You are fully kitted out in your sky diving gear. Standing on the edge of a plane clinging onto the doorframe, but resistant to let go. Your instructor is saying “Let go! Don’t be afraid! Just LET GO!” But all you see is fog, the long distance to where you’re going and you just want to feel safe in knowing you’ll get there before letting go.
In this moment, what thoughts are running through your mind? You’ve seen everyone else jump and know it can be done but something is stopping you. You tell yourself you ‘should’ be able to do it, you see no noticeable difference between you and the others which only leads to more frustration. So you begin to get really frustrated at yourself.
Isn’t this how much of us go through life? Whether it is in fact a sky dive, a new business venture, letting go of relationships or simply choosing to do something new & quite scary, your ability to let go ultimately defines how free and happy you will really feel.
Living in Ibiza defines freedom for me. There is so much individuality here, in human imagination and freedom of expression. Both of which are seen in the islands’ two worlds – holistic healing & clubbing. Living here for nearly 18 months has taught me to let go of more and more and embrace the present moment.
The 9 Big Things To Let Go Of:
Expectations on what your life should look like are creating the very frustration, stress and disappointment you feel regularly. Expecting….
… to grow your business by x% or to be promoted at work
… to lose 10 pounds in a week
… for your boyfriend to surprise you with a slap up meal or trip away
… to be able to do it all yourself without asking for help (Hello ego!)
The expectations you place on yourself are often the highest of all, so imagine what could happen if you set no expectations? If you expect something then yes, you often take action to achieve it, but then most likely will feel like a failure if you don’t.
2. ‘Toxic’ People
True relationships want to see you happy & they accept your choices even if they don’t understand or accept them. Learning to let go of the people who criticise, judge & point the finger at your failures will be one of the most empowering things you could do. You don’t have to cut people out of your life, especially if it’s family.
But if you leave somebody’s company feeling drained, lacking energy and excitement for life, then they are sinking their toxicity into your soul. It’s just who they are right now and where they currently are on their own journey, and that’s OK! But be the more conscious person by accepting that & moving on.
If you are ever to reach that dream destination, you have to dig deep and look at who empowers you, enhances your life and lifts you up. And most importantly differentiate those from the people who unload their shit onto you, don’t listen, plant seeds of doubt in your mind or throw arrows of envy at you.
True fulfilment comes from being able to shine your authentic light on the world. Never hide this part of you just because you don’t want to upset or cause friction with people in your life. True friends will understand. True connections will stand the test of time & remain no matter what you both go through.
Happiness and freedom are not destinations, but a choice. We can choose to feel them every day, but we must let go of needing to have an end result.
“Attachment is the emotional dependence we put on things, or people, with some degree of our survival interwoven into the precious thing we hold so dear.”
Dan Millman in The Peaceful Warrior (great movie, highly recommend you watch it!) was so focused on winning Olympic Gold in Men’s Gymnastics that chasing it dominated his life. He missed the wonders that were happening all around him. When he had a pretty bad accident crushing his leg in 17 places and being told he’d struggle to walk again, his whole life came crumbling down.
Millman began to rebuild his life with an incredible mentor, from whom he learned to do what he loved because he loved it. He learned to clear his mind of the trash and enjoy the journey instead of solely focusing on the end result. He created a sense of personal freedom!
Do something because you love it, be present & the results you want will come naturally. Sometimes the dreams we chase and the life we create for ourselves does give us a sense of freedom. But in my experience, letting go of attachment to the outcome gives you the greatest freedom of all.
You don’t complete something because you’re a perfectionist. That’s a beautiful little lie! Perfectionists would want to be precise! They’d say, ‘I’m just distracted’ or ‘I’m unsure right now so I can’t finish it.”
As a Virgo myself, I unconsciously used this as an excuse to be a certain way.Oh I’m a Virgo – I’m a perfectionist! But star-signs & your past history aside, you can choose to let go of perfectionism. It only leads to procrastination which is well and truly the dream destroyer.
Stop wasting time creating the “perfect” presentation or article, seeking the ideal gift for your nephew, the best priced holiday, or the OCD clean & tidy house. Perfect doesn’t exist, only in the minds of people creating excuses for why they aren’t moving further along in their life. Nobody notices the difference between 100% and 80% but YOU.
