Interested in having more joy, less stress, and greater satisfaction with life each day?
How about having an easier time making better life decisions?
The answer may be as simple as—letting go.
The idea of moving our life in a new and positive direction is usually supported by exercises to help figure out what we’re going to add to our existence. Where can we spend more minutes in alignment with our life purpose? Who are our “Who’s” to help us live our Big Five for Life? What mantras or personal practices can we implement to bring us more peace and tranquility?
This can all be very powerful. Equally powerful though, and often overlooked, is identifying opportunities for us to let go.
Here are three areas where letting go can help you live an extraordinary life.
Everything has energy. Everything is energy. We know this on a scientific level. Physical things are really collections of molecules, which are collections of atoms, which are collections of protons, neutrons, and electrons and a whole lot of empty space. The way in which all of these are arranged causes items to look and feel different. Their arrangement in our lives can also cause us to feel different. Because at their core, they’re all energy.
And we feel that energy. When you walk into a crammed closet overflowing with disorder, how do you feel? Even if you can’t name it, do you sense tension of some sort? Anxiety? Have you ever noticed that in the stores where furniture and home decorating options are sold, they never have the closets overflowing and disorderly? Why? Because that tension and anxiety makes people uncomfortable. They want to get away from it, not purchase it.
Applying this realization to our lives can reap great rewards. Because when we allow our environment to cause tension, stress, and discomfort, we put ourselves in an almost permanent state of wanting to flee. And constantly feeling like we want to flee from our own lives is highly detrimental to making smart life choices and living an amazing existence.
There are many different strategies to use regarding letting go of possessions. I like to keep things very simple, so here are two strategies which are very easy to do, and very easy to implement. They should be done together, which will make perfect sense once you’ve read through them.
The first strategy is to adopt the personal standard in your life that if something comes into the house, then something has to go out. I first used this at Christmas time when my daughter was very little. However many presents she received, the day after Christmas she was responsible for going through her old toys, finding an equal number, of about the same size, and donating them. The goal was to help her keep the clutter down, learn how to let go of things and practice making life decisions.
It was SUPER EFFECTIVE!
Implementing a similar practice in your life ensures that any clutter you already have, can’t get worse.
Strategy number two will help you eliminate any overflow which already exists. It too is very simple to implement. Starting today, find two things and get rid of them. It can be anything. Clothes, an old magazine, a pair of shoes you haven’t worn in five years. Pick two things and get rid of them. Donate them if you want. Recycle, throw them away, give them to someone.… It doesn’t matter. But they have to leave the house and can’t just be temporarily relocated to the garage, basement, or stuffed in an alternate closet.
Then tomorrow, and every day for the next 90 days, find two more things and get rid of those too.
in order to go from where we are, to the life we want to be living, something has to change.
It’s an incredibly freeing process. Like with the example above, it also helps us master the art of making choices in life and dealing with how to let go. Plus, it helps us embrace changes in life. Which is really important because in order to go from where we are, to the life we want to be living, something has to change.
Closets are a great place to start with this activity. Almost everyone has some piece of clothing they never wear but never seem to dispose of either. Closets are also great because they serve as a good barometer for our overall life. A closet which has space is usually owned by a person who has space in their life. Space for things like time to think, read, contemplate, create, grow, learn, share…. Lives like these tend tends to be calm, relaxed, and free of tension.
After the 90 days are up, you can either keep going, or simply enjoy all the new openness and space in your life.
2. Unsupportive Beliefs
One of the greatest little personal games you can ever play is to challenge your beliefs and let the unsupportive ones go. It’s truly astounding how few of our beliefs come from reflection, contemplation, and assessments of the realities we’ve personally experienced.
Most of our beliefs come from things other people told us, usually when we were quite little. The rest are predominantly from things we’ve seen in movies, TV shows, or read in fiction stories. The television skewed from reality because the goal of that type of entertainment is to create and release tension. That adrenaline ride is what makes entertainment so entertaining. In order to do that though, false realities of extreme proportions are created so that in a short amount of time, the viewer or reader gets a major emotional reaction. This often results in us taking on a belief which is not based on real life.
The process of challenging your beliefs is quite simple. Just monitor your thoughts a little bit. The next time you find yourself taking a position on something, ask yourself why you believe whatever it is you’re believing. With a non-judging, purely curious state of mind, dig deep enough until you can really explain to yourself where that belief comes from.
Once you’ve gotten that far, ask yourself if you genuinely believe the belief. You’ll be amazed to discover how often the answer is NO! Or at least, I’m not sure.
You’ll quickly realize how profoundly our beliefs impact the way we evaluate choices in life and our ability to make better life decision.
As you get better and better at this, really take note of the beliefs which pop up which are non-supportive. They could be beliefs about money, relationships, making a career change, or what you’re capable of. As you assess each of them, allow yourself to let go of the ones which just aren’t true. Especially the ones which aren’t supporting you in living the life you really want to live.
You’ll quickly realize how profoundly our beliefs impact the way we evaluate choices in life and our ability to make better life decision. So making sure our beliefs are genuinely ours, is critical to living an existence filled with joy and aligned with our true life purpose.
Every minute spent in negative energy is a minute that could have been spent in positive energy. And once those minutes are spent, you cannot get them back. Not ever. Under no circumstances.
No matter how much you wish you could, or how much money you have, it just isn’t possible.
This means the faster you let go of unsupportive, negative people in your life, the more joy, peace, and greater satisfaction you’ll have. At a minimum you end up with less stress, and more alone time, which means you’ve at least gotten rid of the negative energy.
if we want the positive, we have to first let go of the negative and open up space where the positive can go.
Even better is filling those now available spaces with caring, positive, and supportive people and allowing yourself to be surrounded by amazing energy.
The important thing to remember with letting go as it relates to people, is that if your life is filled with negative ones, you can’t just leave the negative in place and hope to add the positive on top of it. That’s like trying to pour healthy juice into a glass that’s already full of toxic chemicals. First of all, there’s no room for the healthy stuff. It won’t fit. Second of all, the toxic aspects just end up polluting whatever healthy stuff does get added.
No matter how much we dream about it, or say we wish it were so, if we want the positive, we have to first let go of the negative and open up space where the positive can go.
This applies to family members, people at our work, friends, and all our other relationships too.
Allowing ourselves to embrace the opportunity to “let go” is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves. Unwrap your version of it and enjoy all the great things which will follow.
Enjoy the adventure!
John Strelecky is the author of the #1 Bestselling The Cafe on the Edge of the World and Big Five for Life series of books. Subscribe to this blog to learn more about his works, and about discovering and living your version of an amazing life.