Letting Go is prompted by the now famous Disney song from Frozen: “Let it Go.” The focus of letting go is recognizing the things, activities, commitments and people in your life that/who are not longer serving you and your well-being.
Identifying what to let go:
- Does this help me to be my best self?
- Does seeing this object bring me joy or a happy memory?
- Does spending time with this person or group energize me?
- When I am doing this, am a happy and recharged?
If your answers are YES, terrific keep these activities, things and people in your life. If your answer(s) are NO, then move to the let go/get rid of things step.
How to let go/get rid of things:
Once you have determined that objects or activities, or even people, are no longer serving your needs or best interests, the challenge is to graciously let go so that you have the energy to pursue healthy activities and people, and to fill your spaces with joy.
Here are some possibilities for getting rid of things:
- Gift useful, well-cared for items to someone who will enjoy it next.
- Sell books you have finished with to a used book store.
- Hold a garage sale, while holding thought on “the right next people who will enjoy these things will show up to buy our well-loved things.”
- Sell items to a pawn shop.
- Donate items to the non-profits that resell them. Many people benefit in this cycle of giving.
- Throw away the things that no one else will want, the things that are too used/broken to fix, or that are too personal to you for anyone else to have. For instance, I threw away some books in which I had written notes, but which no longer serve me and do not need to be taking up space/energy on my bookshelves.
Letting go can be an individual undertaking or can be a family affair. Garage sales work best when the whole family gets involved in letting things go, organizing for the sale, and working the sale.
How to ask people to help you be your best self, or to leave them out of your life:
Once you have identified people who drain you more than they uplift you, consider the way you will approach the conversation. Look for ways to be honest and gracious; clear and firm. Your goal is to see improvements in the relationship or to be clear about needing to leave the relationship.
Here are some possible language options for changing your groups, activities, or friendships:
- How about we spend 10 minutes venting about our challenges and then move on to other topics? (If this can’t happen, then it may be time to stop spending time with this person.)
- What if we go for a walk-and-talk? (This way you are experiencing nature and positive physical activity at the same time as getting together.)
- I enjoy most of the time we spend together, however, there are times when our conversations just wear me out. I’d like to listen and be supportive, however, I also need to protect my thoughts and energy. So, what if we spend 10 minutes catching up on challenges and then talk about other things going on in our lives?
- (Stop interacting with the person. Many people choose this option because it avoids a difficult conversation and/or conflict. – Your best choice is the one that will work best for you.)
- Thanks for asking me to chair that committee. I am not in a position to take that on, so I respectfully decline.
- I am not able to commit to that. Thanks for asking.
- I need to take a break from book club for a bit. My schedule is overwhelming me.
Being drained by things and people is not helping you to be your best self. Letting go of the energy and emotions attached to things, activities and people who are not supporting you in positive ways will help you to bring positivity into your life. Choose wisely: What, or who, are you letting go of this month? This year?