We all want to say hello to new and exciting things. New clothes, new opportunities and new adventure…but saying hello means we need to say goodbye. New means change, and change often requires making room.
Letting go can either be a hard thing or a glorious thing. It is really all perspective. Self awareness is key in understanding what we accept, tolerate and keep in our lives. In order to grow and say hello to new possibilities in our relationships, career and lifestyle, we need to say goodbye and let go. This makes room for the new. Letting go is difficult, and most of us don’t do it enough.
Saying goodbye to tangible things (like a closet full of clothes) is pretty simple. Say goodbye to toxic relationships, unhealthy habits and outdated ideas, not so obvious. Just like the jacket in your closet that you haven’t worn in years, bad relationships, habits and ideas may no longer be serving a purpose. They weigh you down. Don’t use it (in the case of the jacket). Don’t love it (in the case of the friendship). All equal burden.
It is hard but worth it to release things that you have “tried” to make work, but haven’t seen results with. To be honest, the longer you hold on to something – anything – that isn’t strengthening your power, you are missing out on really amazing things because you don’t have the room, space, bandwidth or capacity to receive them.
What needs to go?
What is the best way to measure if it is time to say goodbye and make room for new beginnings? Ask yourself these questions:
- Would I buy this again? Would I buy this right now?
- Does this spark joy?
- Would I invite this into my life right now? Would I join this right now?
- Would I adopt this way of thinking today?
- Would I start a relationship with this person now? Would I be friends with this person right now?
Why are you holding on to that jacket? This question really gets into the root of problem – the reason you’re holding on and not letting go.
- I put so much time into this. (So what?)
- I spent a lot of money on this. (And did you get good use out it?)
- There is nothing wrong with this. (That is OK.)
The reason we hold onto a relationship is usually different than the reason we hold on to a jacket from 1990. Often we tell ourselves that if I get rid of the relationship, it will mean I am invalidating it. Guess what? That is not true. Relationships have a season. As all things change and evolve, it may no longer bring you the same benefits it did in the first place. If you drag the relationship along, it can wear you down, and it becomes toxic for both people. Say goodbye to the person; that version of the relationship is not working any more. Say goodbye and move on.
Why is it so hard?
- You are avoiding regret for not saying goodbye sooner.
- You are avoiding making a decision; it’s easier to hold on to it.
- Your brain does not want to experience the pain; it is more efficient for the brain to keep everything the same and avoid a negative stimulus.
- You fear the unknown; we like the familiar even though it is not serving us.
Why are goodbyes necessary?
Goodbyes remove the constraints, the guilt, the energy drain. It takes energy to take care of all these things and people. A goodbye will make room for new possibilities! You need to make room for the new – new jacket, new friend or new thought. We all only have so much space in our closets, contact list and brain.
Now that we know it is necessary to say goodbye, we have to learn how to do it. And that is the real challenge.
If saying goodbye is a challenge for you, if you still have clothes in your closet from 1990, if you are sending Christmas cards to someone you have not seen or communicated with (other than a Christmas card) in the last 20 years, or you can’t seem to get the motivation or focus you need to make a change in your daily habits or outlook on life, then you need to learn how to say goodbye. Let’s set up a call and talk about it. I can offer you tips how to manage your thoughts to get the results you want and deserve. Let’s get you on the road to new possibilities and say more hellos.
What is the hardest thing/person/idea/habit for you to say goodbye to? Share in the comments below.