InSelf Care

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Letting Go

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5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Letting Go

Letting go can be one of the hardest things we do. Learning to let go is a lesson we often learn over and over again, forgetting with the passing of time how important this ability is. And, then once we resign ourselves to letting something go, the time and effort it takes to actually do so can be taxing.

This year, as part of my effort to live my Word of the Year, Organize, I have not only given myself permission to let go but demanded that I do so when it is necessary. So far, this has helped me to be more real with myself. I am getting better about asking myself hard questions that I may have once avoided. The following are the questions that I find help me to determine whether something in my life still has a place there. 

Why am I doing this?

What is the value it brings to my life?

What does it cost me to do this?

Is the value more significant than the cost?

If not, does the Why make up the difference?

Why am I letting go?

This year, my life has drastically changed. I am teaching full time now. Granted I am student teaching, so I’m not getting paid, but it’s still a full-time job. I get up at 5:30 in the morning, and I often don’t get home until 12 or 13 hours later. I am beyond the time in my life when I can survive on 4 hours of sleep and coffee. This means that I need to go to bed at a decent hour, which consequently means my time is limited and valuable. I need my time for the people I love, the job I love, and lovely tasks like laundry. So, I don’t have the minutes in the day to do all the things I would love to do, so hard choices need to be made.

I recently went through this process with a business. I spent months fence-sitting, trying to determine what the right path was. The problem wasn’t that I couldn’t make a decision, it was that I didn’t want to. Sometimes it is hard to truly look at our lives and make the choices we need to make. We see the value, and we see the cost, and we know they aren’t going to balance the way we want them to. When I was making this decision, the cost was outweighing the value. For a long time, the Why was making up the difference, but when I started student teaching and time with my husband and children became very limited, the Why could not compete with the time I want and need for them, and so it was time to let it go.

Is letting go of something equivalent to failure?

Letting go of something doesn’t mean that it is bad. It doesn’t mean that you have failed or that you did something wrong. In many cases, needing to let go is a sign that you have grown and changed, which should be our goal in life. We must continue to strive to be better than we were yesterday. If you can achieve that by letting something go, you must find solace in your bravery and your determination to be your own warrior of self-preservation and self-love.

If you are trying to determine whether it is time to let go of something in your life, you can use this printable below to walk you through the five questions above:

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