This is the time of year when lots of people are talking about making changes and moving forward. Those are both great ideas but sometimes we need to actively make room in our lives for change. One way to do this is to let go.
What kinds of things should we let go of? So glad you asked. How about some of the following:
Relationships that are toxic
Jobs that are going nowhere – and taking us with them
Old, unhealthy habits
Anger, resentment and grudges
Disorganization and poor use of resources
If we have any of the above in our lives (and that’s the tip of the iceberg) it can be really tough to move forward. When we try to do that it’s as if we’re dragging large, heavy rock-filled suitcases behind us. They slow us down, trip us and generally make progress difficult if not impossible.
I realize it can be hard (not to mention scary!) to let things go. We all tend to cling to the familiar – even if we know it’s not good for us. So, if you’re ready to make some changes but aren’t sure how to do it, here’s some guidelines.
Figure out what you need to let go of. This sounds simple but can actually be the hardest step. Give it a few days, think about it and jot things down as they occur to you.
Think baby steps. It can be very tempting to dive right in and try to change everything that’s wrong in your life all at once. That’s usually a recipe for disaster. Let go of 1 or 2 things, adjust, then let go of more.
Be aware that emotional baggage hurts you more than anyone else. Letting go of hurt, anger and hatred is one of the most freeing things you’ll ever do and is completely worth the effort! Realize though, that it’s a process – one you’ll likely need to repeat regularly and often.
Letting go of things that have defined you for a while can feel overwhelming but it’s not impossible. Give it a shot – start clearing things out of your life and see how much better you feel. I can’t think of a better way to start the new year!