Be honest. Something or someone in your life— maybe more than one thing—isn’t working well for you any longer.
Release. Let it, him, or her go.
Set It Free
You know that old saying, “If you love something, set it free. If it was meant to be yours, it will come back.” I was thinking about that saying this past week.
I just dropped my daughter off at graduate school. Like many young people today, she graduated college and moved back home to live; the cost of living in California was too high for her to afford her own place. So we spent the last three years cohabitating.
Of course, I let her go when she went off to college. But I had to do it again as she starts a new phase of her life in graduate school.
Her doggie—my grand doggie—lived with us for the past two years, and he left with her. I had to let both of them go; they have to have their own lives to live.
That’s what kids do: They grow up and move away. As a parent, that’s what you want for them. So you let them go.
I let my son go when he was only 17 and decided to go to New York City and study ballet in his senior year of high school. And then I had to let him go when he accepted a job with a Germany ballet company.
But letting go of your kids, that’s one thing. It’s supposed to be that way. It can be hard, but we do it.
Usually letting kids go has nothing to do with the relationship not working. From my daughter’s perspective, though, at 25 she needed to be on her own. Living at home wasn’t working so well for her any longer. She needed her own life, and so she had to let go of home…and her parents. And that’s as it should be.
She’ll come home to visit as will my son. We all love each other. Thus, setting each other free allows us to “come back.”
Let Go of What Doesn’t Work
There’s a different letting go, though…the kind that happens when something isn’t working any longer. You know, for your own well being you need to release something, which can be hard in some cases.
Maybe you need to let go of a friendship or a spouse. Maybe you need to let go of a job or living situation.
Maybe you have to let go of habits that aren’t serving you. Or maybe you have to release old routines or rituals that no longer work. You might need to rid yourself of mindsets or belief systems that don’t help you progress with your life.
You need to create space for something new—a new relationship, habit, or routine that serves you better.
If it’s not working, now is the time to let it go…not later. Life is short…too short…to hold on to that which doesn’t help you step into your highest self or the life of your dreams.
What do you need to release? Not sure?
Evaluate What’s Not Working—and What Is
What follows is a four-step process for evaluating what isn’t working in your life and the need to let it go (or not).
- Take an accounting of your life. Sit down with a journal and go through different areas—relationships, health and fitness, career and work, hobbies and free time.
- Next, rate each area on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest score. How do you feel about each area? Is it good, so-so, lousy? If you scored anywhere from a 1 to a five, it’s time to determine what isn’t working there and see if you need to release it from your life. If you scored a six or above, you could choose to keep this aspect of your life. That 5–7 area, however, may feel like it could be improved. If so, it’s worth a closer look to see if you need to get rid of something and choose something different that will raise the score.
- Now, for each area I which you scored lower than you’d like, make a list of the things that you could or need to get rid of. Before you eliminate anything, though, evaluate what it is about that area of life that isn’t working. If you scored low in health and fitness, for example, what’s not working? Is it that you don’t exercise at all or is your current exercise or diet not helping you achieve your health and fitness goals? Score the things you currently do in this area (including your mindset) on a scale of 1 to 10 as well; this helps you determine what needs to change more specifically.
- Then, start checking the things you’ve selected off one by one as you get rid of them. Using the example above, you might need to drop the habit of not exercising and replace it with the habit of exercising regularly, or you might need to join a gym or get a personal trainer to help you make your exercise routine more effective.
I don’t recommend getting rid of everything at once on your list of what isn’t working. That could create a shock to the system. I do recommend creating a plan that these you do so little by little or one by one.
Make Room for Something New
There is a metaphysical or spiritual teaching that says that when you get rid of things (even relationships and mindsets), you make room for something new to take their places. So if you want a new relationship, get rid of the old one. That makes room.
If you want a new job, make space for a new one—clean off your desk, complete projects. You might not even have to quit the job; you could transform it.
If you know a new mindset would help you achieve your goals, stop thinking the old thoughts. As you do, you create an opportunity to think new thoughts and create new beliefs that support your dreams.
Move Forward Freely
You can look at this process in another way: When you release from your life that which doesn’t serve you any longer, you set yourself free as well. You enable yourself to move forward freely toward your best self and your dreams.
Whe you let go of things you are holding onto that actually weigh you down, you lighten your load. This gives the ability to steps faster and to leap higher.
It’s like a “Get Out of Jail” card. You give yourself the freedom to step into your best self and pursue your dreams.
Get Clear About What You Want
Before you let go of anything, get very clear about what you do want in your life. Begin this entire process with a focus on what you want to allow or attract in.
Take time to journal about the things you would like to replace those things that want to eliminate from your life. This should leave you with two lists:
- Things you want to release from your life
- Things you want to allow into or create in your life
Every time you check off something you’ve released, aim to check off something you want to embrace. That means you can’t just wait for the new thing to show up; actively work on creating the new things you desire. For example, if you want a new relationship and you release the old one, get out there and start dating, go to mixers, join an online dating site, or go to events that are of interest to you where you might find like-minded people. If you want a new job, when (or before) you say, “I’m going to quit,” look for another job. Go to networking events or hire a headhunter.
For each thing you identify as something you want to eliminate, do something to replace it with what you want. That’s how you become the person you know you can be and get from where you are to where you want to go. That’s how you create the life of your dreams.
What do you need to let go of ? Tell me in a comment below.
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