Hands down, the question I get asked most often is: “Yeah but, HOW do I let go?” Great question. And, a must have skill for a happy life. No matter if it’s forgiving. Heartache. Or, saying adios to an old, not-working-for-ya-anymore pattern, there are some tricks of the trade that can help you let go.
Here’s the essential dos and don’ts of letting go.
1. DON’T ignore what you really need.
Letting go isn’t a catchall phrase and it doesn’t heal all hurts. Letting go happens once we’ve processed and healed the hurt. Not before. If you’re in the middle of a major anxiety melt-down, drowning in heartache, or desperate for things change, odds are letting go isn’t what you need (or want) right now.
DO clarify what you really want.
Support, understanding, nurture and healing all have to happen before we can let go. And, they’re what we need most when we’re in pain. Take time to ask yourself what you really want right now. If it’s got to do with pain, I promise a little TLC will go a long way.
2. Don’t Nike yourself.
By this I mean, you can’t “just do it.” Not when it comes to letting go. And, the more you badger yourself to “just do it” the more stuck you’ll become. Letting go is a process and it can only happen when we’re open. When you’re screaming, “JUST DO IT ALREADY” at yourself, you’re body’s in total lock down mode. Nothing is getting in OR out.
DO embrace some woo-woo.
Letting go involves all of you, not just your beautiful mind. I mean it’s not your mind that hurts; it’s your body, right? Meditation, energy work, yoga, breath, Reiki and prayer are essentials to letting go ’cause they get you outta your head and into your body, where the hurt is.
3. Don’t do what you’ve always done.
Whatever you’ve been doing hasn’t worked. So why keep doing it?
DO try new things!
Think outside the box. Get out of your comfort zone. The only way to feel something new is to DO something new. If you’re worried about looking silly or find yourself pooh-poohing ideas ’cause they’re “weird” it’s a sure sign you’re still closed. Go back to step one and clarify what you’re really looking for. When you’re really ready to let go you won’t care what you look like doing it.
4. Don’t do things ’cause someone told you to.
I call this “good-student” answers and actions. When my clients do something ’cause I told ‘em to – with zero heart, connection or intention of their own – this never ever works.
DO what speaks to you.
The truth is there’s many ways to let go. And what works for me may not work for you. When you’re open and willing to learn and feel the process on your own, letting go happens naturally. It’s not the steps that allow you to let go, it’s letting something you need in that makes the difference. So listen to yourself and ask, what do you really need to let this go?
BTW, a little TLC is a necessity before we can let go. (And it’s the most commonly skipped step.)
5. Don’t look for all the ways it didn’t work.
I call this “hole-poking” and it’s the single worst thing you can do to yourself. If you spend your time, energy and attention looking for what’s wrong then that’s what you’re gonna have– a life that feels wrong.
Do look for all the ways growth is showing up.
Teach yourself to look for and celebrate the places that you have made progress, that are going well and how far you’ve come. The more joy, compassion and hope you look for- the more you’ll have a life that feels that way.
6. Don’t fantasize about “them” fixing it.
Someone may have hurt you, yes. BUT, and I say this with love, the wound is yours.
Let me explain: if they literally physically stabbed you with a knife, they (literally) hurt you AND the cut would be yours to take care of. Even if they apologize! You’ve got to clean, dress and care for the wound ’cause it’s on your body. Well, same rules apply to emotional wounds.
DO focus on you.
Take your power back here and focus on you and what you can do. Your options for taking care of yourself are endless when you focus on what YOU CAN DO. If you’re stuck running the loop of having it out with them in your head, it’s a sure sign you need to go back to step one and figure out what you really want. This means something is still missing.
7. DON’T do it alone.
It’s painful. It’s lonely. It’s totally unnecessary to do it alone. And, it will take so much longer.
DO embrace support
Support comes in all different shapes and sizes. And it’s yours for the taking. You’ll feel so much stronger. So much clearer. And it will go so much quicker if you buddy up with someone.
Keep these do and don’ts in mind no matter what steps you take, and you’ll be on your way to letting it go in no time!