Let go of the belief that you have to have everything figured out right now. That you have to know exactly who you want to be, exactly what you want to do, exactly who you want to have a life with. Be okay with the fact that you’re going to go through life feeling blind and unsteady and never fully sure of what you’re doing, because that’s how it’s supposed to be.
Let go of the idea that people are either 100% good or 100% bad. Focus on learning as much as you can about a person, about their past and their present and their struggles and their pain, before you succumb to the human instinct of instant judgement.
Let go of your hatred of your body. Understand that it’s okay to want to be healthy, to want to be proud of your body, and to want to look good and feel well. But also understand that you are only mortal, that there will always be something that you don’t like about yourself, and that it’s more of a journey of figuring out how to love yourself anyway than it is about ‘fixing’ what you are convinced is wrong with you.
Let go of your anger towards the friends who have hurt you but have also repeatedly tried to make it up to you. Forgive them, bring them back into your life, and watch how much happier and lighter you are because of it.
Let go of friends who don’t put effort into your relationship. It doesn’t have to be a fight, or a dramatic, official goodbye. But let go of the energy that you spend on them that never gets returned. Come to peace with it, and with them. Be okay with the fact that you can still love them while also letting them go, in order to make room for the friends who always meet you halfway.
Let go of the idea that you must be right all the time. You’re human and you make mistakes and sometimes you’re wrong and that’s okay, as long as you own up to it.
Let go of your belief that it’s too late to start the career that you actually want. It is never too late.
Let go of people who make you feel like you have to change in order to be loved by them.
Let go of your passivity, of the tendency to watch life as it happens to you instead of taking charge of it yourself. Stop convincing yourself that you don’t have that much control over your life, that this is the job you’re stuck with or this is the city you’re stuck with or this is the partner you’re stuck with and you just have to deal with it, even if it makes you unhappy. Decide for yourself that you are powerful enough to change things, then start small and don’t stop.
Let go of the idea that anxiety or depression are things to be ashamed about. Be kind to yourself, get the help you need and deserve, and understand that you are not alone.
Let go of the pressure you put on yourself to be perfect. Embrace your flaws, embrace your screwups, embrace all the reasons why you are not perfect and figure out the numerous ways that they actually make you stronger.
Let go of bitterness over tiny things – traffic, loud people on the train, an annoying coworker. Stop letting the little things ruin your day. They can become pretty powerful, if you let them.
Let go of mediocrity, of any tendency you have to not give it your all. Don’t be a mediocre friend, a mediocre employee, a mediocre partner. Don’t feel mediocre about your job and don’t feel mediocre about the things you spend your time on outside of your job. Work towards greatness, in everything that you do. It doesn’t mean you have to be great at everything all the time, but you have to at least aim for it.
Let go of negative self-talk. Of telling yourself that you’re not good enough or you’re not successful enough or that you are undeserving of love. You will probably never fully get to this point, of being truly immune to negative self-talk. But you can certainly make a dent in decreasing it, and in making a conscious effort to be more kind and loving towards yourself.
Let go of wasting stupid amounts of money on things that are not worth it or things you don’t care about.
Let go of the loud world you let yourself live in, with constant notifications and noise and scrolling and liking and sharing and clicking. Let yourself have some peace, or even just a moment to live in your own mind and to listen to your own thoughts, without someone or something trying to steal your attention.
Let go of toxic thoughts, toxic things, toxic people, your own toxic behavior. Focus on being kind, on putting more goodness into the world, on giving and loving and making other people happy and relishing in how happy that makes you in return. Spread love and spread light.
Written by Kim Quindlen