Holding on to feelings, things or people that don’t serve you anymore (or never did) can be challenging. You know that holding on is not gonna change anything about it, but that doesn’t mean it is easy to just ‘let it go’. You may have a hard time letting go, because you identify yourself with that past version of you (hurt feelings, relationship, body image, job, friend, etc.). Letting go of that version of you, means stepping out of your comfort zone and into a new version of you. That can be scary, which makes it seem easier to stick with that old version. At least it’s something or someone you know well and makes you feel safe…
At the same time, if you focus your energy and attention entirely on the things you want to let go of, it will be even harder to let it go. Whatever you focus on, will grow. It will keep showing up. So how do you break through the cycle of holding on to something that doesn’t serve you?
Start with these 3 steps to make it easier on yourself to let go:
1. Live in the present and accept what is.
The only way to not dwell in the past, is to start living in the present. Shift your focus to what is. Start to practice mindfulness by focusing your thoughts on what you are doing at a specific moment. Pick 1 moment to be mindful per day, like brushing your teeth. At that moment, purely focus on brushing, how it feels, what sensation it brings to you, what it tastes like, what do you see, hear, and smell?
Living a more mindful life takes practice, your thoughts tend to go ‘all over the place’. When you practice more often, smaller moments of mindfulness become bigger moments. Then you’ll start to feel the difference. If you live in the present, there is no room for the past. You’ll just have to let it be.
2. Let curiosity in.
Once you’ve learned to accept what is, you can let go of feeling ashamed of what was. Once you are done focusing on what was, embrace the new situation, be curious around it and start exploring it. What does it bring you? What would your new life look like? How would you like to feel? What are the opportunities? This is the fun part: visualize, daydream, imagine, and fantasize about what you desire.
3. Focus on what you desire.
Start designing your future life: make a vision board, what does your life look like, who do you spend time with, what do you do, how do you feel, where do you live? Focusing on what you desire, brings new & positive energy into your life and will replace the old & negative thoughts for new positive ones.
Last but not least: be kind to yourself. You don’t have to accomplish all this in an hour, or even a day. Allow yourself the time for this by taking mini steps, be grateful of what you’ve accomplished every day, embrace what is, and move on. You got this!