“Saying goodbye is difficult and most of us don’t do it enough.” (Brooke Castillo)
However, saying goodbye is part of life and it is necessary:
If we wish to evolve ourselves, if we want to make changes in our life to move forwards and make things better, we have to create space for the new:
We have to let go of what no longer serves us, what no longer fits into the life we want to have.
We need to say goodbye to the past
if we want to open the door to the present and welcome the future.
We need to say goodbye to relationships that are complete – relationships with things in our life, but also relationships with people, relationships with beliefs and thought pattern, and with habits.
Whatever it is, if we are holding on to something that’s no longer important to us, just because we had a relationship with it in the past, it will wear us down, slow us down, and it will suck up our energy.
Taking care of our things, of our beliefs, of our relationships with people consumes energy.
Dragging stuff along that no longer serves us is a waste of energy – and we have a limited amount of energy.
Why do we struggle to say goodbye?
There are many reasons why saying goodbye is so hard.
A very big one is that saying goodbye means making decisions and initiating change. And that’s something our mind doesn’t want us to do.
Our mind wants us to keep things as they are because it wants to keep us safe. It wants to avoid the unknown and the potential risk involved in letting new stuff into our life. Thus, it’s easier to hold on to everything and not have to decide to let it go.
Also, we tend to associate loss or pain with saying goodbye. We try to avoid saying goodbye because we don’t want to experience any loss or pain.
Another reason for not making decisions and not saying goodbye is that we are afraid that we will regret letting go of that thing or that relationship or that belief.
So how do we know when to say goodbye?
If we have invested time, effort or money into something we are often hesitant to let it go ‘for free’.
We think we should only sort out what is damaged, broken, no longer working.
That’s why we keep so much stuff in our life that’s still usable but no longer useful.
However, there doesn’t have to be something wrong with something for us to say goodbye to it.
If we don’t need, use, love it any longer, it occupies undeserved space in our home, mind or heart and uses up our energy. Space and energy that we need for new things, people, thoughts, etc. to come in.
How do we make goodbye decisions?
We have to be(come) aware of what we have now, and we have to make decisions about what we want to keep and have in future.
First we take an inventory of what we currently have.
We make lists of our stuff: the things in our cupboards and drawers, the relationships with people, the beliefs and habits we have.
Then we ask ourselves questions and we answer them honestly.
We can ask (Suggestions from Brooke Castillo, The Life Coach School):
- ‘Would I buy it again today?’
- ‘Would I start a relationship with this person again today?’
- ‘Would I choose this way of thinking again today?’
If the answer is no, it’s time to decide to say goodbye.
It’s important that we make these decisions clearly and definitely, we have to commit to the goodbye and not look back.
Then we can move forward and open up to something new.