7 Things You Should Know About Letting Go and Moving Forward
March 8, 2023 9:00 AM EST | 7 min read
Letting go and moving forward is never easy.
But there will always be a point when it becomes necessary.
Once that moment comes, here are seven things you need to know about this difficult yet life-changing process.
Things You Should Know About Letting Go and Moving Forward
For more inspiration, check out our collection of moving quotes, and these letting go quotes for finally moving on.
1. Recognize when it is time to let go.
When the pain of staying where you are, becomes greater than the perceived pain of letting go, it is time to let go.
Realizing it’s time to move forward is the hard part.
Sometimes, life needs to hit us over the head repeatedly until we realize what we do isn’t working.
A relationship is burned out.
We have outgrown the other person.
Our offers to help aren’t respected.
A situation drains our energy dry.
What began as hopeful now feels hopeless.
No matter how we try to reason out our situation, it makes little sense.
Our gut is tangled in a constant knot.
Our life feels constricted.
This is when you know the only solution is to let go and move forward.
2. Give yourself time.
So you have tried letting go and moving forward, yet you circle back?
Each time you attempt it, you cut energetic ties that bind.
Investing energy in any situation—whether a job, career, relationship, habit, or attachment—creates an emotional web.
Letting it go requires cutting those ties.
Some people do it cold turkey.
Others clip away a few at a time.
Be okay with experiencing sadness, disappointment, anger, loss, grief, and fear of what comes next.
Be present with each emotion as it arises.
Don’t trick yourself into thinking you’re addicted to being busy to suppress emotions.
They need to be released, so you don’t carry them into future life situations to distort fresh possibilities.
When we have a physical illness, our body heals by fever, vomiting, chills, and trembling.
Emotional illness requires a similar process.
3. Face your fear of what’s next.
No matter how miserable it is, leaving the familiar means an unknown future awaits.
If you are afraid of history repeating itself, now is the time to assess:
- who you are
- what you believe in
- reactive habits that get you into trouble
- ineffective patterns that follow you through life
Take a self-help webinar.
Search online for remedies, explanations, and support.
Read empowering articles on Everyday Power daily.
Find a trusted friend to talk about your fears and allow them to help you process them.
And then act on what you are learning.
You need to do things differently if you want a better result.
Facing your fear is simply part of letting go.
4. You aren’t your history…
… unless you choose to drag it along with you.
You aren’t what happened in the past.
Nor what is going on today because of past choices or actions.
You are the observer-witness-wise person at this moment who can learn, adjust, and improve.
If you insist on framing today from the perspective of your past, you block new possibilities.
You will attract new circumstances that repeat your history.
When letting go, write out a vision of the best you that you can perceive now.
Then commit to behaving and making choices as that person instead of who you have been in the past.
Choose a trustworthy Role Model to emulate until you find new footing.
Each time you act from this new self-image, you weaken historical patterns and reinforce new, preferred results.
5. Learn the lesson.
What went wrong?
Why are you in a situation that requires letting go and moving forward?
Is there a pattern of behavior that follows you?
Are you reacting to a childhood that is long since gone?
Are you trying to change everything around you to fit a pre-conceived perfect life?
Blaming an undesirable situation on others doesn’t offer solutions.
The only person, the only life, you have control over is you.
Every situation offers a lesson.
The sooner you recognize the lesson, the sooner you can extricate yourself and move on.
When you do, if you haven’t learned this lesson, you’ll face it repetitively until you learn it.
So buckle down and get to work on yourself.
You’ll be delighted with the changes that unfold!
6. Failure is a natural life process
Inventors fail more than they succeed.
Yet with each failure, they refine their thinking and improve the process.
We can adjust when we know what doesn’t work.
Just as a sailor adjusts the sails according to the wind, we eventually reach our destination by adjusting.
As a professional motivational speaker, I gave dinner talks where they sat me with the organization’s leaders.
Early in my career, they invited me to speak at a city’s annual gathering of leaders.
In this conservative city, I faced an all-male group.
They sat in the audience, one in tweeds with a pipe and one wearing a bowler hat.
Standing at the dais, I began my talk.
The men were not engaged.
Some were checking their planners, and others were talking.
I deepened my voice and stood straighter, trying to look more important, but to no avail.
I used a previous technique—moving closer to the audience.
Unfortunately, I forgot I was on a six-inch platform.
I stepped forward into thin air and fell.
The man with the bowler scrambled out of his chair and ran to help me.
More men rushed up to be sure I was alright.
Red-faced, I scrambled to my feet, desperate to save my pride.
At that moment, a quote from Dale Carnegie popped into my head.
I thanked those who had helped me and faced the group of men who finally gave me their full attention.
“I’ve heard that if you lay an egg, stand back and admire it. I think I just laid a whopper of an egg!”
Laughter rolled across the room.
These important leaders became just a group of men, sharing a moment of life with me.
They teased me.
I teased back, as I would with any of my friends.
My fall broke down the room’s formality.
I didn’t need to impress the audience; I needed to be real.
That fall, and the ensuing warm reception, released my belief that I needed to impress, making room to be someone eager to connect.
7. Holding on to where you are leaves no room for new to come into your life.
There is a universal Law of Vacuum.
Nature does not allow a vacuum: an empty space.
When space is vacated, something will rush in to fill that spot.
Remove a bucket of water from a river, water rushes in to fill that space.
Remove a diseased tooth, and the surrounding teeth will move in to fill the gap.
So if you want something new, you need to make space for it by removing what currently holds that space in your life.
If you insist on holding onto anything undesirable, there is no room for the desirable.
If you toss out two old coats you don’t like anymore, you’ll find the perfect coat hanging on a rack—maybe even on sale.
Release toxic relationships, and new people show up with fresh potential.
Remove a limiting belief that you aren’t good at your work and feel new energy to develop your expertise.
Are you ready to master this skill?
Holding on to where you are now while you simultaneously try to move forward keeps you stuck.
While reading this, one or more situations in your life are probably popping into your thoughts.
Learn the art of letting go.
Experience something better that is waiting to come into your life!
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January 2, 2023 at 6:48 PM
Every sentence resonated with me 100%. Wonderful advice!
Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor
January 3, 2023 at 12:00 PM
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