How often do you find yourself struggling to let go of what someone said, something that happened, or something you did or didn’t do. It is almost like you are hanging on to something and you can´t let go, perhaps you don’t even realize you are doing it. The extent to which you hang onto something can vary from staying angry all day because somebody cut you off in the traffic to not speaking to someone for years because of something that happened a long time ago. The two are very different; however they are both examples of letting go.
I want to focus more on the latter example, learning how to move forward and let go when you need to most. The problem of holding onto the things is that it prevents you from healing and moving on. We can´t change what happened in the past but we have a choice in how we allow it to affect our lives now.
When you hold onto negative emotions and experiences, you misuse your energy, you mostly feel drained and it is most likely affecting you more than it is someone else. When you don´t allow yourself to let go, you stay in that negative mind frame and it prevents you from being the best you can. You are only building the negative emotions and you are attracting more of them.
Sometimes you might not even know you are holding on to something, so you have to be honest and open to the possibility that it is yourself that needs to change, not anyone or anything else.
Letting go is in some way accepting and perhaps a form of forgiveness. It doesn’t mean that you approve the behaviour or situation, but it is about you taking the weight off yourself.
Steps to letting go
Here are some steps that you can take to help you let go. It is most often that the things we find the hardest to let go of, are the things we most need to and that can make the biggest difference to your life.
Letting go could involve apologizing, finding a way to make the situation better and making amends in some kind of way or making a commitment to yourself to move on and not let the situation hold you back anymore.
- Talk about what happened, sometimes the best way is to share and talk to someone. Let everything out, how it made you feel, how it affected who you are, how it hurt you, etc. Release your emotions in a safe way. Then once everything is out, liberate it, and move past it.
- If you don´t feel comfortable talking about it, write it down in a diary or journal. Physically writing what you feel and think can help you to release emotions and then you can move past them.
- Forgive – I´m not talking about other people but you. It doesn’t mean that you saying it was okay, but that you don´t have a need for revenge and you can find closure inside. When you forgive, it makes it easier to let go of the past.
- Let go of the past, plans ways to move forward, change your focus and this will start changing how you think. Start focusing on what you want to do next and how you can improve this situation. Plan action steps.
Remember that you need to be willing to let go and be honest with yourself and make a commitment to move on. When you find yourself holding on, remember to practice letting go.
If you are unable to let go, don´t be afraid to seek professional help. A coach can support you in this process. Besides professional guidance and support, a coach can offer insights, a new way of seeing the situation which can help you move forward. Some of us may also feel more comfortable with people we don’t know.
How do the things that you are holding onto serve you?
To let go, what do you need to do to allow this to happen, what is your next step to get there?
“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.”
― Steve Maraboli,