No one is saying it’s going to be easy, but we are happiest when we can let go of things that are no longer working in our lives. These things, people, and situations once served us, but for whatever reason, we’ve outgrown them or they have changed in ways that no longer fit.

Any type of change or upheaval will bring along some painful truths; letting go of friends who don’t support you, finding a new job that aligns with your inner growth, or simply learning to set boundaries with family members. It can be absolutely terrifying to change and shed your proverbial skin.

Recognize them
The first thing, obviously, that needs to be done is to recognize what is no longer serving you. It might be a job, a relationship, a home or a goal. Usually, when there is something like this in our lives, we know deep down, but we often don’t want to face it. We keep pretending things are “just fine” because rocking the boat seems to painful. When we are feeling stuck or when our life is changing at alarming speed, it’s a great time to go inward and see what we can release. We can do that by trusting our gut, listening to our instincts or meditating, for example. Just be brave enough to honor your truth.

sometimes you can only find heaven by slowly backing away from hell

Acknowledge them

It’s difficult to cut lose things that we once treasured or felt identified us, even when we understand they are holding us back. We want to wrap ourselves in the past as if it was a warm blanket protecting us from an unsafe future. Acknowledge each thing in turn, if there are several that you are letting go of. Allow yourself to feel the sadness of letting them go. It’s okay to feel it as a loss. In fact, it’s very normal and appropriate, so please stop beating yourself up about it. Experiencing all of your feelings about the past is a way to ensure that you can fully release it and move forward.

Honor them
These things were once a vital part of our lives. Even when they are no longer making us happy or they are draining us in some way, it’s healthy to honor them for where they’ve brought us. Even if it is a bad job, or broken friendship we must look back with gratitude…as hard as that seems. We are a reflection of all the things we’ve done and the people we’ve known. By leaving this situation with gratitude for the GOOD, you will finally be able to let go of any resentment or grief that will fester inside you (and trust me, anger always festers!). Honor that which you are preparing to release for all it has taught you and meant to you along your life’s journey. Then, let it go and move forward bravely.

Let them go

This can happen in different ways, depending on what it is that you are leaving behind. You may need to have a difficult conversation with a friend or partner who is no longer supporting you in a healthy way. Or, you may need to quit a job, sublet your apartment or put the item up for sale. It can also be that you want to let go of old emotions, old beliefs or old goals. Forgive them, forgive yourself and be proud of the fact that you believe in yourself enough to find a better way.

Having the strength to grow, and to move forward is something that takes guts, vulnerability and courage to start fresh.

“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.”
-Cheryl Strayed

Originally published at


  • Christina Lerchen

    Christina Lerchen is a self development and lifestyle writer

    Christina Lerchen has been a content creator for over 10 years and has been featured in magazines such as, Self, Allure Korea,, CBS Watch!, and Women's World Daily. Her blog has been syndicated through The Today Show, Chicago Sun-Times, Huffington Post, USA Today,,, and Yahoo Shine.