9 Things You Need to Release & Let Go!

let it go

Letting go is scary. It means leaving behind the familiar and embracing the unknown. There is the potential for loss, pain, and void. Letting go is about trusting God.

After my children went left for college, my husband and I decided it was time to down size. This meant selling a house that we had played a big part in designing. It was just the way we wanted it. And it was a house brimming with family memories. For me, it was far more than a house – it was the home of my dreams!

Not only were we downsizing, but we were moving to a new city and new state to be closer to some of our children and their families. Being closer to family – that was exciting. But before that was possible, I had to release the home I loved.

I’d like to say I made the move and never looked back, but the hard truth is that even though I had physically moved, my heart was still hanging on! It’s impossible to embrace the new when you are clinging to the old.

Making the move taught me that as long as I am gripping tightly to what needs to be released, I will never fully appreciate the new. Trust me – there is more amazing stuff ahead.

What are you holding onto tightly? What do you need to release? It’s different for everyone, but here are seven common things we cling to:

1. Stuff

If you’ve downsized, you know that getting rid of 20+ years of memories can be emotional. I discovered in the process of moving that I’d hung on to more than I realized. So many precious memories! There can be a real emotional attachment to possessions.

Perhaps you have been holding on to stuff too – reminders of loved ones or happy times even though they are cluttering your space. Clutter is your enemy. It zaps your energy.

Or maybe you‘ve let papers accumulate and the thought of sorting through them seems overwhelming. Whatever it is for you, start small. Identify what the stuff means to you. Are they items that need to be put away, donated, or tossed?

Getting rid of stuff is a process, but one that’s worth the effort. Afterwards you will feel lighter, more organized, and surprisingly it will energize you in other areas of your life.

2. Busyness

Does your schedule have you racing from one activity or meeting to the next with very little time to pause, reflect, and refresh? Are you quick to take on more and slow to let go of responsibilities?

A jam-packed schedule is not sustainable. You might keep it up for a short while, but eventually it will catch up with you.

How can you slow down and intentionally create more margin in your life?

3. Responsibilities

How realistic are you when it comes to knowing what you can juggle? Are you spreading yourself too thin? Don’t fool yourself! You have limits!

With fewer responsibilities, you are able to concentrate and focus your efforts in a way that makes a greater impact. Less really is more!

Some responsibilities are non-negotiable. Roles like being a spouse, parent, etc. are priorities, yet they often suffer the most when you take on too much.

Have you taken the time to consider what is driving your desire to do all that you are doing? Are there responsibilities that you are clinging too for the wrong reasons?

Be honest. What responsibilities need to go in this season?

4. Mindsets

How you think has a profound effect on your life, work, relationships, goals, and more. When negative feelings like dread, fear, or anxiety pop up, it’s a clue that it’s time for a mindset to go so that you can embrace a new way of thinking.

Mindsets are sneaky. They step in and take control without you even knowing it. Without regularly tuning in to how you are feeling, you will miss the way it’s dictating your life. And because the way you think is the way you think there’s a good chance you will miss those wonky thoughts altogether.

If you are serious about transforming the thinking that’s holding you back, working with a coach is a practical and powerful way to do that.

5. Relationships

Relationships are one of my top five values. The people in my life are important treasures to me. In order to give them my best, I must face the fact that I have a limited capacity for relationships.  That means I need to be selective about who I chose to give my time to. While I am to lovingly interact with everyone, not everyone needs to have a place in my life.

Who are the most important people in your life? What needs to go in order for you to invest your best into those relationships?

Are there people in your life who bring you down or who cast doubt on your abilities? How can you limit the interactions you have with these people – let them go?

6. Expectations

Expectations lead to disappointment! Disappointment fuels discouragement. It’s impossible to do your best work in that discouraged place.

When you are focused on your expectations, seeing the blessings, possibilities, and the beauty of this moment are hard to see.

Let go of your expectations and tap into your curiosity.

7. Guilt

Lugging around guilt through life is draining! There is nothing you can do about the past, so let it go! Put all your efforts into proactively creating a better future.

8. Plans

I am a natural planner. It helps me stay on track with my goals and ensure that I am not exceeding my limits. However, a key part of being an excellent planner is the ability to flex, adjust, and easily create a new plan. Planning is good! Having rigid plans that you are unwilling to adjust – not so good!

9. Your Fear Monster

The only way to let go of that deep seeded core fear, your Fear Monster, is to neglect him and lean into who God created you to be! Take your focus off of your Fear Monster (that only makes him grow) and onto how deeply and extravagantly you are loved by God. And your identity in Him. Leaving your Fear Monster behind – that leads to real transformation!

