
Going back to regrets, the reason that I don’t regret anything is because I choose to see everything that has happened to me in life as a learning opportunity. Not only that, but it doesn’t do me any good to spend my time and energy wishing I could change something that I will never be able to change.
Cut yourself some slack. If you allow your fears to control your life, you will never be free. Learn from the past, cut yourself some slack, let go of what you can’t change, and set yourself free from any emotional burdens you may be feeling.
Life is too short to constantly beat yourself up or to live in the state of mind where you are always wondering ‘what if.” Spending your time living in the past is never going to lead to a life well-lived.
Every day is a new start – a new start to create the life that you wish to live. Move forward with your life, focus on all that you want to achieve, and let nothing hold you back. You are you, and that is your greatest power. Always remember that!