We’ve all had to let go of something or someone at some stage in our life. A friend, a lover, a job that no longer served you or treated you well.
Quite often we come to points in our lives that halt us–where our career does not satisfy us, life emotionally challenges us, or we realize that certain people we spend time with do not align with our needs or beliefs.
Moving forward becomes our only option. Yet, for most it is very hard to change.
Dwelling in the past and holding on to the familiar present is more comforting than stepping into the unknown. For many, change only happens when the pain of the present situation becomes greater than the fear of change itself.
Letting go is a difficult skill that requires deep self-awareness, willpower, and repeated practice.
Your comfort Zone holds you back
I have had the unfortunate task of studying a little Sigmund Freud while becoming a coach. He defined dreams as representations of desires, thoughts, and motivations. Conscious dreaming is what allows us to envision our future. But the path to that future is not always clear. It is that unknown path that causes us to hold on to:
- The skills we already have
- The company we keep
- The surroundings we are familiar with
- The bad habits and routines
- The memories that remind us of our past failures
We find comfort in the known. And that limits our potential for growth. Most importantly, it holds us back from discovering who we truly are.
But it is often in the unknown where dreams manifest into reality. When we hold on to our comfort zone, we risk missing out on opportunities.
The answer is always self-love people!
The most important decision of our lives, the one that affects every other decision we make, is the commitment to love and accept ourselves. It directly affects our relationships, our work, our faith, and our future.
It is from self-acceptance that we discover the complexities of our emotions, vulnerabilities, and imperfections. And this is what creates our true authenticity. When we decide to embrace our authentic self, we give ourselves the opportunity to grow.
The need for approval from others destroys our freedom to succeed on our own terms.
Here are three things you can do to make the process easier:
We can do this in a number of different ways depending on your own personal preference.
You can write down your thoughts and feelings about this in a journal. If you are trying to let go of a person (either with a breakup or the person’s passing), you can write them a letter sharing all the things that you valued about the relationship and then you can either send it or keep it for yourself. If the person or pet has passed, you could create a little ritual out of it by leaving the letter in a place that reminds you of that person.
If you’re not much into writing, you could also create a photo album or scrapbook to help yourself continue to cherish those memories. This can be a nice way to “organize our pieces of the past” into one activity.
Cry when you need to.
Know that it’s okay to grieve. If a thought or memory comes up when you’re grocery shopping then let it out. If it happens in the shower, then let it out. Don’t try to hold it in or force yourself to cry cause you think you should. Just let it happen naturally.
Your body and soul knows when it needs to grieve… trust that it will come up when it needs to. And allow it to come out when you feel it come up rather than whether it is “socially appropriate.” Focus on what you need rather than whether it will “make other people uncomfortable.” Take care of yourself — be your own emotionally nurturing mother in this way.
Focus on what you are gaining
When one door closes another door opens. Whether it be the end of a relationship, job, or the unfortunate passing of someone close to you, there is always another door that opens. Focus on the opportunities that you have.
Ask yourself: What can I now create for myself in my relationships or career? Where can I move? What can I do that I haven’t done before? Focus on the possibilities. Dream big. Start to write yourself a bucket list or vision board and begin to make plans to make that a reality.
Ultimately, remember that tomorrow is another day. Life is a journey and even though one day may be very difficult for you, know that with each new day brings the opportunity for a completely new experience. Start each new day fresh and looking forward to all the new opportunities.