Events throughout my life have taught me that sometimes, holding on does much more damage than letting go.
Holding on becomes a heavy burden that leaves you aching with scars and blisters. And yet, we hold on to so much in life. We hold on to negative emotions even though they serve us no good. We hold on to what we don’t want instead of freeing our thoughts to focus on what we do want.
In Psychology Today, self-sabotaging behavior is defined as “any self-inflicted behavior that creates problems in daily life and interferes with long-standing goals.” It is fair to say then that holding on is a form of self-sabotage and letting go is a form of self-liberation.
Here are the five things you must let go of in order to change the course of your life.
1. Let Go of the Fear of Discomfort
Many people think fear is something they must completely get rid of, but that’s impossible because our brain is wired to keep us safe.
Fear lives in you. It is dormant until you have the idea to try something that actually interests you. That’s what lights the spark and sets your fear on fire.
“You will either step forward into growth, or you will step backward into safety.”Abraham Maslow
So how do you let go of fear? You learn how to conquer it. You lean into your biggest fear and take action towards it. You embrace the discomfort knowing that there is no growth void of it. The more steps you take in the direction of your fear, the less power it has over you, and the more fearless you become.
2. Let Go of Self-doubt
Like fear, self-doubt is also an indicator. It’s not something we can escape, it’s something we must accept and learn how to cope with.
When you lean in and listen to the voice inside your head that runs in circles around all day whispering “you’re not good enough, you’re going to fail,” you’re fuelling power to your self-doubt.
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”Vincent Van Gogh
The only antidote to that is self-belief. You can weather the storm when it hits. You can adjust your sails when the wind blows. You can find a way when the obstacles mount. You have to believe in your ability to figure things out. In fact, this is what fuels real self-confidence.
3. Let go of The Need for Approval
Stop comparing yourself to people you’ve never met. Stop comparing your chapter one to someone’s chapter twenty. Stop comparing yourself to anyone else or any fabricated expectation of ‘this is how it’s supposed to be;’ it isn’t.
The only person you should compare yourself to is you.
“The art of knowing is knowing what to ignore… Ignore those that make you fearful and sad, that degrade you back towards disease and death.”Rumi
Ignore the haters and the doubters. There will be people that will criticize everything you do. Realize that their words and actions are a reflection of their own wounds and insecurities , not yours. Choose to be true to what you believe in, live life on your own terms, and let go of everything else.
4. Let go of Limiting Beliefs
Every person you look up to started at zero. They started exactly where you are. They saw the possibility of where you want to go, and they worked for it.
There are a lot of things that can seem impossible in your life. Truth is, they aren’t impossible — you just think they are.
“The garden of the world has no limits, except in your mind.”Rumi
A limiting belief is an idea that we have about ourselves or life that blocks us from achieving what it is we truly want to achieve. Learn how to let go and break free from them. Re-write the script and change the story you tell yourself for it can truly change your life.
5. Let go of The Need to Have it all Now
The slower and steadier you work toward your goals, the more sustainable the change will be, the more likely you are to grow and expand in the process of getting there.
So slow down. Let go of the need to have it all now. Let go of the pressure to achieve it all now. What’s with the rush? You have time. Enjoy the journey.
Change Begins From Within
All the things you must let go of in order to see the change you want in your life lie within you. So if you first change the inside, the outside will fall into place.
Let go of fear, it holds you back from growth. Let go of self-doubt, it holds you back from creation. Let go of the need for approval, it holds you back from living a life that’s authentically yours.
Let go of your limiting beliefs, they hold you back from seeing all the gardens of possibility. And let go of the need to have it all now, it holds you back from enjoying the slowness of the beautiful and rich journey that is life.