Across the world, we all seek happiness and fulfillment in our lives. Yet, we tend to live our lives in a way that keeps us from genuine, long-lasting happiness.
We focus on the details and get caught up in work and errands rather than living a life full of intentional happiness and fulfillment. Life is like getting through an airport. Sometimes we are excited about our trip, while other times we are nervous and don’t what to expect.
On our journey, we carry all this baggage that weighs us down. Not only does our baggage cause problems during clearance, but it’s just more belongings to keep track of, more items to potentially get stolen.
We all carry psychological and emotional baggage in life, and it’s time to learn how to let it go in order to live the life we deserve.
The Importance of Letting Go
Let’s take a look at some of the baggage we hold, and how we can let it go.
1. We let fear rule our lives.
When I used to read about fear, I always thought it had to do with drastic life changes. It took me a long time to realize that fear is much greater than that.
We stop ourselves from trying new adventures, going new places, practicing new habits, or talking to new people because we have a fear of failure and the unknown. We are afraid that we will look bad in front of our peers or we are afraid because we don’t know what to expect.
Fear complicates life because it causes a lot of problems for ourselves and holds us back. All experts were beginners at first, so let go of the fear of failure. Failure is part of life. When we fail we have to pick ourselves up and move on. Once we let go of fear, we are able to do what we want without holding ourselves back.
2. We allow expectations to weigh us down.
Most of our anger comes from the reality of our situation conflicting with our expectations. When we get mad at what people say or do, it’s because we expected them to speak or behave differently.
Frustration with our goals can come from expecting that they will go differently. Expectations are just an idea in our mind, they are not our reality. Instead of having a tight grip on expectations, let them go. If there is a problem to solve accept the reality of the situation and determine the next best option.
3. We fail to remove distractions from our lives.
Our lives are so cluttered because there is so much we have filled them up with. When we are constantly checking email, social media, news, and other apps on our smartphone, it’s a surprise we ever get anything done at all.
If you want more time to spend with loved ones, engaged in meaningful work, or pursuing hobbies, let go of the distractions. For example, we might only be checking email for a few minutes each time, but it all adds up and stops us from what we were previously doing. Notice the urge and let it go.
Signing off or deleting applications that waste time can be a great way to get more meaningful time back in the day.
4. We allow regret to keep us from moving on.
I have seen too many people who let regrets get the best of them, and take control of their life. We all make mistakes and we can’t go back and change the past. Use previous difficult experiences as lessons to learn from. The past is just a memory now. When we let go of the regrets from the past we are more likely to genuinely enjoy the present.
When you are trying to let go start small. Have a reason for letting something go. Does it cause frustration or stress in life? Knowing why we are letting go gives us the incentive we need to carry on.
For example, if you are trying to let go of distractions to allow for more time with family, try avoiding distractions for just three minutes. With practice, extend it to a longer period of time.
Maybe it’s time for you to start letting go.
Many of these pieces of baggage have been held onto for years, so be patient and realize it might take some time to let them go. If the baggage comes back, realize it and practice letting it go once again. Patience is essential. Once the skills are understood, this method can be applied in different areas of life.
Letting go can be difficult, but it gives us the space we need in life for what matters. When we let go of fear, expectations, distractions, and regrets, we gain qualities that are much more valuable. We gain bravery, acceptance, focus, and forgiveness, and these qualities will carry us far in life.