Should we take care of the past

Learning to let go: this is how it works

Hardly anything is more difficult than that Let go. Here is that Hold tight but the bigger show of strength, one would think. But the opposite is the case. Many friends or family advise us: "You have to learn to let go!" "Let go at last!" But that's easier said than done. Especially when it comes to a loved one. But otherwise we also drag things from the past around like ballast on our soul and simply fail to look ahead and concentrate on the future. Why is that? And why are we clinging so tightly? What psychology knows about it - and how we do learn to let go can. Even painless ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

What is the meaning of letting go?

People react differently to Changes. Most of them don't like them - we are creatures of habit too. Who is it once in his Comfort zone made comfortable, shy away from the risk. Habits and routines give us security and a feeling of security. Even if that is sometimes a illusion is and changes still happen.

Letting go is therefore a form of events or developments respond appropriately.

If you let go, you adapt to the situation, accept what happened - even if that goes against your own interests.

You could also say: Letting go is a form of resilience. Instead of remaining paralyzed, letting themselves be dragged down and not being able to get over the innovations, those affected react like standing up, rearrange themselves and their lives and carry on - just not like before.

Letting go therefore also means learning to trust. Trust in the positive future. On the fact that even strokes of fate can serve you for the better (which, of course, many only recognize in retrospect).

People are attached to a wide variety of people and things. Letting go can refer to the following areas:

  • Relationships

    Toxic relationships, whether friendships or partnerships, rob many people of their energy over the years. It doesn't matter whether it is consuming love, deep sadness or ardent hatred that accompanies the end of the relationship. All of these feelings are very intense and prevent someone from letting go.

    Instead, people often wallow in it, or worse, take on the role of victim. The pain of separation is enormous. On the other hand: To love means to be able to let go. Without this you will never have your head free for new encounters. And then another person will always have to be measured against his predecessors.

  • Situations

    Negative experiences such as the breach of loyalty to a loved one, traumatic experiences and disappointments accompany some people for far too long because they cannot (yet) let go. Even mistakes of their own, for which people are ashamed, revolve around in their heads again and again. Unfortunately, this carousel of thought is absolutely counterproductive because it ties up energy for possible solutions.

  • Things

    Many people find it difficult to part with things they love. The garment that has been too small or completely tattered for years. The letters of a past love. The fear often dominates here that when you dispose of such items, you will also throw away your positive memories. Messies who want to compensate for a loveless (or overprotected) childhood with their collecting mania are particularly hard hit.

  • aims

    Letting go is also difficult in a figurative sense, for example when it comes to a long-cherished wish or idea. Admitting to yourself that you have bet on the wrong horse, fallen into a false belief, requires self-reflection and greatness.

Learning to let go: this is how you regain inner freedom

If you want to learn to let go, you need two things above all:

However - and it has to be said: if you let go, you rarely feel good about it. In the end, you accept a loss and, first of all, there is a loss Gap or emptiness. Until a replacement is found, the process of letting go is usually exhausting. Only with the beginning of the new does it arise Relief and new energy.

The key point is that many people persist in fear of loss. Seasoned adults should know that it is them does not killwhen they part with a person, a thing or the job. Instead, people who hold on to something keep asking the same questions, which then circle around in their heads:

  • Why me?
  • How could that happen?
  • How could he / she do this to me?
  • Why does this always happen to me?
  • Why is everyone against me?

The questions look backwards and so often lead to one exhausting downward spiral. It is much smarter to use the same energy to close with the past and look ahead - or as we have already written:

It is better to ask WHY rather than WHY.

The question of that What for transforms even the stroke of fate into an important station on a path that pursues a goal. And that gives hope and encourages.

If that sounds too simple to you: Letting go is first and foremost a matter of the mind, a voluntary decision.

Which in turn go Honesty and acceptance ahead: We can admit mistakes or defeats, have to accept the current situation, even if we don't like it. But that is already the first step To take stock - and with it the decisive line.

Make yourself aware: Letting go doesn't mean you have surrendered or failed. Rather, you take the helm again, lock up and make a conscious decision for the future.

In addition, these tips will help you ...

Letting go of the past: rituals and tips

  1. Think about the future.

    In order to learn to let go, you should steer your mind away from the questions of the past, the wrestling and the (hopeless) wish that everything will please remain as it was before. Rather, look to the positive options that come from letting go. You can also make a sober comparison: What do I get if I persevere? What do I lose, what do I gain when I let go? Please be honest and fair about it - you can of course also manipulatively paint in black. Clarity, on the other hand, helps when saying goodbye.

  2. Use rituals to say goodbye.

    Make a conscious decision to use so-called “rituals of transition” - for example by literally saying goodbye - in writing or orally - or by saying to yourself over and over again: "I'm ready to let go!" Another ritual in broken relationships is collecting personal items (e.g. letters from ex-boyfriends) that are then buried or burned.

  3. Forgive and forgive yourself.

    Sometimes the loss is actually due to your own failure. You made a serious mistake and are now collecting the receipt for it. This cannot be undone or reversed. Especially when those involved do not want that. In this case it helps that you admit the mistake, learn from it - but even more learn to forgive and forgive yourself: This is the only way to loosen the emotional bond and regain freedom. And that is your right too.

  4. Accept with gratitude.

    This is about accepting changes and trusting your intuition in the future. Embrace the realities, whether it's a breakup, the death of a loved one, or the loss of something that was important to you. All of this has enriched you with experiences and lets you become a little bit the person you are. This enrichment will help you to recognize new possibilities and to master future tasks.

