How to learn to let go of what you cannot control (2023)

A friend of mine once said to me, "Almost everything in my life that I've had to let go has scratch marks on it." His point was that he found it very difficult to let go of things he couldn't control. I'm sure many of you can relate to that.

Most of us don't want to let go of things we like. So we hold on until they are forcibly taken away, and even then we still hold on mentally and emotionally. What we may not realize is that holding on can wreak havoc in our lives.

Holding on to things we cannot control can cause us a lot of stress and dissatisfaction. It also keeps us stuck in the past and keeps us from growing and living our lives freely. If we want to be happy and free, we have to learn to let go.

In this article, we'll explore what letting go really means, why it's so hard, and how letting go of things you can't control will improve your life. Then I will give you some tips to help you let go more easily so you can live a happier and more fulfilling life.

Table of contents

  1. What does letting go really mean?
  2. Why is letting go so hard?
  3. The Illusion of Control
  4. The benefits of learning to let go
  5. 5 tips to learn to let go
  6. Final Thoughts
  7. More about letting go

What does letting go really mean?

We often hear that we need to let go of something we can't control if it seems to be causing us problems. But what does letting go really mean? To understand this, we need to understand why we are attached to things in the first place.

Attachmentis mental and emotional fixation on something we believe we need or want. We are attached to things like people, beliefs, results or material possessions. The reason we become attached to them is because we are afraid of losing them and because of that we will be unhappy or maybe even believe that we will not survive.

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Many of us confuse sensual pleasure or emotional gratification with happiness. They are not the same. True happiness comes from freedom from suffering, not from sensual pleasure. But our society teaches us that if we achieve or acquire things that bring us joy, we will be happy.

The problem with this approach to finding happiness is thisour emotions are temporarynaturally. What happens when the novelty of a new car wears off is that our level of satisfaction decreases.

Until we learn how to free ourselves from our suffering, we will continue to attach ourselves to things that bring us sensual pleasure or emotional satisfaction.

So letting go means letting go of our fixation on these things. Well, that doesn't necessarily mean we're going to lose them. It just means that we have enough faith that we will get the things we need to survive in this world and maybe even be happy.

(Video) LET GO.. of what you Can't Control!

Why is letting go so hard?

There are several reasons why letting go is so hard. One is that we romanticize holding on. We romanticize it in our literature, music, art and films. There's something romantic about holding on to someone we love. We want to feel love for that person forever.

Fear makes it hard to let go. We fear what will happen to us if we lose something we depend on for our survival or happiness. So let's hold on as best we can.

Holding on is also a habit. Our behavior is so ingrained in us that we just hold on to things without even realizing it. Also, we're afraid to look at ourselves because we might not like what we're seeing.

Another reason letting go is so hard is that our self-identity is connected to the things we have. A nice family, house, car and other material possessions project an image of who we are, hopefully a successful image. Our self-identity is also linked to our views, especially political views.

Some of us are addicted to drama. We enjoy dwelling in our emotions. We certainly like positive emotions. But negative emotions can also attract our attention, which also brings us joy. These emotions can also be part of our identity.[1]

The Illusion of Control

Interwoven with our attachment to things is the illusion of control. We often believe that if we do all material things and circumstances just right, we will be happy. So we try to manipulate people and circumstances to get them the way we want.

The problem with this way of thinking is that everything is impermanent. Nothing ever stays the same. We're attached to certain things we like and expect them to stay that way. That will always lead to disappointment.

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(Video) Let Go Of What You Can't Control | Steven Furtick

In reality, we only have ourselves under control.But we act like we're in control of other people, not ourselves.

The benefits of learning to let go

So why should we learn to let go? There are a variety of reasons. These include freedom, better relationships, and continued personal growth.


Letting go leads to freedom. When we learn to let go, we can free ourselves from the sources of our pain and suffering that are holding us back.

We often hold on to things that no longer serve us, such as unhealthy relationships. We may have benefited from a relationship once, but as people grow, they often grow apart. Then it's time to move one.

Better Relationships

A healthy relationship is one in which both partners are free to be who they are. Those who cling too tightly to their partner do not let them be free. They smother her and try to mold her into their ideal partner.

Letting go of our partners doesn't mean they will leave us. We just let them be who they want to be. Then it's up to us to love them for who they are.

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When you learn to let go, you will attract healthier people into your life. That's because healthy people don't want to be with someone who suffocates them.

Continuous personal growth

If we hold on to something, we don't move forward. We cannot grow emotionally by holding on to something that we believe will make us happy. If you keep holding on to things around you, you will get stuck in the past because things are always changing.

As you learn to let go, your self-esteem and confidence will grow. When you realize that you will not die if you let go of things you thought you needed, you will be able to pursue things that are healthier for you.

5 tips to learn to let go

Learning to let go is not as difficult as you might think. But it takes some courage and determination. Here are a few tips to help you do that.

