In this post we are going to cover 5 things to let go of in order to create space for what truly matters in life.
Here you will learn not only the benefits of letting go, but also how each of these things holds you back.
If you’re ready to let go of what no longer serves you and pursue a life filled with purpose & meaning, then this post is for you!
Let’s get started…
Why Let Go
There are many things we hold onto, without even realizing it.
It might be a grudge, bitterness, or possible resentment of something we haven’t yet been able to fully forgive. It could even be a good memory from the past we don’t want to forget.
Why do we hold onto these things?
If we look closer, a lot of it has to do with the attachment it has to our identity. We may feel by letting go, we are losing some part of ourselves in the process.
However, when we hold onto things that are no longer a part of our present, it can keep us trapped in several ways.
For starters, if we can’t let go of the identity we have attached ourselves to in the past, we are unable to live up to our full potential in the present, as well as our future.
When we allow ourselves to truly release past hurts, memories, mistakes, or even a nostalgia for the ‘good ole days’ (as we might dangerously refer to them), we can open ourselves up to who we can become today.
I don’t think any of us are the same person we were 10, 5, or even 1 year ago. We learn and grow, as well as discover new insights and perspectives all the time. Sometimes on a daily basis!
So if we consider this fact, why would we want to carry the burdens of the past into our future?
As one of my favorite things to let go of quotes states:
Holding on is believing there is only a past; letting go is knowing that there is a future.
Why should we continue holding onto them, or allow them to take up too much of our mental space, when they keep us from what really matters?
What Really Matters
If we take a moment to think about what really matters, to us specifically and in life overall, you will find what matters is in the here and now.
I’m sure we can agree that things like joy, meaningful connections, health, happiness, and freedom make the list of things that matter.
And if we dig deep enough, most of us yearn for purpose, freedom of expression, authenticity and a desire to reach our full potential.
By continually holding onto an idea, memory, or image of ourselves from the past, we may find ourselves stuck. This puts a big road block on our path in life. These are things to let go of.
It is almost as if we become frozen in time, or trapped in the past. It can keep us from embracing the growth, new seasons, and meaningful life we have right in front of us.
Things To Let Go Of
If we are to live a life filled with what truly matters, we need to start by creating the space for it.
Instead of overwhelming you with a list of 100 things to let go of, we’ve boiled it down to just 5.
These 5 critical things to let go of right now are: a fixed mindset, mindless habits, unhealthy relationships, physical clutter, and the past.
1. Fixed Mindset
What is a fixed mindset? And how does it hold us back?
A fixed mindset is, in part, connected to an image we hold of ourselves that is simply not open to change. This could sound something like ‘I’ve always been like this’, or ‘that’s just who I am’, or ‘this always happens to me’ and so on.
I’m sure at some point we’ve all used one or more of these phrases. The problem arises when we keep ourselves attached to a certain idea of who we are, without even considering the thought of growth.
As mentioned earlier, part of what truly matters in life is reaching our potential and growing into our authentic selves. Of course it’s clear that a fixed mindset can hold us back from this by stifling our growth and development.
If we are to make space for what truly matters in life, letting go of a fixed mindset mentality can get us there by opening us up, and creating space, for an improved version of ourselves.
2. Mindless Habits
Mindless habits, or living on autopilot, is the second critical thing we should consider letting go of.
When we are continually going through the motions of our day all without much intention or awareness, we are missing out on so many of the little things that matter.
We are missing out on them simply because we are unaware. We are also missing out on opportunities to improve the situations in our lives because we get stuck in the habit of how we’ve always done things.
The habits or routines that make up our day are not the issue, but the mindlessness is. When mindless habits make up our day, we ‘fast forward’ through our life. We move from one thing to the next, without much consideration of what we are engaging in.
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The best way to overcome this is to bring mindfulness, presence and awareness to each task. Doing so will help us notice the little in between moments of our day, and life.
We will become more aware of the things that matter, because we will be paying attention to them in the process.
3. Unhealthy Relationships
The third thing to let go in our life is unhealthy relationships.
In order to do this, we need to be aware of what unhealthy relationships look like, and understand the importance of addressing them.
Unhealthy relationships are ones that leave us feeling drained, depleted, and even hinder us from being our authentic selves.
If we are wanting to pursue, or make time and space, for things that matter, we need to be aware of how the relationship in question fits into the equation.
If we surround ourselves with people who pull us down, or who we can’t be our true selves around, it’s time to consider letting it go.
A lot of times there are specific things to let go of in a relationship rather than ending the relationship altogether. It’s really about knowing the difference.
However, there will be circumstances when you do have to bring it to an end. It won’t always be easy, but there are times when it is necessary.
Releasing these relationships opens you up to reaching your true potential, creates more space for meaningful connections, and can even benefit your health and well being.
Nonviolent Communication is a must read if you want to take your relationships to the next level and create true lasting benefits.
4. Physical Items & Clutter
The physical clutter taking up space in our lives is the fourth thing we should begin to let go of.
It could be those drawers, closets or corners of our homes where clutter can start to pile up and accumulate. Maybe specific items in your wardrobe that are never worn, or no longer fit your style.
It may not seem like a big deal, but holding onto clutter can take up space not only physically, but mentally as well.
Physical clutter can become a distraction, as something to be dealt with at a later time. Holding onto items that no longer suit us, or meet our needs, can even keep us from going after what we truly want.
It can be harder to allow new items into your life when you are still holding onto things from the past, and while they are still taking up space in your life.
Taking the time to clear out and declutter the items that are no longer needed or of use to you allows you to consciously choose the best items for your specific needs in the present.
5. The Past
The final thing we should let go of in order to make space for what matters is the past.
The past is not only memories or disappointments from years ago, the past can even include situations that may have occurred earlier in the day.
Maybe it’s frustrations from work, the long line you waited in at the store, or the traffic you dealt with on your commute. All of these matters have no place in the present. They can be left, released and let go of immediately.
Being in the habit of regularly letting go of the past allows you the ultimate opportunity to discover what matters, and that’s being here, right now, in the present.
Of course it’s fine to reminisce on good memories, and appreciate that they are a part of your life story. The problem arises when we become fixated on them, and when they keep us from noticing all the good in our life right now.
Regularly letting go of the past is about being mindfully aware of the here and now. In doing so we start to notice the simple pleasures that occur throughout our day, when we are paying attention.
When we regularly let go of these five critical things, we open up the space for what truly matters in life.
Because we are in the habit of letting go, we are no longer bogged down with things that would typically drain or deplete us. We are able to discover, and focus on, what matters most to us.
Things such as purpose, freedom of expression, health, meaningful relationships and staying true to ourselves are just a few of the worthwhile pursuits.
What About You?
How could you benefit from letting go of these 5 things?
Let us know by leaving a comment below..