I’m not the first to write about letting go and I certainly won’t be the last. But, since it’s the new year, and 2018, at least the last few months of it seemed challenging for me, it’s time to put it down on paper and recommit to letting go.

I often sing the chorus line of Elsa’s (Idina Menzel) song from Frozen, the one where she sings:

“….Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door
I don’t care what they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on
The cold never bothered me anyway…”

to remind myself. It helps, but it’s only one piece of the overall puzzle.

What am I letting go of:

  1. My expectations of myself.
  2. My expectations of others.
  3. Old beliefs and habits that are no longer helpful or healthy.
  4. The need to do it all.
  5. The desire to please other people.
  6. The value I’ve placed on other people’s opinions.
  7. Anything else that sabotages my peace of mind.
Photo by Evan Kirby on Unsplash

I’ve done a lot of reading lately, everyone has advice on how to let go, be happier, be more successful, etc. You’ve probably read many of the same books and articles. The premise is always the same:

  1. Know who you are.
  2. Guard your time fiercely but politely.
  3. Develop habits that maximize your success.

What they don’t mention in these articles is that this needs to look different for each of us because we all have unique life circumstances, personalities, and demands that shape who we are and how we behave.

Our patterns, habits, and tools for success are going to evolve and change over time in the same way that we grow and change as people.

And that’s okay.

Let go of the idea that there is a one size fits all model. Let go of everyone else’s idea of what a successful career and happy life look like.

Make your own rules (but please don’t break the law). Draw your own road map. Define success for yourself.

Next, be prepared to change the rules, maps and definitions, and go with the flow. I know all of this is easier said than done. But I’m going to make a more concentrated effort at letting it all go this year.

A report from the United Kingdom says that 62% of UK citizens suffer from imposter syndrome. The numbers are probably pretty similar in many other countries. Letting go can help improve our psychological health.

I know I’ve battled imposter syndrome and part of the hold it has on us is our beliefs that we need to let go of, our need for perfectionism, and our concerns about other people’s opinions.

Letting go could help us all face imposter syndrome and be more comfortable in our own skin, with all of our strengths and imperfections. Letting go allows us to be human.

Originally published on Medium.