When you hold up unrealistic standards like that, it only creates stress, tension, and/or even self-hatred and frustration. Where can you do less?
If you can be flexible, then there’s greater chance you can delegate some tasks to someone else. Free up your precious time & energy for the tasks that really must be done by you, and/or things that you actually enjoy doing.
It comes in many forms. The music choice, where you go for dinner, decorating, how to manage the business, not being able to delegate, fears or phobias, being competitive, always needing to be right or to be the best. Who do you think you are that you think you have some divine right to be the director, producer and starring role in everybody else’s story? Control often comes from an underlying lack of worth, belief and happiness in yourself.
Does it really matter if you don’t choose the music or restaurant? What’s the worst that could happen if you delegate or outsource? Are you really so close-minded that you can’t listen to another person’s point of view with interest & intrigue? You might even learn something!
Learning to let go of control is one of the BIGGEST factors in living consciously and it illuminates the path to a free and fulfilled life.
Freedom = Experiences – Control
6. The Past
Are you hanging on to the pain or heartbreak from a past relationship? Or are you living in hope that you’ll rekindle something long since the fire has gone out? Or perhaps just wanting to live in the past when it was a happier time, avoiding everything in the present.
“I was happier when I was thinner”
“Life was better when mum was still alive”
“Wish I had the confidence I used to have”
“Remember that beautiful home we had? Wish I could live in a house like that now”
“I was successful then and earned £x or achieved x things.”
We will always have death, heartbreak, pain, sorrow & failure. The past is full of them, but such is life! As with everything else, you have a choice. You can relive the suffering you felt ONCE, every day OR you can dig deep into that pain to understand it, learn from it and grow into the person you wish to be.
7. Judgement Of Self & Others
Who are you to judge anybody else? What makes you so special that you can judge somebody on their actions without knowing any more about their situation? Until you become more aware of your thoughts, you’ll forever think, judge and act in the same way. A way without compassion or awareness of what could be going on in their world.
There are the obvious ones about looks, weight, skin colour, wealth (or lack of), material possessions, sports teams. What about how people live their life, the career they’ve chosen, their values & beliefs, how they raise their children or being on their phone when in your company.
There’s something so freeing about giving a person the benefit of the doubt. Ask yourself “what possible reasons could they have for their words, actions or behaviours that go beyond the obvious snap judgement?”
A more mindful & fulfilling way to live!
8. The Belief That You’re Not Good Enough
Worthiness is one of the biggest issues to face individuals in this world. Faced with pressures of achievement from well intending parents & teachers or the need to fit in at school or with a new group of friends. The need to prove your worth from never feeling valued or to prove somebody wrong, and neediness and desperation in relationships through previous heartbreak or fear of being alone….… leaves us feeling empty & unfulfilled.
When you truly believe you’re worthy, your life will unfold in ways that reflect your worthiness. Believe you’re creative, creativity will flow through you. Believe you’re worthy of love, you’ll receive love. Believe you deserve success, you’ll receive whatever success means to you. Life is like a mirror always reflecting your truest beliefs back to you. People show a lack of appreciation to you when you compromise your own worth. They either won’t listen to you, disrespect you or show controlling behaviour towards you. Change comes from within… Take responsibility yourself.
Pause before you react. Leave until you’re calm. Find worth within instead of through nicer possessions, higher income, status & recognition. What would happen if these were taken away? Your true self has worth!
9. Caring What Other People Think
At no point are you going to know what someone else thinks of you! Fact! You can conjure up all of the stories that you like, but it’s the mother f*cker of all assumptions! And you’re creating needless worry for yourself. Do you know how many people don’t even know what’s going on in their head?? Let alone you trying to figure it out for them!
Worrying & behaving in a way that is geared up to please somebody else is frustrating and exhausting. It is a false front. This leads us to hiding our authentic self, the source of our true power & fulfilment in life.
Letting go of the need to please others creates confidence that the people around you are there because they see the real you. If you are putting on your body armour and masks to hide yourself, you’re never ever feeling free. You are caging yourself like an animal in a box that you’re putting yourself in. Talk about crazy!
Letting go empowers you and gives you strength you didn’t know you had.
Just like you feel the exhilaration of free-falling through the air having jumped out of that plane, you feel exhilaratingly free when you let go of all of the weight you’ve been carrying around with you for so long. Go on! Let go & be free!
Peace & love