We’ve all been there. Something happened or keeps happening – something didn’t work out. It’s time for a change, and we realize it, but we have a hard time moving on. Letting go can be scary or sad, sometimes it can even feel like failure or rejection.
Letting go means the end of something, but it also means the beginning of something else. Often when we are out of a situation and look back at it, we better understand the inner feelings we had. Letting yourself feel about the situation and realizing those feelings can help us heal and embrace our future.
Too much focus on the past or what “used to be” or “could have been” can be unhealthy and can get us “stuck.” Past experiences, even ones that have ended, can hold you back if they keep coming into your thoughts of future opportunities.
As author Eckhart Tolle says,
“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.”
Whether the thing you need to let go of is a little thing or a big one - or it involves your relationships or your career, learning to let go can help you move forward positively and continue your life’s journey. With practice, you can build trust with yourself and discover that all will be well.
Mastering the Difficult Art of Letting Go
- Let yourself feel – Cry, be mad, feel the emotions you need to - this will help you heal. As you go through these thoughts and feelings, learn from the past. Think about what went right and what went wrong and use it to fuel the future. Wisdom is empowerment.
- Get Out of your head – Fears, concerns, sadness from past experience or loss even if just in our heads can hold you back. Acknowledge that the experience or loss happened and then put it aside, helping to "right" yourself again. Live for the moment, don’t miss what is right in front of you by dwelling on the past.
- Read the signs – sometimes when you push hard to make something happen, and it doesn't, there is a reason for that – it isn't meant to be. Often later, we look back and understand this, but sometimes we come to this too late. Driving toward something takes a lot of energy. Take the time to read the signs and re-evaluate when it is time to stop pushing and move on.
- Plan for what you need – Or what you want, not what others say you need. Yes, it is good to seek advice from a trusted source, but first comes being true to yourself. Stop worrying about the approval of others. What feels right in your gut is what will not only make you happy, but it is what will make you most successful.
- Take a risk – When you’ve had a bad experience or suffered a loss, you can be afraid to step out for fear it is too risky. Staying in your comfort zone is OK, but it is often in taking a little risk that we grow and experience the most significant opportunities in life. Stepping out can help you push beyond where you are and see what is possible in your life.
- Focus on the future – As old doors close, new doors open. Make a list of how you will heal - what relationships will you take with you, what you will stop doing, or feelings that you will practice acknowledging and putting aside. This list of what it will take to get you “unstuck” will become your plan for the future, and that has the power to recharge you.
Once you make a decision to let go of something or someone and you go through the steps to make it happen, things start to feel better. Nothing is as hard as it seems in the heat of the moment.