All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.
As 2020 draws to a close, our thoughts naturally turn to the year ahead.
And with so much focus on the future, many of us are feeling pressure to start fresh. To draft a new list of goals for ourselves.
But, if the thought of committing to one. more. thing. on Jan 1st feels rigid, overwhelming, or arbitrary to you, we’ve got great news:
You don’t have to!
If you’re looking for a gentle alternative to the resolution grind…
Why not make a list of UN-resolutions instead?
Read on for 10 things you might want to let go of this year:
1. Let go of the need for certainty.
Who hasn’t wished for a crystal ball once in awhile? But, as comforting as it may seem to know just what the future holds, learning to live with life’s (many) unknowns is a powerful skill that pays impressive dividends when it comes to your emotional wellness.
2. Let go of the need to be right.
Maybe it shows up in your interactions with coworkers. Or in disagreements with your partner or family members. Or perhaps it’s a private need that manifests as intense pressure to “solve” every problem you encounter. By letting go of the need to be right, you open yourself up to richer learning, more meaningful connections, and deeper self-compassion.
3. Let go of resentment.
Few things are more exhausting to live with than chronic resentment. It serves no purpose, other than to drain you of energy and time. So, ask yourself: Does this feeling highlight an opportunity to change something about my current reality? If the answer is Yes, take decisive action. If the answer is No, choose to let it go. Either way, the resentment will dissipate.
4. Let go of the need for control.
Life can be overwhelming. One of the ways we try to regain a sense of safety and order is by attempting to control the thoughts, emotions, and behavior of others. But, this is a losing game. Not only is it impossible, but exerting control over those around us (even when we’re certain we know best!) creates a harmful dynamic that limits their autonomy and may even create distance and disorder over time.
5. Let go of yesterday’s mistakes.
Want to give yourself a real gift this year? Commit to practicing self-compassion. Despite what you may believe, you are not perfect. (None of us are!) Mistakes are inevitable, healthy, normal opportunities to learn and grow. No mistakes = no living.
6. Let go of others’ expectations of you.
Perhaps it’s the lie that you’re less capable, determined, or talented than you truly are. Or maybe it’s the expectation that you be everything to everyone all the time. Whatever others expect of you, try to remember that those are their expectations. They don’t define your biography or your To Do list.
7. Let go of perfectionism.
You wouldn’t dream of holding others to the same impossible standard you hold yourself to. So, why not loosen the reins a bit and let yourself live free from the expectation of perfection.
8. Let go of the habit to blame.
It isn’t easy taking ownership when things fall short or go awry. Other people and circumstances make awfully convenient scapegoats. Don’t do it. Accept full responsibility for every area of your life, and ditch the blame game. You’ll be so glad you did.
9. Let go of the belief that you can/should do it all.
You’re not Amazon. Try as you might, you’ll never be able to “do it all”. And operating under the assumption that you can is a recipe for resentment, burnout, and feelings of failure. Focus instead on doing whatever you’re doing as well as you reasonably can, and watch the successes pile up behind you!
10. Let go of the negative beliefs you have about yourself.
We all have our stories. The ones we’ve been telling ourselves (sometimes for years) about who we are, what we’re capable of, where we’re headed, and how the world sees us. Take an honest assessment of the stories you’ve been telling yourself about yourself, and consider: Is this story kind? Does the overwhelming evidence suggest this story is true? Is this story necessary for my survival? If the answer to any of these is No… you know what to do.
Cheers to how much you’ve grown in 2020, and cheers to a new year of wellness in 2021!
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Ready to let go but not sure where to start?