Much of happiness and being happy needs not more adding up in life, but more of letting go. Only when you let go you can be truly happy.
We must move lightly in life in order to be happy.
But as we grow up we carry so many things in our mental baggage that it wears us down.
Happiness I believe is really simple. You don’t need much, but you do need to let a lot of things go.
And in this post, I share 12 things that you need to let go of if you want to be truly happy.
Why you should let go
Table of Contents
All of the things that we are carrying inside us are the things that we might have picked up consciously and unconsciously.
We picked them from our habits, our experiences, our parents, our friends, our surroundings, and even strong-rooted beliefs and thinking that have been passed on from generation to generation.
But it’s time to let these things go and make yourself light again.
It is important to let go because when you let go, you not only make yourself light but also help stop passing on your baggage to your loved ones so they too can travel the journey of life lightly.
When you let go you don’t contribute to the weariness and heaviness that is already there in the world.
You instead contribute to the lightness and happiness. The world needs more of that.
12 things to let go of to be truly happy
1. Let go of complains
All of us want to be happy, but we forget that one major ingredient of happiness is to have acceptance of ‘what is’.
The instant recipe for frustration, stress and anger is when we wish things were different from how they are. We can never be happy that way.
So if you want to be happy, you need to let go of complaints.
Complaining does us no good because it doesn’t change anything. It only drains the energy of the one who is complaining without them even knowing.
- Complaining about the weather won’t change it. The weather gives a damn.
- Complaining about the traffic won’t make it move faster.
It only makes us wish things were different than they are and makes us feel angry draining our energy.
Let go of this need to complain. Whenever you have the urge, see where this need to complain is coming from.
Is there anything you can change? If not, then don’t complain.
Take a 30 day no complain challenge and see what changes you feel in your life.
2. Let go of your negative self-talk
Self talk is powerful because how we speak to ourselves matters in how we view ourself and what perception we hold of ourself.
It should not be dismissed thinking that it is just something that only we hear inside our heads.
That tiny little voice inside our head translates into what actions we take for ourself, what kind of relationships we have with other people, and most importantly, in how we live our life.
If you’re engaging in negative self-talk like, ‘I am not worthy of love’ then this negative self-talk affects how you see relationships, and how others see you and also unknowing affects how you let others treat you.
You will always be sceptical of love, trust and relationships, even though the other person’s intention might be pure.
This won’t allow you to love freely nor live freely because your self talk makes you believe that you’re unworthy even though you’re worthy of all things beautiful.
Be aware of what negative self-talk you’re engaging with knowingly or unknowingly and gently let them go.
Frame a new narrative about yourself. Reframe your long-held beliefs and be kind to yourself.
Your self-talk must cheer you on, not bring you down.
P.S. I have created a 21-Day Journaling Guide for Self-discovery, growth and healing.
If you haven’t taken any other challenge of mine, you can join this challenge.
You will receive journal prompts and guidance from me for the next 21 days to inspire you every day.
3. Let go of discrimination
To be happy, let go of discrimination against your feelings.
Nothing makes us more unhappy than only expecting happy feelings to be there.
Whenever a moment of sadness, anger, pain or other heavy emotions come, we want to dismiss it right away.
But to be truly happy is not always about only feeling happy. It is to accept whatever comes up.
Happiness will require you to not judge and discriminate between your good feelings and bad feelings, between your good thoughts and negative thoughts, and most importantly to not judge yourself for feeling or thinking any of those.
To be happy, be like the Earth, the water, the fire that accepts everything without complain.
Embrace all of your feelings. See them all with equal eyes and give love to them all.
When sadness or anger comes, allow it to be there and see for how long it stays.
Instead of trying to cover it up, smile to it and see it with non discriminating eyes.
You will feel so much lighter and happier with yourself.
4. Let go of assumptions
This point is about letting go of assumptions about other people that makes us judge them.
As long as we hold pre-conceived notions and assumptions about someone, we will always see them in a different light and our relationship with them won’t be authentic.
But we must know that we only hold assumptions about things which we don’t know the real truth about.
If we truly knew them, we wouldn’t be judging them, but would be loving them instead.
Once we let go of assumptions and catch them whenever we find ourselves judging another, it is what will help us live freely, live happy and increase our love capability towards everyone around us.
Happiness is all about freeing up space in our heart to embrace everyone with love.
5. Let go of the need to impress
I see a lot many people spending a lot of energy trying to impress people.
- They buy things only to show people their status and so to be respected. But if only material things made one respect worthy!
- They try to gain credentials only to add up to their social standing when talking with other people.
- They try to initiate conversations with people they don’t like just to keep a good impression.
- They work on things they hate only to impress people they don’t like.
- They are afraid to quit their unhappy job only because that job brings a certain status to their name.
I have seen many people bring up their status, their credentials, and their work in conversations just to impress people around them (even to people whom they’ve just met) only to get a certain amount of worthiness and respect!!
