10 Things You Need to Let Go of to be Happy
One of the greatest struggles we as individuals experience is the pursuit of happiness. Every day we search for it, and most of us aren’t usually too successful in this regard. Whether it’s our personal, work or social life, there are steps you can take to assure that you are on your way to finding happiness. And so I present to you the 10 Things You Need to Let Go of to be Happy.
one // unhealthy relationships
I’m sure we all have these people in our lives. The people that drain us emotionally, and that we give more to than we receive. This is what we call a toxic person, and there is no place for them in your life. You may have known them for a long time, or you feel like they provide you with something that you can’t find elsewhere. But the truth is, you should never rely on another person for anything; anything that you can do for yourself. This can be one of the scariest things to let go of because it is so permanent. But the minute you don’t have to deal with whatever poison this person brings to your life, is the moment you will feel a million times more free to be yourself, and grow as a person.
two // things you can’t change
It sucks. There is this one thing (or many) that didn’t go your way so you obsess about it, wondering what you could have done differently; how you could have made it go your way. STOP. Just let it go. Learn from it, and move on with your life.
three // negativity
This one is SO HARD, I know! Your mind is such a judgmental place; to others and to yourself. It can be your worst enemy sometimes, buzzing with a frenzy of negativity that makes it impossible for you to be happy. But, you CAN make a change. Force yourself to do these 3 things when you find yourself becoming Negative Nancy.
- Count to 10. Are you still as upset as you were before? Now try 24 hours.
- Force yourself to be positive, and be the bigger person in the situation.
- Kill them with kindness. Maybe it won’t solve the problem at hand, but at least you are not contributing to it.
Now, I’m not saying you have to be a gigantic doormat that says “Hey, you can do whatever you please to me, and I’ll just bake you cookies!” No, say your piece after you’ve let 24 hours go by and you are still really upset. Say your piece (this is a must. If 24 hours hasn’t relieved how strongly you feel about it, you MUST speak up). Explain to whoever it is that is causing you to think negatively why you are upset. If they aren’t willing to work through it, at least you have been honest with yourself (and them). This way, there is no secret resentment on your end, and you can go on with your life knowing that everything is on the table, and the ball is in their court.
If your negativity stems from your feelings about yourself, I want you to STOP. Repeat affirmations to yourself every time you feel this negativity coming on. Here are some examples, but feel free to come up with whatever affirmations work for you:
- I am amazing, smart and beautiful
- I can do anything I put my mind to
- I am enough
- I am capable of amazing things
four // grudges
This one ties into “Negativity” above, but I can’t stress this enough. Why are you wasting your precious time and energy thinking about what someone did to you. Either forgive them and move on, or disassociate and move on. Don’t continue to see this person, and pretend to enjoy their company, while secretly hating them or what they did behind their back. It’s not fair to them, but most importantly it’s not fair to yourself.
If you have no choice but to interact with this person on a daily basis, then again force yourself to be positive, and kill them with kindness. Don’t pretend to be best pals, and don’t be rude either. Just be professional, cordial and polite.
If you still want this person in your life then you HAVE TO forgive them, no ifs ands or buts. Your relationship will ONLY survive healthily if you forgive them. If you aren’t willing to forgive them, than you don’t need this person in your life on an intimate level. Plan and simple.
five // fear
One of the biggest driving forces of negativity is the big ol’ F-word. No, not what you’re thinking you hooligan. I’m talking about FEAR. Fear is paralyzing for one’s happiness. Fear leads to stagnancy and hate. You can only achieve true happiness if you take risks, and risks involve the obliteration of fear.
Now, I’m not saying you have to be unafraid of everything. That’s impossible. But you need to let go of your fear of something, in order to be at peace. When you overcome a fear, it can be one of the greatest feelings this world has to offer. For example, I am afraid of heights (as most people are), but I actively pursue them. The adrenaline I feel from the fear of climbing and being high up is such a satisfying sensation, that when I am back on the ground I’m ready to go again.
