Some time back, I had made a story on our Instagram channel asking for topics that people wanted to learn about. One of the responses that I distinctly remember was this - letting go.
We all have at some point in our lives felt the need to let go of something, be it bad habits, people, fears, actions, or, a hurtful past. And, it’s important.
It’s important to let go of that weight, those shackles, that tightness in our chests, that heaviness in our heads. It is one surefire way to live our days with freedom.
As you’re here, you’ve taken the very first step - decided that it’s time to let go. And, I want you to appreciate that.
You’re making a good choice here, and not one that’s necessarily easy. Say this affirmation with me - It’s time to let go.
So, how do we let go? What is the art of letting go?
Here are the 6 steps that have helped me and I think will help you too:
- Remove the barriers
- Stop blaming and looking for someone to redeem themselves
- Is there any way to get closure?
- Take time out to only express
- Know that it will happen slowly
- Focus on Gratitude
The Art of Letting Go
1. Remove the barriers
What are the things that are stopping you from letting go of what you need to let go of? Is it a seemingly harmless activity of checking someone’s social media account?
Or, is it engaging in activities that are only going to suck you in deeper, like talking over and over about the same thing, staying in the same place, and thinking about that one thing instead of trying to switch your attention?
Are there some relationships that you need space from? Are there some things around you that you should give away?
Think about it. What about your life currently is stopping you from letting go? What are those little things that you need to let go of one by one to finally move forward?
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2. Stop blaming and looking for someone to redeem themselves
What we need to understand is that once we take control of our lives, things start to get better. Expecting someone to ask for our forgiveness, or take the first step is not going to take us anywhere.
We can’t make their choice for them. We can only choose for ourselves. Even if it was their fault, and they deserve the blame, and they should ideally apologize, we can’t make them.
What happens here is that in trying to have power over someone, we give away our own. We choose our perspective, we choose where to give our time and energy. Let’s switch the focus from what someone else should do to what we can do.
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3. Is there any way to get closure?
Now, this might not apply to everyone but it’s still worth saying. Depending on what happened with you, is there any way that you can close the box for yourself.
It could be writing a letter to someone, having a conversation, and in case that’s not a good option then still write a letter and burn it. Say what you need to. Take action to feel satisfied.
Goes without saying, this action shouldn’t be hurtful to someone. But, what is it?
I remember I had a school friend that I wasn’t fair to years ago. And, I held on to it. I knew I should let it go, so I send her a message on Instagram.
And, she replied. And, that was it. I don’t think about it anymore. This is a little example, but it shows that sometimes we need to address the issue directly.
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4. Take time out to only express
Embracing our emotions is something that makes our hearts feel lighter because we’re not constantly fighting to feel another way. I encourage you to dedicatedly take time out to only express how you feel. And, don’t hold back.
If writing suits you like it does to me, surely journal. Or, start talking to yourself, maybe sit in front of a mirror too. Face how you feel. Sometimes it might only be the fact that we haven’t given ourselves the space and time to heal.
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5. Know that it will happen slowly
We’re all humans so let’s have human expectations. Some days you might feel that you’ve taken a step forward, but on another day, two steps back. It’s okay. We can’t promise linear growth. Life is not predictable.
But, what will surely help us take more steps forward than back is to hold on to hope. It is possible to let go. It is possible to shed this weight. And, you will. I believe in you.
I know that a calmer future is ahead of you. Only you need to support yourself. You deserve to let go of what is pushing you down. Keep trying. Even if you take a step back, take a longer step forward next time. Slowly, we’ll get there.
These affirmations from my free self-love course will help you here:
- I am letting go because I need to go.
- I am releasing painful thoughts that occupy space in my head.
- I step away from the prison of resentment into freedom.
- I am ready to move forward with my life.
- I am ready to live my life free of the past and looking forward to new adventures.
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6. Focus on Gratitude
Gratitude is a healthy coping mechanism, it’s the perspective that helps us fight the negativity bias (the tendency to give more importance to negative experiences than to positive or neutral experiences - Healthline).
What was something good that has come out of that experience? Know that I’m not suggesting you be grateful for trauma. If the memories are too hurtful and you can't feel grateful for them naturally, then shift to something that is easy to feel grateful for. And, focus on that.
Choose to give your attention to the good that is in your life and in the world. What we essentially want to do when letting go is to divert our energy away from negativity. And, gratitude is powerful in that.
An effective way of practicing it is to do gratitude journaling. Here’s the link for our app that helps millions of people build this habit.
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And, that’s it! There were my 6 steps in the art of letting go. I hope you found them helpful. Subscribe to our blog below to keep reading more from me. Take care :)
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