Being told that “letting go” is in our best interest is always one of those pieces of advice that is much easier said than done.

If it were that easy, people would not be walking around with pain, heartbreak and grief. When someone is telling you that you need to let go, it’s not usually being said with the expectation that you must be able to “snap out of it” overnight. That would be unfair to expect from anyone (Side note: If there is anyone in your life that has these kinds of standards set for you to follow, you should most likely “let go” of that person while you are in the process of “letting go” of what is not good for you). When we finally decide to begin the process of letting go of whatever is hindering our growth, we learn over time that it is not something we can usually master quickly, but simply a skill that we can learn over time.

How Do I Know When I Need to Let Go?

For starters, what is it that is making you wonder when it’s time to let go? Is it a gut feeling? Are you noticing a repeat pattern of behavior in your own life? Will the thing you are considering letting go of make your life easier if removed completely? We must be honest with ourselves when answering these kinds of questions. We should not waste any more of our time or energy keeping something in our life if we know that the bad outweighs the good. If you have already wondered if you need to start letting go of something, more times than not, you should pay attention to the instinct telling you to put your guard up.

We All Have the Potential to Acquire the Skill of “Letting Go”

Letting go of anything requires patience. It’s not an easy feat to rid yourself of a person, a memory, a habit, or anything that has taken up a certain amount of space in your life. Letting go is a skill, and if it is something we continually practice and accept overtime, we can take away the necessary lessons we were meant to be learning all along. We must first acknowledge that it is just a part of life to have to rid ourselves of what is no longer working for us. Whether it be a failing relationship, a toxic friendship, an uninspiring job, or a negative habit of our own creation — we must be able to face the reality of a situation and be able to admit when we are better off without something or someone. The skill of letting go is acquired when we can put our expectations aside and start making positive changes where changes are no longer taking place.

We Can Let Go Much Easier When We Trust Ourselves

In my own experience with letting go of what was toxic for me, I found it challenging because I was not yet confident in my own choices. v I may have recognized what was not good for me, I was still attaching myself to the belief of not being myself without keeping that toxic part of me around. Anytime we allow something to become a part of our identity, or a motive for our actions, we tend to give those same things far too much credit and priority in our lives. We must be able to separate ourselves from anything we feel a “need” for and learn to trust our own choices again when not being influenced by external factors. Once we find our footing, and we start to gain our balance, it will be much easier for us to “let go” and trust in the choices we make moving forward.

When it comes to letting go, we shouldn’t get discouraged with the process. It was never intended to be easy, but what we learn about ourselves through certain challenges it what makes all of it so worth it. Everything we face in life is designed to make us better people. Letting go is just one of those skills we must learn along the way, and then keep practicing as we go.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.