You should try to aim to do one thing outside your comfort zone every month. Whether it’s as simple as going to the cinema by yourself or as wild as base jumping Mount Thor in Baffin Island, Nunavut (a personal scary goal of mine), every time you do it, you will feel so much better about yourself, and possibly want to do it more frequently, opening your mind, and leading you to do things you never thought yourself capable of before.
I want you to write down a list of your biggest fears, and then think of things you can do to overcome them. Start small, and work your way up!
six // past
Let me tell you a secret that maybe you’ve never been told before. The past is gone. It can’t touch you. It can’t be brought back. Whether it’s filled with happy memories that you long for, or horrible experiences that made you doubt yourself. It. Is. Gone. Stop trying to run from it, or achieve it’s former glory. Instead focus on today; on this very moment. What can you do to reach your goals and move forward with intention? It is never too late to start fresh; never too late to do ANYTHING and I mean that.
Too many times I hear people say, “It’s too late for me now” or “I missed my chance”. This the negative force called Self Doubt manifesting itself in your brain and it can be hard to dissuade. It doesn’t matter if you are fresh out of high school, or pushing 70, 80, 90, or even 100! You still have life in you. You can still do things that make you happy.
seven // mistakes
One of the greatest things that haunt us and force us into a negative mindset, are the mistakes we have made. Maybe you were wrong about someone you trusted. Maybe you lied or stole from someone you love. Maybe you wasted your youth on trivial things that didn’t matter, and now you feel lost. Acknowledge the pain these things have caused, accept them as a learning experience and banish them from how you act today.
I want you to write a list of the following things
- What qualities do you admire most in other people (and start to act on them)
- Everything you want to achieve in your lifetime (and separate it into smaller but doable chunks)
So let’s say you want to travel to France or Alaska or Australia someday. Break it down: (start a savings account; research travel costs; save at least $100 a month; create a budget; cut back on unnecessary purchases; research places to see in your destination; etc) Break the huge goal down into smaller DO-ABLE goals, and assign them daily; weekly; or monthly!
- Make a moral code for yourself. Your own personal 10 Commandments and 7 Deadly Sins, so to speak. And then LIVE BY THIS CODE.
Remember though, some mistakes are bound to happen, and aren’t always a bad thing. Consider each of them as a valuable lesson to be learned in order to grow into the best person you can be.
eight // control
Speaking from personal experience, one of the greatest inhibitors of happiness is the need for control. Wanting to know exactly what everyone’s intentions are, never to be vulnerable or exposed. But happiness isn’t in the details. It’s in the spontaneity of life; in letting the cookie crumble the way it will. You can certainly control how you behave in response to situations and life in general, but you need to let go of the fact that you CAN NEVER control what someone else does, or what the universe may choose to throw at you. As soon as you can accept this, and just focus on yourself, you will be open to many more exceptional experiences.
nine // other people’s expectations
I’m most certainly not saying that what people think of you doesn’t matter. It does. It’s a reflection of you as a person, and although you can’t stop people from hating or disliking you for these reasons, you can make sure that these things are what you want represent (see your personal code that we talked about in “mistakes”).
What you should let go of is what other people expect OF or FROM you. This doesn’t matter. Do they expect you to be friends? Do they expect you to be a Doctor? Do they expect you to dress a certain way? Do they expect you to fail? Who cares.? All that matters is what you expect from yourself. As long as you live your life living up to your own expectations of yourself (and again, it’s never too late to start), then you are doing it right.
ten // being right
If you take nothing away from this article, I want you to at least take this. You need to let go of BEING RIGHT. Everyone thinks they are, otherwise why else are you arguing and letting the air around you fill with negative energy. Who cares if you think there is absolutely no way you are wrong. The more you obsess over this fact, the more unhappiness you will feel. If after a debate, you are getting nowhere, just let them think what they want to think, and tell them “Alright, I accept how you feel. Let’s talk about something else.” If they still won’t let it go, that’s on them. Just ignore them until they change the subject or simply go away.
I hope you find your happiness. xoxo