How to know when to let it go

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Category A: Things you can control
- What you think
- What you do

Category B: Things you can not control
- What other people think
- What other people do 
- Everything else

Life is a constant pull between the things you can control (i.e. yourself) and the things that you cannot (i.e. everything else).

As people, we tend to think there is some sort of grey area. That somehow through controlling the things within our control, we can control the things outside of our control. And this is what often sets us up for failure, which leaves us frustrated, disappointed and blaming ourselves. 

We are told that with the right attitude, hard work and determination, we can succeed at anything. Success stories tell us that going from rags to riches is possible purely though you and the things that you do. Think positive and positive things will happen.

In my opinion, this is wrong.

It ignores the fact that there are many, many contingencies in a persons life that are out of their control. It implies that if people don't achieve the things they've set out to achieve then they simply haven't tried hard enough. Which isn't always the case. It is of course a fine line, if you don't work hard then your chances of success are likely to go down a hell of a lot. But hard work isn't the sole reason for success. There is also the matter of the other people involved and the series of events unique to each of our own lifetimes. There are a magnitude of reasons behind success and failures. And so many of them are out of our control. 

Of course if you want to get anywhere, you have to keep going. But along the way you need to learn when to let certain things go if you intend on also finding happiness. You are not at fault if things don't turn out the way you hope and it is not because you didn't work hard enough. 

It can be hard to not blame yourself when things don't go the way you wanted. When you didn't get that job/promotion that you wanted, when your creative passions bear no fruit, when you cannot convert someone to your cause when you see injustices. However getting upset about these things that are out of your control only leads to your own unhappiness and frustration.  It may seem hard to say "it's fine, let it go" when people disagree with something you feel strongly about, when someone doesn't like you for whatever reason or when someone doesn't see your worth. However, you will find that in fact nothing different happens when you do just "let it go" because getting yourself worked up about it achieves nothing but your own unhappiness.

If you can't control it, don't let it control you. 

That is not to say we just have to give up. It is saying that you need to take a step back and refocus. You need to let go of what you can't control such as someone else's opinion and instead you need to move on and focus on what you can do next.

Other people's opinions (even those about you) are really nothing to do with you. Most of the time they are a reflection of something within themselves. Other people's actions are also nothing to do with you and they are not your responsibility even if you feel strongly about them. This is not to say you should sit back and do nothing, it's saying focus on what you can do and give yourself a break when it comes to things you can't control.

Because it really is fine to just "let it go". 

Charlotte xx



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