Letting Go of What No Longer Serves You

It’s almost time for a new year! This shift and change can bring up a lot, especially if we aren’t where we feel we “should” be in our lives right now. But it’s also a really valuable time to take a look at what we can let go of and what doesn’t serve our growth anymore. We can use the new year as an opportunity to start fresh, no matter where we are in life and no matter how long we’ve been doing things a certain way.

Three years ago, I was crying my eyes out on New Year’s Day. I was about six months into horrible, debilitating panic disorder and while I had slowly started to gain small pieces of my life back, I was nowhere near where I had been before panic completely knocked my life over.

I distinctly remember on this New Year’s, my fiancé’s brother and his wife invited us out to get a casual dinner- something that shouldn’t have been a big deal. Except it was for me. It was a HUGE deal. I felt so panicky that day. I was on the edge of a panic attack the entire day, so when my fiancé suggested this dinner, I had to say no. I really, truly knew I couldn’t do it that day. He was disappointed but he understood, and I told him to go eat without me.

So I laid there all alone, crying in defeat because I wasn’t as far along as I thought I should be. I SHOULD have been able to go out to eat like every other normal person in this world.

But that day, I decided to respond differently. I took a moment to breathe, and then I chose a different way. Instead of beating myself up, I let myself off the hook. I forgave myself. I said, “things are really hard right now and I’m sorry you’re feeling so icky. But things WILL get better. You WILL be able to go out again. For now, it’s okay. For now, I love you.”

And it was one of the first times I chose self-compassion since the panic attacks began. From there, loving myself through the process helped get me back on my feet day by day.

Now, three years later, I’m gearing up for another new year. Now, I can eat out as much as I want without anxiety. I can travel. I can drive as far as I’d like. I can’t remember the last time I felt even a little bit panicky. What a change- one that I hope gives you hope.

But that’s not to say that I don’t still have things to let go of and to process. I still have more learning to do because I’m ALIVE and I’ll always, always have more growth and shedding. I find that getting really, brutally honest with my shadow side and taking a look at what needs to change is so important in being open to letting go. As long as we’re pretending we’re perfect, we can’t move forward with healthy change.

Here are a few things I’m working with letting go of this new year:

A Scarcity Mindset-

It’s been brought to my attention a lot lately that I have a scarcity mindset, which is essentially believing that there’s not enough. Not enough money or time or love or whatever. And when I get in this very primal, survival mode of “not enough,” I find myself being defensive and competitive. I’ll see other people succeeding and I’ll get jealous, since there’s this underlying belief that if they’re successful, I can’t be, and that there’s only so much in this world to go around.

Yet this absolutely isn’t true. There is enough success and love and happiness and peace and prosperity to go around. And the more I can let go of this desperate belief that I need to be fighting for those things (which stems from my childhood), the more I can tap into the abundance of the universe that is waiting for me.

What’s really helped me here is dropping into gratitude. It’s so easy to focus on the things we DON’T have, but when I focus on all the good that I already have, it shows me how incredibly blessed I really am. And this helps attract even more blessings my way.

Also, allowing myself to celebrate other people’s successes and to be genuinely excited for them (rather than competitive) helps to spread the joy.

Self-Doubt & Procrastination-

Gosh, self-doubt has been STRONG for me lately. I’ll question everything I do and wonder what other people are going to think or if I’m going to be successful or if I’ll get criticized or if I’m even good enough. And all that this does it stop me from going after my dreams.

I’ve noticed so, so much procrastination in myself because of this. Like with the book that I’ve been writing for years, for example. I haven’t finished the dang thing because I’m SO scared that others might hate it.

This self-doubt comes from one thing only- FEAR. Fear of being seen. Fear of failure. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of being judged.

But this doesn’t serve me anymore. Keeping myself small might FEEL safe and comfy, but it stops me from truly living the life that I deserve. It’s time to let go of self-doubt and step into my own power. It’s time to believe in myself so wholeheartedly that I can’t help but chase after my purpose.

What has helped me here is reminding myself that I only have this life, and at the very end, when I’m on my deathbed, I will be so disappointed in myself if I wasted all this time scared of owning my full self.

Yes, it’s scary to put yourself out there and risk being judged or failing. But who cares? If you poll ten different people, you will get ten different opinions. There’s no way to please everyone in life, so we have to go after what WE want.

The more I can build up my own self-love and self-worth, the less I need to fear what others might think.

What doesn’t serve YOU anymore? What is lingering around far longer than it needs to? What can you be open to letting go of so that you can open up space for even better?

I would absolutely love to hear what you are working with this new year’s. Let me know in the comments below.

7 thoughts on “Letting Go of What No Longer Serves You

  1. Jen says:

    Great post! I am also working on letting go. It seems to be the thing that is really in my face for some time now. Trying to figure out what things I need to let go of and how to do that is a very hard process. I am 44 years old. I have had panic disorder with agoraphobia for 15 years now. My entire life revolves around avoidance. I have never received professional help but I am now at a point where I have to do something. I have a 13 year old daughter. I have already missed so much. I want to be able to be there for her for every milestone and every experience. I really appreciate you sharing so much of your experience. You make me feel hopeful that I can overcome this too. Thank you =)


  2. Kelly Rios says:

    The other day I was feeling discouraged, because I could not face the challenges that came my way. I know that part of recovery is facing fears, but I was tired an overwhelmed.I read your post later that day and it was such a good reminder that it is OK to give ourselves a break. I know I will face those challenges eventually.
    On that note, my 2018 goal is to love, accept, and take care of myself.(letting go of self criticism, guilt, and shame)


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