I think all of this requires a lot of energy which is again not authentic.
The need to impress will stop you from having real connections with people who will truly love you and like you for who you are.
In the end, nobody cares about what you do or how much money you have.
What people will remember in the end will is only how you made them feel, how kind you were and what kind of person you were.
Letting go of this need to impress will make you so much lighter and move about your day being your truest self.
Remember, it is not in having or doing, but in ‘being’.
6. Let go of perfectionism
True happiness comes from being creative, from being messy, from accepting our flaws and from allowing ourselves to grow.
All of us have some of other creative force inside us that waits to be discovered and unleashed.
Maybe it is being creative with gardening, being creative with cooking, art, writing, or just about anything that you can use in a positive way.
When we are able to do this, that is when we will be truly happy.
But the greatest barrier to this happiness is our tendency to look for perfectionism.
Trying to be best in what you do may not really be bad, but you must know that we can be the best only when we allow ourself be okay with our bad and then work with our good.
Don’t let your imagination of the best stop you from doing your good in reality.
Allow yourself to be a beginner. Allow yourself to experiment. Allow yourself to make mistakes.
That’s how you’ll learn, grow and be happy.
7. Let go of your fear
Fear is always regarding the future. We don’t fear the past, we only fear the future.
Anytime you find yourself having fear, let go of it by coming back immediately to the present moment.
You will always find everything alright in the present moment. As long as you are alive and as long as you are breathing, everything is alright.
What you don’t think is right is only your thoughts about the future which hasn’t arrived yet.
Instead of fear, try to embrace the future. Learn from your situation. Try things just as an experiment. Push yourself against the fear and grow.
8. Let go of your past
Many people can’t move forward in their life because they regret the past or they fear that the past will haunt their future forever.
But the future hasn’t arrived yet, and what we have now is only the present moment.
It is this present moment that turns into the future. And as long as the regret of the past stays with us in the present moment, our future will always have it too.
The only way to break free from it is to deliberately let your past go.
You can start anew at any time in your life. Stop holding the burden of your past and live freely in the present moment to be happy.
9. Let go of toxic relationships
Who we are friends with and who we are in a relationship with matters a lot in terms of our happiness and well-being.
Relationships should be light, free, supporting and loving. If you have to constantly doubt their commitment to you and have to always be on your toes so they don’t leave, then it is better not to have them.
If there are any friends who aren’t truly happy for your success and happiness, you will know.
If there are some people who you don’t really connect with your heart with, you will know.
Let go of these people who slyly try to bring you down.
Let go of these people who bring drama, complains and gossip into your life.
With the right people, you won’t have to perform. You can be just yourself. You may change, but they will always accept you for you.
10. Let go of your bad habits
Your habits are the foundation of your life. Habits are what will help you change the direction of your life.
You may work on your inner self. You may work on your complains.
You may even let go of your fear of the future and let go of the past, but if you still engage in the same habits that has kept you stuck for so long, then you will still remain unhappy.
True happiness requires effort. Only you can make your happiness.
And you can make your happiness through your own habits.
Let go of your bad and toxic habits one by one. Identify what toxic habits are stopping you from living your best life.
Here are 10 toxic habits to cut from your life and also how to.
Once you cut these toxic habits, it’s time to replace them with these new good daily habits.
11. Let go of comparisons
Comparisons work negatively in two ways.
The first is that when we start to compare ourselves with another it brings in pride.
When comparing yourself with another you may start to think that you are doing better or you are more well off than the other person.
You may start to think that the other person is lesser than you in terms of wealth, knowledge or anything. And this brings pride if not checked.
But the other way around is that comparisons also make you see yourself as below the person who has more qualifications than you or who may be earning more than you.
If you start to compare, no matter what you do or what you achieve you will never be happy.
A YouTuber may be happy with having reached his first 1000 subscribers, but if he starts comparing himself with another YouTuber with 10,000 subscribers he will soon be unhappy.
Once he reaches 10,000 he will again compare himself with someone who has 1,00,000 subscribers and feel like he has achieved nothing much yet!
There will always be someone above you and if you strive to be better than them, there will still be someone better off than you.
And this becomes a never-ending chase where you won’t truly enjoy what you have because you didn’t know that what you have is ENOUGH for you.
And the greatest negative consequence of comparison- is you will never see people with equal eyes, treat people equally or behave around them equally.
12. Let go of the idea of happiness
Lastly, to be happy we must let go of the idea of happiness.
We must let go of the idea that happiness is somewhere far off when in fact it can be experienced right here and now in the present moment.
Think to yourself, ‘What would make you truly happy?’
We all have this idea that happiness can be experienced only when we start earning this amount of money, or if we have this or that.
But happiness is only in the little things that are lived with mindfulness and enjoyment.
You can go for a walk and be happy.
You can look at your plants and be happy.
You can drink your tea mindfully and be happy.
Happiness is also not the absence of suffering, but it is when even if it is there, you know how to handle it and accept it as a fact of life.