Last Updated on June 7, 2022
The reminder to ‘let go of what doesn’t serve you‘ is everywhere. You’ve probably seen it floating around on your Instagram feed at some point.
But what does it really mean? How do we know what’s serving or not serving us?
If we use the definition of serve as ‘to be useful or of service to’, the advice translates to letting go of what’s not useful to you anymore.
Ultimately, that could mean things that:
- take away your energy
- drain you mentally and emotionally
- make you doubt yourself
- give you nothing in return
- serve no real purpose in your life
We’re still in a global pandemic, and I imagine that we’ll all be processing these emotions for a long time to come. Even if you haven’t been directly impacted by the virus, the past two years have taken a toll on everyone’s emotions and mental health.
If you’re clinging to the remnants of things that comfort you during this time, who am I to say that you need to get rid of them. We all want and need to feel safe.
But maybe you’re attached to things that aren’t providing any value to you anymore, such as the need to be in control, tasks that could be done by someone else, goals from two years ago, or those wilting plants that aren’t coming back to life.
Does anything come to mind for you?
One thing I know I need to let go of is feeling like I need the answers to everything. Like I can’t start something new or write about a topic unless I already know the answers. But that’s not how life works, is it?
Sometimes in order to let go, you need to figure out what you want to embrace instead. Maybe it’s embracing less and keeping everything minimal for a while (clothing, books, the number of people you follow on social media, etc.).
Try asking what is nourishing you, what is providing you with comfort, and what is giving you the energy to do the things you want to do (or let’s be honest, the basic necessities that you need to keep yourself going).
There is power in making space for what you need.
Here are some super simple ideas for letting go and making space:
- dust the corners of your apartment that are accumulating nasties
- get rid of your dying plants (make room for new ones!🌿)
- donate the clothes that you’re never going to wear
- watch a movie that you know will make you cry (in a good way)
- listen to music from your childhood
- wash the emotional support blanket on your bed
- brain dump everything out of your head onto a piece of paper
- do something for an hour that doesn’t involve a screen of any kind
- close the 100+ tabs open on your computer right now
What will you let go of?
I hope this post has given you something to ponder on when it comes to letting go of what no longer serves you.
Noticed that most of what I do not let go of is unconscious. It really takes a lot of work to dig deep and find what is holding me back. For me, it is impossible to let go of things I don’t know. I need to find them first, extract the wisdom after months of work and then I can let it go. But it takes soooooo long…
From time to time I got rid of unnecessary things. During the last move, I threw a lot away, gave it away, but still, I see some “trash” in my home. It is a never-ending process.
Music from my student days always energizes and pleases me. That’s working.
I’ll try your advice on movies, thanks.
Most people don’t have a good relationship with themselves unless they are actively working on the journey. Tap in with us to listen to our journey and how we’ve developed a healthier relationship with ourselves.
Love the post. What really stuck with me was your concept of ‘let go of what doesn’t serve you’. This made me think of my friends that I had in high school. Although I still enjoy their company, you eventually outgrow people and that’s okay. I’ve moved to a new city, and although I’m still trying to meet people, I’ve grown exponentially from where I was just a short 5 months ago. Thanks for the advice, keep up the good work!
Awsome blog love how it’s designed.
Thank you, Lavonn!
At the moment I’m working on letting go of wanting to control progress in learning new skills. Instead of enjoying the process I would often feel disappointment or overwhelmed when thing don’t go as I expected them to go.
As a result, things like learning a new language or writing on my blog became “loaded” things. The fun was lost, and that’s the most inportant part!
Instead of wanting to control, I’m learning to trust :)
Very wise advice. It’s important to let go of things that are draining or no longer serving us. These are great tips. I love the idea of asking yourself what is nourishing your and gives you energy. Thanks for sharing:)
So glad you liked the post, Martha!
Love this idea of making space, physically and mentally, in our lives! You’re so right, things and thoughts pile up and clutter our lives unnecessarily. Such a good reminder, this will be so good for our inner wellbeing! :)
That’s a very nice reminder Catherine. Time and energy are precious and limited in life. My view on this is that letting go of what doesn’t serve us ensures our time and energy is spent on what matters… to keep us healthy, happy, fulfilled in life and moving towards our goals. You made me laugh when you suggest we close the thousand tabs open on the computer this very minute ( ah ah ah…nice touch…some of us really do use the computer this way :-))
Hey, I was scrolling randomly then your blog title caught my attention which was posted months ago. Yeah, I think, it is not about only the things that we should let go of, sometimes we need to let go of the toxic people in our lives wherein they were the cause of our stress, self-doubt, overthinking, etc. Thanks for reminding me to spend my time on the things that are valuable and worthy.
This is such a necessary topic and blog post! I think we can so easily become attached to things and not take the time out to evaluate the purpose they have in our lives or even why we’re so attached to them. One thing that has helped me is taking a personal audit of my lifestyle, possessions and thoughts/feelings. Looking at what I hold onto and whether it serves me for the ‘greater good’. You look at things more critically, and objectively but you have to be harsh with your evaluation.
Yes, an audit is such a helpful thing to do every now and then!
I’m not sure if this applies, but I think another important example is fear. Sometimes we hold on to fears that are not serving us anymore. Like the fear of getting into a cold swimming pool. Some people believe cold water immersion is really healthy. So what’s a minute of feeling cold until your body warms up to the pool water, right? And the more you do it, the more you realize it’s not that scary. And then you open up your world to a new form of exercise.
This is just one example. There are lots of fears out there that can hold us back. Fear you won’t like hearing an opposing opinion. Fear you’ll fail if you try a new routine. Fear you’ll be rejected if you try to start a relationship with someone…
Anyway, just some thoughts.
I definitely think that applies, Priti! Sometimes it’s hard to know if we need to let go of something or if we need to face it head on instead. I’m not sure how you’d know that difference exactly, but it’s something to think about for sure!
Wow, profound and powerful. At 69 I had to gather the strength to end a 27 year relationship!! We had been a blended family for almost 3decades. But betrayal happened, too long story, but the losses were great!! My four grandchildren, who slept in my bed for years were taken from me! Put in the middle of grandma and grandpa. So I went from a house filled with love and people to just me!! I was devastated. but refused to be surrounded by toxic people! I finally in 30 years put me first !!! Healing, watering those plants, I just read u should buy a plant and name it you and watch it grow everyday. 💕💕❣️
I love how you have the ability to boil down a really complex topic into actions that feel GREAT! Thank you!
Ah thank you so much, Kathy!
Happy New Year 2023!
Thank you for the article. I am a strong advocate for mental health and self care. I just sent the article to my colleagues and also referenced it on Facebook yesterday. It’s good to read different options to “make space” (watching a movie that you KNOW will make you cry was something I have never thought about!). Journaling helps, too – simple and extremely effective, especially for an OCD brain… Keep writing, Dear, it’s working for you!
Thank you so much for sharing this with others, Jill! I’m glad you liked the ideas :)