With autumn just around the corner, we excitedly await cozy sweater weather, all things pumpkin-flavored, and of course, the gorgeous display of fall foliage. This season of change can also help us reflect on the importance, and beauty, of letting go. As creatures of habit and we often hold on to things, feelings and behaviors, even when they are unhealthy for us, simply out of a sense of familiarity or obligation. Or because they’ve become an intrinsic part of our identity and letting go of them would feel like losing a part of ourselves. It can also be scary because it involves change and change always comes with a great deal uncertainty. But letting go of unhealthy perspectives, behaviors and relationships can be equally liberating. It can help us gain new perspective, make room in our lives for growth and new experiences, and help us enjoy the present moment more fully.
Here are few things to consider letting go of this season:
- Let go of things you’ve outgrown – This can be something as straightforward as decluttering your home or clearing out your closet of items you haven’t worn in ages. Or something as difficult as saying goodbye to friendships and relationships that no longer work for you. We all hold on to things that were meaningful to us, often long after they’ve outlived their place in our lives. When we hold on to the past out of a sense of nostalgia, loyalty or obligation, it can stop us from moving forward and enjoying new experiences. It is okay to close a chapter of your life and look ahead to the next one with positivity and optimism.
- Let go of your insecurities. We often let self-doubt or the fear of judgment from others hold us back from pursuing certain goals or taking risks. But life is too short to let your insecurities dictate your actions and choices. It doesn’t matter if things don’t work out the way you planned, at least you’ll learn more about yourself in the process. So, wear those shorts, go on that solo trip, be firm about your boundaries and advocate for yourself whenever possible. Trust your instincts and take a chance on yourself – it will always be worthwhile!
- Let go of your resentment. Holding on to resentment can drain your energy, perpetuate negativity, and even shape the way you view and interact with the world. If you find yourself holding on to anger or bitterness against someone over a past transgression, it may affect your current relationships, or you may be too preoccupied to enjoy the good things in your life. Remember, letting go of your resentment doesn’t equate to dismissing your hurt and pain, nor does it imply that you are letting the other person off the hook for any wrongdoing against you. Rather, it’s a way for you to be at peace with circumstances in the past and find a way to heal and move forward for your own emotional wellbeing, without all the negativity weighing you down.
- Let go of your guilt. Whether the is guilt over hurting someone else or letting yourself down, forgiving yourself can be quite challenging. Over time, guilt and shame can erode your sense of self-worth and lead you to think they don’t deserve happiness or good things in your life. This can spiral into anxiety, hopelessness and depression. It is therefore important to address these feelings head on, learn from your mistakes and ultimately forgive yourself for your imperfections. Practice being compassionate towards yourself and show yourself the same kindness that you would towards your loved ones.
- Let go of your preconceived notions. We all grow up with certain beliefs and expectations and become conditioned to viewing the world through specific lenses. But when we get set in our ways and beliefs, it can often limit our true potential. Also, reality doesn’t quite live up to our preconceived expectations, it can be easy to become disillusioned and cynical. So, it is always important to keep an open mind, be curious about the world, and constantly question and challenge your own world-views. This can broaden your horizons and offer perspectives that you may not have otherwise considered. Ultimately it can help you cultivate healthy habits and help you become a well-rounded individual.