Life doesn’t always go according to plan. Sometimes, events that happen in our past or present keep us up at night and prevent us from moving forward with our lives.
Learning how to let go of feelings or people is much easier said than done. However, you can win the battle and enjoy a clearer mind and a happier state.
Here’s a look at 10 things we often have trouble letting go of.
Life is all about choices and, sometimes, we take a wrong path. We might look back on our lives and wish we had done this, that, or the other. But we can’t change the past, and putting too much focus on the road not taken doesn’t improve our situation. The past is the past. Focus on the present, and work toward new goals.
2. Negative Thoughts About Ourselves
Sometimes, we can be our worst critics. We often expect too much from ourselves. It’s okay to want to do your best. However, if you call yourself a failure, or think you can’t achieve something, this can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. You have to be your own cheerleader and believe in yourself. This can’t happen until you replace negative thoughts about yourself with positive ones. Instead of focusing on what you do wrong, focus on what you do right.
3. Mistakes We've Made
Maybe you’ve hurt a close friend or family member and you’re still bothered by your actions. Everyone makes mistakes. You can’t take back the words you’ve spoken or the actions you’ve taken. However, you can forgive yourself – especially if you’ve already been forgiven by others.
Then again, maybe you’ve been wronged by another person. It might be easier to let go of anger and pain when someone acknowledges what they’ve done to you and have apologized. But if you never get an apology, you might hold onto this anger. Even if someone never apologizes, you can still forgive this person. Forgiveness is for you, not the other person. It allows you to move on and let go of pain.
5. Thinking Everyone Is Happier Than You
Others might walk around with a big smile on their faces, but everyone has their own trials and difficulties to deal with. So, rather than thinking you’re getting the short end of the stick, let go of the idea that everyone is happier or better off than you. In all likelihood, many of your friends and relatives feel just as you do. The difference is they know how to cope with her feelings.
6. Toxic Relationships
Even if it’s your best friend, a toxic relationship can drain the life out of you and leave you feeling bad about yourself. Sometimes, we have to cut certain people out of our lives or limit contact with them to maintain peace of mind.
Fear is a normal emotion that can help us identify danger. But if you can’t control your fear, it can hold you back and prevent you from moving forward with your life. You may also fear the unknown or even success. Try and understand why you’re fearful and then consider: what’s the worst thing that can happen? Oftentimes, the worst-case scenario isn’t as bad as we think.
8. Being There for Everyone Else
You might go to great lengths to help those you care about. But you can’t take care of everyone else at the expense of yourself. Making yourself available during everyone’s time of need can be physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting. Know your limitations and make sure you take time to care for yourself.
9. Worry and Stress
Whether it’s about health, money or work, stress makes it harder to sleep and concentrate. Stress is another normal response to life’s situations. But when stress becomes chronic, it can affect your health. You might lose your hair or your appetite, and it can increase your blood pressure. Learn tricks to alleviate stress. For example, delegate responsibilities, exercise regularly, get enough sleep or practice deep breathing exercises.
10. Thinking We Can Change People
You can’t change people, so stop trying. Everyone has their own personality, qualities and traits. And, unfortunately, these might be less than desirable. Even if you’re trying to help someone become a better person or make wiser decisions, they have to want your help and be willing to change. Everyone has to make their own choices in life, and you can’t control what they do.
If we can learn to let go of certain feelings, most of us would be able to enjoy a greater measure of peace. Letting go can be difficult – but it’s not impossible.
Can you think of anything you’d like to add to this list? Let us know in the comments section below!