With the closing of each new year, there's a shift in everyone's internal clock to change something about themselves.
Whether it's an hour, a day, a week, a month or even a full year, whatever resolutions people decide to make for themselves become small steps of progress towards the change they are trying to achieve. Because we are creatures of habit, the more we do something, the better we get at it and the more it becomes a set routine. Yet sometimes those set routines can also be routines of bad habits.
Habits that not only stunt our progress but also stunt the progress of those around us.
So get out your imaginary pen and check off with me these 10 things that we need to let go in order to lead in our purpose towards our progress.
#1 — Being Your Public Enemy #1
In our society, we have way too many types of shaming like body and slut shaming, which are notable in today's media. With this in mind, why then should you wake up to a new day and be the first person you shame.
So if you're still treating yourself as your own enemy, this is the first and most important thing that you need to let go. Combat the shame by affirming your self-worth. Everyone is worth something. Take the time to decide what you're worth.
#2 — Being Two Face from Batman
If you're not familiar with this character, Two Face is one of Batman's many villains. But what makes him stand out is that his choices are all based on the flip of a coin. The catch though is that there is no choice. Because even though he asks his victims to choose heads or tails, his coin is a two headed coin.
So not only is his face two faced but he be actin' two faced too?! #smh
And by screwing everyone over all day, everyday, their "choice" just furthers his own interests.
So if you're also giving the people around you fake choices in order to pursue your own interests, let that shit go. Because even though you think you're progressing right now, just remember the effects of this one word — karma. Let karma be the bases all of your decisions. Because what you give to others, karma will surely give back to you.
#3 Giving out excuses like it's water
Faced with a new opportunity either with friends, loved ones or at work, when the discomfort kicks in, sometimes all you can do is make a list of excuses. For example:
"I'm not good enough to try and pursue this." or
"I really want to talk to this person but I'm too (insert excuse here)."
The next time you feel that discomfort, let it go and pursue the opposite by speaking in courage and confidence.
#4 Saying Without Doing
A great definition for "Saying Without Doing" is the phrase "You talk a lot of game but can you back it up."
Maybe you make a whole lot of promises. Maybe you make too many that you forget about the ones you haven't fulfilled yet.
Stick to your promises. Don't be like the movie stereotype of the busy dad that doesn't make it to his son's baseball game. Back up your words with your actions. If you say it, then stick to it and do it. If you can't do it, then don't say it in the first place.
#5 Putting All Your Eggs in Too Many Baskets
This is definitely my #1 bad habit. I want to do all the things, and because of that, the word "no" is non-existent. There's this weird ideology that the busier we are, the more purpose we have.
But that's not the case.
The best type of busyness is being busy with manageable things. Not a scroll full of things to do that we know we will kill ourselves over by trying to complete them all.
So if you're like me, add a maximum of two commitments to your schedule and stick to them. Especially if your schedule is already busy, assess your body and mind to determine if you're giving your 100 to all the things you're committed to.
If you can't give your 100, then let it go by saying no. Ultimately, your sanity will thank you.
#6 Kissing Up to Strangers
With the rise of social media, likes equals validation. Which is great when building an online community. Because community building is all about being founded on common interests and beliefs. The dark side however is making the numbers mean more than the engagement.
#FollowforFollow is a prime example. Do you want the follows just for the numbers or for the community engagement with your posts?
Even outside of social media, there's this insistence that "the more people who like me, the more I am validated." If you're thinking like this, you need to let this go asap.
Validate your own existence first. After that, if people like you for who you are, that's great! You don't need to please everybody. Because, honestly, you can't. You'll waste your energy because not everyone will understand you, which ain't no thang. It's your life. So live it in the way that's true to you and no one else.
#7 Vibe Killers
Negative people feed on the positivity of others around them. When I'm talking to a negative person, I can definitely feel my energy being drained.
Imagine a dog ramming itself at a locked door. The dog may try different ways to bust the door down. Maybe head on. From the side. Maybe even a leap attack.
However, after a while, that dog is gonna end up tired and busted. And in this scenario, that busted up dog represents positive people. Positive people dealing with negativity end up tired and busted because of all the ways they try to help that Negative Nancy or Negative Nathan.
So if you're experiencing negativity from the people around you especially those in your inner circle, let them go. They're just hindering your progress.
Be the positive example you want to be and don't let no one kill your vibe, especially not yourself.
#8 Ignoring the Obvious
If you're neglecting yourself, you're ignoring the obvious. Whether you're neglecting your body, your mind or your spirit, you need all three to get you through the day. For example:
- Neglecting to eat lunch will make your body perform with less energy for your afternoon tasks
- Neglecting to get adequate rest will make your mind have to focus much harder
- Neglecting to deal with a negative encounter with your close friend will make your spirit tired from all that built up anger and frustration
So let go of the neglect and combat it with your own self care routine to rejuvenate your Triforce of power i.e your body, your mind and your spirit.
#9 Trying to Cut the Line
I wouldn't be surprised if you've had an ear full of this phrase,"there are no shortcuts in life."
Yet, when you find one, do you use it?
Shortcuts are nice. They get us ahead for a short amount of time. But shortcuts are not continuous. Sometimes we have to wade through the long paths to get to our final destination.
By trying to get through life through a series of shortcuts, how much will you learn along the way? Shortcuts are like teleporters. Just because you want to teleport to your ideal career or relationship goal, will the experience you have right now be enough to retain it?
Instead, live your life in patience. Patience pauses the hustle and allows you to learn from your journey. Patience will not only allow you to gain great experience for later events, but ultimately, it will give you a great sense of appreciation and accomplishment as you look back from where you started.
Let go of your shortcuts by being patient with yourself. All in all your change will come. Learn from your journey in order to enjoy your progress.
#10 Sitting at the Bus Stop of Your Own Progress
Imagine sitting at a bus stop. Instead of getting on your bus and going home, you just let it pass you by. And pass you by again. And again.
That bus is your purpose. The road it takes you on is your progress. And your destination is your #1 goal that you want to achieve in your life. Whether it's getting a degree, having and keeping a stable family or to just stop eating junk food. Until you get up from your bus stop bench, your change will not come.
Let go of being stagnant. Lead in purpose in order to reach your final destination.
Let's be clear. Just because I made this list, doesn't mean I'm exempt from it. Because I know I still have some things to let go.
So reflect on this list and begin letting go. You need to let them go for a reason. What greater reason is there to let these things go than them freeing you from stagnation, allowing you to lead and spring yourself forward in your own purpose.
What from the list do you still need to let go?
Write down the things you still need to let go. Set a goal that will gradually lead you toward letting go. And once you've reached that goal, cross it off your list and continue to move forward.
You may need to revisit this list. And that's okay. Identifying the problem is the first step. Actualizing a routine to combat it is another. By getting started, you're just moving that much closer towards the change you want.