I’ve recently been trying hard to let go of someone that I know is not good for me. It hasn’t been easy and I’m not sure I’m even fully there yet, but the process has made me question:
“Why it is so hard to let go?”
In my personal circumstances I know this person is bad for me, when I think about the things that have gone before I can feel the energy leaving my body, putting me into a state of lethargy and the thought of going back to that emotional state terrifies me, but still I insist on holding on!
With all this negativity in mind, letting go SHOULD be easy… you hear it all the time “onwards and upwards” “things will only get better” one of my favourite songs keeps nagging me about it “the day you stop looking back is the day you start moving on”. (This song has become my morning anthem, in fact it has become my anytime I feel like I might slip backwards anthem and at the moment it seems like it’s playing on loop)
So why is it so hard to let go? I’m not just talking about letting go of people, I’m talking about everything…
Why do some smokers continue to smoke even though they dislike their habit and know it’s killing them?
Why do people stay in abusive relationships when there may be a new loving partner around the corner?
Why do we hold onto that hurtful comment or that argument with a friend when we know that forgiving and reigniting that friendship will make us happy?
Why are we scared to let go of the job that is making us miserable?
I believe a lot of it comes down to trust.
To truly let go we need to have faith that we are doing the right thing and there are better things around the corner. Sadly though it is often easier to cling to the things that we know, even though they may be bad for us… FAMILIARITY = SAFETY. Fear makes us cling to what we know, however bad it makes us feel or how badly it damages us. There are many ways fear can hold us back …
Fear of the unknown
Fear of failure
Fear of future loss and additional pain
In the case of a relationship we can even convince ourselves it is better to be with someone who treats us badly than to risk being on our own – utter craziness, but we all do it! For the smoker the unseen damage to their lungs is better than the fear of putting on weight or dealing with the possibility of dealing with stress without cigarettes. The mundane day to day of the job you hate is better than the fear of not being able to pay the mortgage or possibly not finding anything better.
So how do we get that trust?
The answer is by making small changes and looking for the proof that we are heading in the right direction. When you are brave and take a step towards were you want to be it may feel scary at first, but when you start to feel better you know you’ve made the right choice. As a coach a lot of what I do is helping people to break down what we call limiting beliefs, otherwise known as fears or the stories we tell ourselves to justify our lack of action. When we let go of someone or something the process can be difficult. Sometimes it will feel as though it’s two steps forwards and one back, rest assured there’ll always be ups and downs and this is normal and part of the process of letting go.
As long as movement is occurring in the right direction you’re on your way to freedom.
I challenge you to ask yourself:
- What is it that you know you need to let go of that you are holding back from releasing?
- What is the fear that is stopping you from letting it go?
- What is the damage that holding on is doing to your life?
- What do you stand to gain if you have the courage to let go?
Once you have identified the answers to these questions BE BRAVE, and let these few tips help you to move forwards:
- REALLY decide to let it go – commit to your decision, stick with it and own it.
- Let those who care about you know that you decided to make the break and ask for their help and support. If this isn’t possible find outside support.
- Remind yourself daily of your reasons for letting go. Write them down and put them somewhere you can see them.
- Shift your focus to the here and now. Make your world great – If your present is great you are less likely to pine for the past.
- If you’re letting go of someone that has hurt you, learn to forgive <3
- Make a plan to reward yourself once you have let go – do something you couldn’t have done whilst holding on.
- Keep the faith – You know you can do it so remind yourself of that at every opportunity.