Let me ask you a question.
If you had a guard standing at the front gate of your life with a stop sign towards everything that wants to make its way in, why do you think that is?
It’s because it’s waiting for everything that’s in to make its way out.
Holding onto things that no longer serve you doesn’t allow you to make room for the things that do.
We’re talking about letting go of identity, a.k.a your social mask, a.k.a everything that you’re not… so that you can embrace who you are, at your core.
Let go like your life depends on it
My hopes are to save you a few hundred hours of planning, organizing, and arranging things so that it can fit perfectly into your flawlessly, dandy life.
I know, because I’ve been there.
I know what it’s like to stay up until 3 AM every night, planning and organizing the next few years of my life so that I could achieve the ideal image of myself that my mind so stubbornly held onto. The image of:
… who I should be,
… what I should pursue,
… and how I should be living my damn life.
Until I realized that, 1) why am I trying to be someone I’m not? and 2) shit, I have a lot of fears that are stopping me from living a life that’s more “me.”
And here I was thinking that I was doing the “smart” thing.
Instead, I learned that these attempts at holding onto this unreal image of myself is an attempt to control something that I don’t even want to control.
Once I read the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I read something that hit me like a shit ton of breaks.
“You may get to the top of the ladder of success only to realize it’s been learning against the wrong wall.”
Can you imagine rockin’ the hell out of your life, only to realize you were only just rockin’ the hell out of a social mask that you chose to wear?
And then sadly realize how far out of touch you became with the person that you really, really are?
Because your motives are all out of whack, you life feels empty, and the person in the mirror appears fake.
Now, there may be a lot of fears holding me back from being boldly and unapologetically me – but the worse fear of them all is knowing that I didn’t even try.
Besides… as unconditionally loving and supportive the universe is, can you imagine anything else it would be more than happy to support you in, when striving to live a life that’s true to who you are?
I didn’t think so. Here are some ways to drop that identity and step into more authenticity in your life.
What exactly am I letting go of?
Having positive expectations is a sign of good self-esteem and a healthy level of confidence.
But the ones that no longer serve you? Let. That. Shit. Go.
The ones that don’t serve you were usually placed on you by social, cultural, family, and peer pressures.
They hold you back, disillusion you, and aren’t based on the truth (let alone your truth).
What expectations have you come to believe as truth?
- Do you continue to buy into the belief that by your age, you should have accomplished x, y, and z and that you should already have your shit together?
- Do you get bogged down by the expectation that you should be attending college in order to be successful, even though you know that college isn’t for you?
- Do you find yourself unable to relax because “successful people don’t sleep.” (I’m guilty AF)
Let go of those lies and drop that burden.
Let it alllll go.
Would you believe me if I told you that letting go felt like death? Let me explain.
We fear that if we let go of the “self” that we have learned to identify with, we would be letting go of everything we thought was real and this is REALLY threatening to our ego (so then it feels like death.)
Since our past is closely integrated into the way that we view ourselves in the present moment… LET THE PAST GO, so that you can live more present and authentically NOW.
This isn’t a matter of keeping the good and letting go of the bad. What I’m proposing is to literally let it all go.
By defining something as “positive,” you’re justifying the existence of the “negative” and vice versa. They have to be considered neutral to really be able to let the past go completely.
You don’t have to use narratives from the past to define yourself now. You don’t have to prove the person that you are and the reasons why you do what you do… because of your past.
I know of people that will stay committed to some really shitty decisions that their hearts are not fully in, all because of a desire to be consistent with what they’ve done in the past.
Because “darn you fake and inconsistent ass mo’fo’s, I don’t respect that.”
But, to hell with that. Why entertain situations that don’t serve you because “you’ve already come so far, so why back out now?”
I say this because I’ve been there before. And it did not end well.
So, for the record, you are not letting yourself down by letting go of your past. You are not being inconsistent. Repeating what you’ve done in the past, all because “I’ve done it before, what’s the worst that can happen now?” can actually be quite harmful.
Allow yourself to grow. You can shed the old, and step into the new.
And there is not a single shame in that!
What are some practical steps that I can take right now to learn how to let go?
Journaling is my favorite self-love practice.
It’s like talking to yourself without the seeming crazy part, ha.
You become more connected with the person in the mirror and their mindset, beliefs, motives, and intentions.
Exploring journal prompts can help you become more specific about what you’re trying to understand.
- What are you holding onto from the past that is affecting the way you view yourself right now?
- What life events occurred in your youth that have impacted the person you became, today?
- If you could envision the best version of yourself, what would that look like 5 years from now? What is stopping you from being that person today?
Play the “why?” game
The question that we’re trying to get to the bottom of is: how can I live more authentically?
This begins with understanding what your genuine desires are. Asking yourself “why” over and over again until you find a core theme that resonates is a great way to start.
“I want a job.” Why?
“To pay my bills.“ Why?
“Because I need stability.” Why?
“So that I can be financially free.” Why?
“To experience freedom and peace of mind.”
Ah. Now that’s something you can work with.
If you ended at “I want a job,” you could technically just get any job. But that’s not exactly what you prefer to experience, is it?
Understanding “why,” does two things: it ensures your intentions are clear so that you know you’re not doing something because they said you should, and it also helps you play this game of life a little bit more soulful,
Now you’re not limiting yourself to what it is that you think you need.
You also won’t be staying up until 3 AM, making demands on how you believe it should happen.
“I want freedom, so I need to find a stable job. Let me go to five networking events, hand out my business cards to at least 25 people and then maybe I should be able to get what I want.”
Energy doesn’t work that way.
Instead, you’re opening it up to the universe and saying “hey, what I really want here is to experience freedom and peace of mind.”
Last Step: take inspired action
But it doesn’t end there, here’s where the opportunity for self-discovery and exploration come into play.
You can ask yourself, what is your relationship to freedom? Explore that and probe into that. I bet the universe will have plenty of avenues for helping you figure that out.
Putting money aside, what would a “free” version of you look like? Then you can use this to be a guiding mechanism for all the thoughts you chose to think, feelings you chose to feel, and the decisions you chose to make.
“BUT WAIT, what about my bills?”
I can agree that striving for freedom is a stretch when you can’t even take care of those mundane, regula-degula ol’ bills.
Which is why: inspired action is absolutely required.
DID YOU GET THAT?
We’re not talking about just ANY type of action. We’re talking about making purposeful decisions… being very intentional about why we decide to do what we do.
So, when knocking for opportunities to experience freedom, it CAN happen in the form of a stable job, but it doesn’t HAVE to.
There’s a HUGE difference.