Karin Freeland

Motivational Speaker ~ Author ~ Life Coach

Karin Freeland • February 16, 2021

Letting Go of What’s Holding You Back: 4 Tips You Need to Try Today

Updated: March 29, 2022

For those of you that follow me on social, you already know I’m moving to South Carolina. For others this may come as a shock. It was not a decision we made lightly. We had to consider family in the area, our friends, our children’s friends and schooling, my business, my husband’s job, the other obligations we had in our town. We weren’t just leaving a house; we were leaving our community.

On the other hand, we’d be going to a warmer climate with fewer COVID restrictions. We’d be in an area where construction was booming and my husband could start his own electrical company. We’d no longer need to pay for private schooling and the cost of living would be significantly lower. Not to mention, the pace of life was more attractive for me. After all, I’ve been working and hustling since I was 14.

Once we were fairly certain the pros outweighed the cons, we put the house on the market and began looking for our forever home. We were thrilled when the realtor said we could sell the house ‘as is’ and really didn’t need to make any updates. According to her all we had to do was, “declutter and get the house ready for pictures.”

Right, declutter! No problem. I started by taking down my trinkets, many of which I had received when I was a little girl: a ceramic bunny that I bought with my own allowance at a street fair, a glass pig from a high school crush (I don’t know what he was thinking!), a precious moments flower girl from when I was in my Aunt’s wedding. How was I ever going to part with these things? I wasn’t. I wrapped every single trinket and put it in a tub.

It required a lot of self-discipline and taking the emotion out of my decisions.

Next up the cupboards under the T.V. stand: my Bone Thugs N Harmony CD, that I skipped school to buy on the release date, the single cassette of Gabrielle’s Dreams song, that was my anthem for most of 9th grade (and still fitting today), the mix tape my husband made me in college before I left for my semester abroad in Australia. Well, looked like these are getting stored as well. Can’t part with those!

This process basically happened in every single room for the next 3 days. My attempt at decluttering suddenly started to feel like that classic scene in the movie The Jerk. (It’s worth watching the clip if you haven’t seen it.) I stood in front of my husband holding one garbage bag that was half full, feeling pretty proud that I was able to come up with so much to let go.

“Well, here it is. This can all get thrown out,” I explained very seriously.

He was floored, “That’s all you came up with to get rid of?” He started walking around the basement pointing things out. “What about your dance trophies? Your dolls from when you were a child? And that box of old VHS tapes?” Holding up a box of old books, “You need all this, too?”

“Yeah, I need all this stuff. Well maybe not that book on Organizational Design. I guess we can donate that.”

“Karin, you have to let go of some more stuff! We can’t move all of this with us.” His words stung and I tried not to let him see me grimace.

I didn’t want to hear it, but I knew he was right. I was holding on to way too many things. But why? Was I trying to hold onto some semblance of who I was, who I had been? Maybe trying to remember the glory days? Maybe this was still a hangover from my midlife crisis and I needed these things as proof of my accomplishments? No matter; we only had a few more days before pictures and I had to get serious about what I truly needed and what I could let go. I didn’t want to miss out on my new dream life in the south. It wasn’t easy, but I was ultimately able to do it. It required a lot of self-discipline and taking the emotion out of my decisions (as much as possible).

In life, we often need to make tough decisions about what we need to let go of in order to move forward. Chances are good that you’re holding onto some things that no longer serve you and are even holding you back from reaching your full potential. Just like my physical items were holding me back from making the move and fully embracing my new dream life.

Here are 4 tips for letting go, so that you’ll no longer be held back:

1) Practice Forgiveness – This is probably the hardest one, so we’ll tackle it first. Learning to forgive and let go of long-time grudges is so powerful. It frees you up to move forward with your life and focus on the here and now. The past is just a memory now – you can’t change what happened. But, you can change whether it continues to have a hold on you.

2) Rewrite your Story – Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Unfortunately, for some, this becomes etched in their life story. Look back at your life – what is the story you tell? Is it positive? Is it the story others would tell about you? Often the story of our life is a figment of our creation and potentially based on lies. Why not rewrite it and tell a new story?

3) Drop Limiting Beliefs – We’ve all been conditioned to a certain degree: by parents, co-workers, bosses, friends, religious leaders, media, teachers, neighbors, coaches, etc. Basically, anyone you’ve had contact with in your life has likely played a role in your belief system. The problem is, many of these core beliefs actually limit our potential, even though the person who was sharing the belief was likely well-intending. Spoiler alert: You can let go of the beliefs that no longer align with your values.

4) Strengthen your Mind – Our minds are like a garden; if we let one little weed in, it will overtake the whole garden. When we harp on the past, we’re allowing the weeds to run rampant and steal our joy in the present moment. By teaching the mind to push out the negative thoughts and focus on the positive, over time we can weed the garden and create beautiful spaces where we can flourish.

Go ahead and give it a try! I know it will take practice to adopt all of these tips, but it will be well worth it. Soon you’ll be letting go of the past and the things that are preventing you from achieving your goals, just like my trinkets were holding me back from achieving mine.

If you’re struggling with letting go, a life coach could be the answer to help you through your change. If you’re interested in learning more visit my website today and schedule your free EDIT Your Life™ Jumpstart call. It’s time to reclaim your life!

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