Do You Need to Let Things Go?
Have you ever been told you need to let things go? Maybe you need to quit trying to control everything?
Maybe this comes from living the single mom life for so long. This need for control begins to bleed into other areas of life that go unnoticed until it becomes too big.
With the best intentions, people say, “ Let it go.”
But of course, everything is easier said than done. Another thing that is much easier – people looking in at other people problems and assessing them. They have no emotional attachment so it’s very easy for others to look at your life and say “quit” obsessing, quit thinking about it, quit trying to control him, etc.
But sometimes the fact remains that we may need to quit that very thing we are doing. But the question is how?
How to Let Things Go
I struggled with the very same thing and it wasn’t until I heard a Podcast with Tim Ferris as the guest speaker that I got an idea that finally helped me break through and learn how to let things go.
Concept 1: Practicing Failure
In this Podcast, Tim Ferriss was talking about the art of practicing failure. He credited it as one of the reasons he is so successful. He said daily he tries to experience failure in the little things so when failure comes, he is not set back.
For example, every day ask a stranger for something you expect to get a “no” response from. Ask a stranger for a dollar, or if they want a piece of gum, etc. You will be expecting a “no” answer so it won’t bother you but it will condition your brain to hear the word no.
Then when do not get the raise you expected, you won’t be living in a “yes” world and won’t take it so hard. In his book, (affiliate link) The 4-Hour Work Week, he actually takes it to a larger extreme of calling celebrities every single day.
Although I’m not going to call celebrities, I thought this concept was brilliant and could be used for any life lesson. If I need to get used to letting go of the big hang-ups in my life, why don’t I try letting go of the little things?
Concept 2: Desensitizing
The other concept that helped shape this challenge for me was “desensitizing”. I recently got a new puppy and while learning how to train her, I was introduced to the concept of desensitizing. She did not like to have her hair brushed when we first got her. So we had to slowly brush her over a period of a month. It started with a small patch of fur in one spot and lasted for less than one minute. We would put the brush on her back and just rest it there, let her sniff it, show her it wouldn’t hurt her. It stayed like that for a period of a week. It gradually grew to be so we could brush her whole body. But it took time until we could desensitize her to the feel and sound of the brush.
We too need to be desensitized to new experiences when learning new things. These two concepts go hand in hand. So while I am learning to let go of the little things in preparation for the big things, I am actually desensitizing myself to having control to every little thing in my world.
90 Day Challenge to Let Things Go
I challenged myself for 90 days to let go of something every single day. It didn’t have to be big. In fact, that was the point. I needed to get in the practice of letting go of small things so that I could become desensitized to it.
So what kind of things did I let go of during those 90 days? Some are listed below. Often I found I had to let go of some things repeatedly day after day. Those were hang up things for me. Some things may not look like any big deal to you, but they were to me. I bet if I saw your list, I may think some of your things are no big deal. But remember, I could easily let your things go, as I have no emotional attachment to them.
What I Practiced Letting Go
- Intentionally missed a school meeting for graduating students.
- Let a stranger correct my child’s behavior.
- Ignored the coach’s email on some matter that seemed urgent at the time but now I can’t remember what it was, just proves it doesn’t really matter.
- Did absolutely nothing on a Saturday when I didn’t have the kids – I napped, bathed, read, watched TV, that would be it.
- Another parent was annoyed at me due to a decision I had made, normally this would bother me. I decided to let it go and not think about it.
- Didn’t respond to a family member’s text.
- Self-imposed deadlines on work and personal goals. Although goals are important they can also be limiting for no reason.
- Went out of town for a weekend without telling anyone.
- A friend said something hurtful and instead of trying to resolve it, I decided to let it go and just forgive her. It’s probably more about her than me anyway.
- Miscommunication at work that I would normally try to rectify, instead I just ignored the emails for a couple days and it all died down on its own.
- Let the dishes sit in the sink for
onethree days longer than normal.
- The kids had an argument and I would usually step in, but instead, I just shut my door.
- Let kids eat pizza for lunch and dinner.
That’s just a sample of the little things I began to let go. It’s all in preparation to begin to let the big things go naturally.
10 Things Everyone Should Strive to Let Go
- Letting other people’s lack of planning become my emergency
- Unhealthy relationships
- Limiting beliefs
- Fear stopping me from changing
- Living in the past
- Living my life to please others
- Putting myself down in my head
- Living small
- Waiting for circumstances to change before I live my life
So What About You?
Can you let something go every day for 90 days? Make a list on your phone of what you let go each day. Somedays you may get upset over something that happened, then you can stop and say, “That’s ok, I’m gonna let that go today.” Other days, you may be able to intentionally let a specific hangup go.
All the while knowing we are practicing freeing ourselves for the bigger picture.