Remember when as a kid you read fairytales in which “they lived happily ever after”? ‘They’ refers to family, friends, or lovers – but might as well refer to colleagues, you and your past, or things around you. The thing is, sometimes you have to let go to (re)gain happiness.
To let go you need courage and trust that things will turn out just right.
Letting go does not equal weakness but instead indicates an ability to move on and try something new.
These tips to let go will help you identify what you don’t want in your life anymore.
First and foremost: let go of fear and trust your gut feeling
When you have trouble putting the opinions of others aside, then take some time off and tune in to what you are feeling inside.
You and only you know what’s best for yourself. Choose the things in life that make you happy and respectfully say goodbye to the things that don’t.
Nothing and no one is going to make you happy unless you first take care of your own happiness.
Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about yourself for choosing to let go of what you no longer want or need in your life.
Second: let go of your expectations
Let go of your expections toward others. Just like you are respinsible for you, so are other people responsible for themselves.
You can’t change the way other people behave and you should not want to either.
Let other people be who they are and when this means the two of you are no longer compatible, then carefully consider if it is time to let go.
Rule of thumb here is to either let go of your frustrations about other people’s behaviour or to let go of them completely.
It is foolish to stay frustrated over things you can’t change so either accept that they are as they are, or let go by taking your distance.
Third: let go of desires
I’m not saying you should let go of dreams. Dreaming is good, it gives you purpose (when you indeed come up with a plan to turn your dreams into reality).
Let go of desires, more importantly the desire to possess. Now this may come as a shock since a lot of us were brought up with the idea to always strive for more.
We take on mortgages, loans for cars, loans for pets even … but do any of these things truly make you happy?
If anything you might enjoy ‘working toward attaining them’ but the moment they are in your possession, it is really you who is possessed.
“Sometimes letting go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.”
You are now stuck in a job you hate in order to pay for a house that you when you are being really honest didn’t even want in the first place.
So let go of desiring to posses stuff and instead focus on what it is that you truly want to do in your life.
Fourth: let go of perfectionism
This is a hard one for me personally. You could say I am still perfecting my ability to let go of perfectionism 😉
But seriously: if there is one thing that you – in theory – can let go of quite easily it’s perfectionsim.
Perfectionism is a time-consuming, self-confidence undermining activity that leads to less productivity.
Sure you should always strive to do things good, but please let go of trying to do things perfect. You will fail and perfection is boring anyway.
Fifth: let go of what you can’t control
There’s a slight overlap with the second tip here (hey, I’m not perfect).
In addition to letting go of trying to control other people, you can let go of many more things you can’t control.
You can’t control the weather for example, so let go of being upset about yet another day of rain and instead buy yourself a colourful umbrella that makes you feel happy every time you use it.
Another example is your past. It is what it is and you can’t go back in time to change things.
Rather than being frustrated about what you can’t control, let go and get started with what you can control.
A few examples:
- Even though you can’t change your past, you are in control over your thoughts about this period. Rewrite your past into a success story that got you where you are today.
- Being in dept sucks and you can’t ‘undo’ the situation. Yet rather than dwelling in self pity, make a plan to pay off debt and get control over your finances.
- Maybe you hate your job and would like to let go of it by quitting, but can’t because of bills. Then let go of feeling stuck and focus your attention on ways to earn extra money with a side business. One day you might be able to also let go of that job you hate.
I hope the tips above inspire you to let go and live a life full of happiness! I’d love to read your experiences and tips in the comments below.
Images by: Ankush Minda | Duy Hoang on Unsplash
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