  5. Give yourself the necessary time.

    Letting go is not a snap action. It is usually a long process that can be difficult and has ups and downs - as with any change.



    So don't get discouraged in between - especially once you've made the decision - and give yourself the time you need. It doesn't help anyone to blame themselves or even to put additional pressure on them.

  6. Change your way of looking at things.

    Not everything in life can be optimized perfectly, so you should not waste energy in those areas that cannot be changed. Instead, change the way you look at it by looking at it from a distance: is it worth the attention and energy? Realistically consider your options and start a new attempt with reframing in areas that will help you.

  7. Talk to other people.

    Breakup pains are just like other painful feelings: they get lighter when you share them. Find a conscious conversation with friends and describe your fears and worries. This takes the pressure off you and gives the friends a chance to help you let go. Contact with others who have already successfully let go of ballast can also help. But only to them please, otherwise you end up in one Self pity group. Conversely, you can benefit from the experiences of the other overcomers, feel understood and gain new courage.

  8. Seek professional help.

    Sometimes you can't get anywhere on your own and need help from others. Quite a few of those affected see this (incorrectly) as an admission or proof of their weakness. Nonsense! It is a sign of strength to be able to accept help. For example, talk therapy can help you come to terms with what has happened and finally let go of what has been bothering you for so long.

Reasons why separating is difficult

With age comes life experience. It doesn't just include positive experiences. A difficult childhood Accidents, experiences of violence and serious illnesses, but also the feeling of being worthless, are reasons why people develop behavior patterns that harm them.

You cling to relationships and things because of it Constants in their life are who they can assess. There are a number of reasons that make it difficult to let go. Some are mentioned here as examples:

  • nostalgia

    We like to reminisce. Fatally, events, situations and people in the past are often exaggerated. Our memory hides all the unpleasant qualities of a former partner, just as the difficulties that accompanied a situation suddenly become completely null and void. However, nostalgia ignores the fact that people and needs change, as does some realities.

    Read more about this here:

  • Investments

    Letting go is particularly difficult for many the more they have invested in a person or a cause. You have been on for life the one thing worked towards and suddenly it turns out: That's not it. In economics is of sunk costs, sunken or irreversible costs, the speech. You have spent a lot of time, energy, and / or money, but it's not paying off properly. In such cases it is much harder to let go.

    Read more about this here:

  • Self esteem

    In relation to other people, people with low self-esteem have a hard time letting go. They derive their self-worth from what others think of them, how they treat them. This means that they plunge into a deep crisis when someone else breaks up - the abandoned one interprets it to mean that they are less valuable. He finds it difficult to stay with himself, instead he always needs the attention of others.

    Read more about this here:

  • anxiety

    Fear is a very strong feeling that prevents you from letting go. Afraid of what might come after. The current situation may not always be pleasant, but it is familiar and gives a sense of security. But what to expect when you let go is not so clear. In some cases it's not just the fear of something new, but the fear of forgetting someone. Some people wallow in grief for a deceased person because they fear that memories of that person will fade the moment they let go.

    Read more about this here:

  • identity

    Letting go can mean letting go of things. To part with possessions. Be it the old T-shirt that was loved, be it symbols of a passion for collecting or status objects such as a car or house: Some people define themselves through things and the status associated with them. You identify yourself 100 percent with your job and become completely desperate if, for example, the company has to file for bankruptcy and you suddenly become unemployed. Or they are completely absorbed in their parenting role and when the children move out they are completely stunned. They have failed to take care of themselves and their own needs and desires in the meantime.

    Read more about this here:

What if we don't let go

First and foremost, we harm ourselves. The feeling that you have to cling to something with all your strength, that is, that you cannot let go, is created enormous pressure.

This can manifest itself in various ways:

  • They quickly suffer from exhaustion and poor concentration.
  • Sleep disorders or headaches are more common.
  • You lapse into harmful behavior patterns, you cling to old stuff, you are resentful (because you keep individual details in your mind for decades), you cling to the caustic job or the loveless partner for fear of change.

If you still fail to let go, you can too serious health problems to get:

Life means constant change and our own To accept development. This includes the confrontation with hurt, jealousy, despair, loss, fear, anger, separation, grief, death. Everyone has and will probably experience all of this at some point. This is why it is so important to learn to let go.

Aphorisms and sayings to let go and start over

To get closer to the meaning of a term, it often also helps Aphorisms, quotes, sayings and thoughts other people on a topic. They illuminate the respective facets from different perspectives and round off the picture. So here are some wise sayings to let go:

Letting go takes less strength than holding on, and yet it is harder.

It's not hard because we dare, but hard because we don't dare.

Before you can embrace new opportunities, you often have to let go of old habits.

Whoever wants to bring life into life has to give up wanting to hold on.

If you let go, you have two hands free.

Letting go is the art of putting the past to rest and leaving the future free space for design.

What you love shouldn't be kept.

We should let go of the life we ​​have planned to live the life that is waiting for us.

Knowing when to let go is wisdom. To do it also means courage. And if you keep your head up, it's dignity.

Letting go means being able to say goodbye. To be able to say goodbye to one's own views painlessly from time to time leads to inner freedom and a multitude of inner freedoms add up to wisdom in the end.

Letting go - sit by a stream and just be there. The song of the water will pick up your worries and carry them down to the sea.

In order to be redeemed, we have to detach ourselves from many things.

What other readers have read

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November 14, 2020Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

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