Learning how to let things go is much easier said than done. In so many cases, we know we need to let go so we can move on to happier times, but the act of letting go is extremely difficult.
Whether you need to let go of a relationship, a bad work situation, a lost dream, an argument there are steps you can take that will help you let go in a way that doesn’t seem overwhelming.
The steps I’m sharing below are what I’ve worked through to help me let go of my own personal lost dream – having a biological baby of my own. These tips are helpful no matter what your situation is and I hope you’ll find them practical and effective to help you move on.
Why Letting Go is So Important
When you’re holding on to something that isn’t working or you’re in a place in your life that disrupts your happiness, you are essentially halting good things from entering your life.
Letting go means you can:
- Focus on moving forward
- Prioritize gratitude in your life
- Have healthier relationships and forgive those who matter
- Decrease stress and anxiety
- Concentrate on the positive things in life
- Sleep better at night
- Decrease ruminating thoughts and negative overthinking
How to Let Things Go So You Can Move On – 7 Steps
How to let things go - 7 steps to help you finally move on. #lettinggo Click To Tweet
1. Feel Your Feelings
Understand that it’s okay to feel everything you need to feel. Don’t feel guilty or become angry with yourself for how you feel.
Accept your feelings and know that you are allowed to FEEL it all.
2. Think about Why it’s important for you to let go
Here are some questions to consider:
- If you let go of this feeling, person or situation how will this make you feel?
- How will letting go improve your life right now?
- What will there be room for if you let go?
- How does letting go support your value system?
During this process also think about the harmful effects of holding on.
3. Imagine Life Once You’ve Let Go
Now that you’ve thought about your why, I want you to imagine life without this ‘thing’ you’re holding on to.
- What will you be able to focus on instead?
- How will your time be spent differently instead of the stress and worry of holding on?
4. Have a Backup Feel Better Plan
Once you begin to take action on letting go of a situation, feeling or person you need to have a backup feel better plan.
What is this?
A feel better plan is a list of activities you do when you feel yourself about to digress.
To create a feel better plan, start by writing a list of things you can do to feel better immediately…
- Walk the dog
- Play music
- Call your best friend
- Knock on your neighbour’s door
- Eat chocolate
This list will be unique to you and the point is when you feel yourself falling backward towards upset do something off your list.
5. Distance Yourself
Distance yourself from people, places or situations that make letting go hard to do.
- If you’re trying to move on from a past relationship don’t go to the neighbourhood your ex lives in.
- Or, if you’re trying to move on from something like infertility, don’t attend your cousin’s baby shower. Distancing yourself from things that hurt is designed for you to look after yourself.
6. Focus on Acceptance
Depending on the situation, letting go can be extremely difficult, especially if you’re the type of person who likes (and needs) to be in control.
When you can’t control a situation the only choice you have is to eventually let go. This is important for your overall well-being and mental health.
7. Learn How To Love Yourself
Loving yourself isn’t selfish, it’s necessary. The more you do this the easier it will be to let go of things that are taking up your precious time, energy and mental space.
Once you honestly love and care for yourself, you’ll find that letting go is actually much easier. Why? Because holding on to something that isn’t going to change is unhealthy for you.
Related: Check out my Self Love Guided Journal to help you focus on loving yourself more.
Learning How To Let Things Go: A Reminder
Going through these 7 steps to help you let things go will assist you when moving on from the struggle of holding on, however this is a little reminder that feelings may pop up from time to time – especially if you are trying to let go of something traumatic.
If you’ve practiced letting go and a feeling, a person or a situation reappears, here’s my best advice:
- Acknowledge the feeling or situation
- Don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t acting or feeling in a way you wish
- Instead, go through the above process again
Still having trouble Moving on from the Past?
The advice I’ve given above is what I’ve personally worked on to get me through some challenging times, but know that I have also worked with therapists, social workers and my family doctor.
If you need more help, I encourage you to find professional support to help you get through a tough time – you are worth it.
Learning How to Let Things Go: Conclusion
These 7 steps on learning how to let things go will help you with the little things that bother you and the larger, more challenging situations that are deeply affecting your life.
Whether you’re figuring how to let things go in a relationship, at work, or in life I hope this will help you move on so you can focus on things that fill you up.
I’ll leave you with this quote from Steve Maraboli, which truly says it all…
“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”
The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward. - Steve Maraboli #letgo #moveon Click To Tweet
How do you move on from a situation? How do you let things go?
Share in the comments to inspire others.
More Resources To Help You Let Things Go & Move On:
- How to Live in the Present and Reduce Overwhelm
- Today I Choose Joy: Mood Tracker Journal
- 5 Types of Journaling for Mental Health
- 10 Reasons Life is Beautiful and Worth Living