1. Stop blaming others

We oftenblame othersfor our misfortune. In such cases we feel like victims of the injustices of others. While this may indeed be the case, we cannot waste our lives waiting for other people to undo the damage they have done to us. They may be unwilling or even unable.

(Video) How to let go the need to try and control EVERYTHING around you

It is up to us to take responsibility for our happiness. Don't wait for others to fix you. Don't wait for them to act before you start living your life.

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2. Make the decision to let go

I once heard someone say how easy it was for them to stop smoking once they made the decision. We often say that we want to change something in our lives, but we only try half-heartedly.

If you really want to change something in your life, then you have to take it seriously, and that starts with the decision to do it.[2]

It would be helpful if you put this decision in writing. Write a statement like, β€œI have decided to let go of ________. I realize that holding on to this is preventing me from growing and being happy.” You can expand on this by listing other benefits you are receiving and how you are looking forward to a new chapter in your life.

Once you have written your decision statement, print it out and post it in a place where you can see it every day. Also, regularly copy it by hand into a notebook, e.g. B. once a day until you are sure you will not return. This will anchor it in your subconscious and the new behavior will manifest itself naturally.

3. Trust that you are okay

One of the reasons we hold on to things is because we believe we need them to survive. Remember that letting go is releasing our mental and emotional fixation on something. It's not a physical letting go. Sometimes we hold on to things that are already physically gone.

If something is physically gone and you are reading this, it means you have not died. So letting go won't kill you. In fact, you will be able to live your life truly free of this emotional attachment.

Trust that you are fine. If you must, lean on a friend. Your experience is not unique. Chances are many other people have had the same experience and survived. You don't have to go through a detachment alone. You are not alone.[3]

4. Learn the lesson and move on

Life is a series of experiences designed to teach us important lessons. When we refuse to let go of something, it's because we refuse to see what life is trying to teach us. As a result, we feel stuck.

If you're having trouble letting go of something, ask yourself, "What can I learn from this experience?" The answer may not be revealed to you right away. But when the time comes, you can let go and get on with your life.

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(Video) How To Let Go Of Control And Trust Life

5. Meditate

Meditation can improve just about any situation. In this case, it can help us calm our emotions, gain clarity and give us the inner strength to let go. It can help us stay calm and positive when things in our lives get out of hand.

When we meditate, we give our mind a break from all the sensory stimulation in our lives. Too much sensory stimulation creates an agitated mind that leads to overwhelming emotions. So, by calming our thoughts through meditation, we reduce the thoughts that trigger our painful emotions.

Of course, when we quiet our mind, everything becomes clearer. The fewer unnecessary thoughts we have in our head, the easier it is to process more purposeful thoughts. It's like being stuck in a traffic jam or driving down a traffic-free road. When our minds are quiet, it is much easier to gain clarity on issues that are important to us.

When we calm our emotions and gain clarity, we develop great inner strength. This allows us to gain wisdom, self-esteem and self-confidence. And this inner strength helps us to let go of unhealthy things in our lives.

So try meditation. You don't have to do it perfectly or for long periods of time. All you have to do is sit still for a few minutes after your breathing. This gives your mind a rest and allows your thoughts to naturally calm down.

Here is a simple guide for beginners:Meditation for Beginners: How to meditate deeply and quickly

Final Thoughts

I know from personal experience that letting go can be really hard and even scary. But in the 50+ years that I've been on this earth, I've had to let go of many things that I thought I needed to survive, and yet I'm still alive. Actually I'm very satisfied.

I've learned to let go and so can you. It gets easier with time and experience. Once you realize how liberating it can be to let things go and have a few wins under your belt, you'll be able to let go before something does much damage to you.

Over time you will be able to go beyond just letting go and not getting attached to things in the first place. When that happens, you will know the true meaning of freedom.

More about letting go

  • How to live in the moment and stop worrying
  • When you start letting go of your past, these 10 things will happen
  • How to control your thoughts and be the master of your mind

Featured Photo Credits:Joseph Chan via

(Video) Let Go of the Things You Can't Control and Move the F*ck On


1. Letting Go of Control: How to Embrace Uncertainty and Live in the Moment
(Aaron Doughty)
2. Letting Go Of Control | Joel Osteen
(Joel Osteen)
3. How To Let Go Of The Things You Can't Control (Stoicism)
(Flow Of Consciousness)
4. Do You Struggle To FORGIVE And LET GO? | You Can't Control Everything
(Nanak Naam)
5. Let Go of What You Can’t Control Meditation | Guided Meditation to Focus on Values and Letting Go
(Unearth Compassion)
6. 😲 How to Let Go Of Things You Can't Control #Therapist Tip πŸ›‹
(Life by Design Therapy)


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Last Updated: 07/25/2023

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