Letting go and releasing what’s gobbling up your energy makes it possible for you to take hold of something better! Think of it as a new “lease’ on life when you re-lease! You will be more focused and available for meaningful opportunities. Letting go allows you to make the most of your precious time.

What do you need to let go?

Revised and updated just for you! Originally posted on 4/28/15 – enjoy!

Marvae Eikanas

Marvae Eikanas is an author, entrepreneur, ICF certified coach, Career Direct Consultant, DISC consultant, and HBDI practitioner. She helps her coaching clients sharpen their skills, face their fears, eliminate funky mindsets, hone their habits, and cultivate clarity so they can THRIVE personally and professionally. Schedule a consultation with Marvae here.


  1. Joyful Savings on May 6, 2015 at 9:00 am

    I really enjoyed your post… thank you for sharing! – Jacky

    • Marvae on May 6, 2015 at 9:22 am

      So glad you stopped by Jacky. Delighted to hear you enjoyed this post.

  2. Amy P Boyd on May 6, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Oh so many things I need to loosen me grip on and finally let go of. Thanks for the encouragement to do so.

    • Marvae on May 6, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      Letting go has been freeing! I hope you find that same to be true Amy.

  3. Jenny at Women With Intention on May 6, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    My one word is savor. I’ve been working on letting go so I can savor more time with my family and enjoy our home!

    • Marvae on May 6, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      Savor… such a sweet word! Sounds like we are on parallel adventures Jenny. Nothing better than time with family! It all goes so quickly.

  4. Mike Loomis on May 6, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Excellent list, Marvae! I’m in a wresting match with busyness – but starting to win!

    • Marvae on May 6, 2015 at 2:19 pm

      Busyness is a fierce competitor! Glad you are gaining the advantage Mike!

  5. Women With Intention on May 6, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    My one word is savor. I’ve been working on letting go so I can savor more time with my family and enjoy our home! I enjoyed your post! Jenny

  6. Kendra Burrows on May 6, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    These are all great things to release! Unfortunately, I keep being led to release my idea of routine. It’s hard for me, but I’m winging it and God is right there helping me. I don’t know where he’s taking me, but the selfish, know-it-all part of me hopes He finishes teaching me a lesson soon so I can have a routine back. Sounds like I still have lots of growing to do first! 😉 Thanks for this article and reminder.

    • Marvae on May 6, 2015 at 2:43 pm

      God has a knack for asking us to let go of the things we hold most dear – even things like routines. Sounds like where ever He is taking you He wants you to be dependent on Him. 🙂

  7. Jason Sandeman on May 6, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Indeed, God asks us to release all of these things. Trust in what he is, and knowing that no matter what, it will be all right.
    So many things are out of our control. It is in the surrender where we find our strength, his hand guiding us.
    Over the last year I have been terrible to my partner. Thank God that she still found it in her heart to love me, despite all I tried to do to make myself forget.
    Today we are stronger for it. Praise God.

    • Marvae on May 6, 2015 at 3:48 pm

      Thanks for sharing Jason. Sounds like it has been quite a year. It is so true… and you alluded to it… we really only “think” we have a hold on things. Just about everything is outside of our control except perhaps how we respond to things. Releasing them is perhaps finally admitting that. 🙂

  8. Kathy Fannon on May 6, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    I’ve been a quest this past year to release clutter in my life, there’s just too much! Thanks for this awesome post, Marvae!

    • Marvae on May 6, 2015 at 3:58 pm

      Good-bye clutter! Thanks for stopping by Kathy!

  9. Carol Nave on May 6, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    Love this post! This is something that I have to work on every day. Right now I’m letting go of having to do everything just right. It’s tough. Your words are very encouraging. Thanks.

    • Marvae on May 7, 2015 at 6:31 am

      Wanting to do everything just right, or perfect, can be very challenging Carol and even harder to actually accomplish! Making mistakes and living to tell about it and understanding that people prefer real people not perfect people has helped me. So glad you were encouraged.

  10. Sharon on May 7, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Thank you for the thoughtful post. I have learned to release so much since my cancer diagnosis put what’s really important in sharp relief, but I still hold on to too much and to more than I need. Appreciate your words of encouragement.


    • Marvae on May 7, 2015 at 5:06 pm

      Going through experiences like cancer have a way of making what’s important much more clear! Trusting you are able to identify and release the things that still need to go Sharon.

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