When you are hanging on to something which is truly bothering you, you need to just let go of it and move on. Deep down, we all know that this is some excellent advice. But it is so easy said and yet so very hard to do. Despite knowing that we should just let go of the stuff that is troubling us, we still live lives that are dominated by this stuff. When this happens, you will often find that you are constantly replaying incidents in your mind, which only serves to strengthen the negative feelings you experience about the incident. Even worse, you keep playing potential future incidents in your mind where you get to have your say and you are wary. Now, you are getting yourself worked up about something which may never happen.

When you don’t just let go

When you don’t just let go, you are going to store up a great deal of hurt and torment. You may think that you are causing hurt to others, but you are not. Usually, they will neither know nor care that you are hurt over this incident. Instead, you will cause problems within yourself as your feelings about the incident grow stronger and stronger. This may eventually result in issues such as anxiety, depression, or anger. In my case, when I don’t let it go, I get incredibly angry. The one thing that all of these emotions have in common is that they hurt you. If you don’t manage anger properly, it can hurt others but, in most instances, it just hurts you.

What ‘just let go’ doesn’t mean

When you think about ‘just let go’ you may think that it means accepting that you have been hurt and doing nothing about it. If you believe this and choose to live by this approach, you are going to end up very bitter, hostile, and angry. If you are not the angry type, you may instead become anxious and depressed.

When you just let go, you accept that there is no such thing as fairness in life. Fairness is a human construct and each person will have a different view of what is fair and what is not. Justice is the same. There may be words that need to be spoken and actions that need to be taken but once that is done, you let it go. You don’t choose to ‘suck it up’ or ‘bite your tongue’. Instead, you accept that the situation has passed, is in the past and you are now in a new moment where you are only going to focus on the present moment.

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5 Simple approaches to help you just let go

Below, I outline 5 attitudinal approaches which will help you to just let go when you are facing a difficult situation and potential conflict.

1. If you need to say something, say it

just let go pete seeger speak up

When a difficult instant arises, ideally we should be able to practice non-reaction and just let go. But there may be times when you feel that you need to let the other person know that their behaviour was out of line.  If this is the case, it is time to speak up and say so. It is important that when you do speak up, you focus on the undesired behaviour rather than judge the person.  Dealing with it swiftly, in a calm manner, can save a great deal of strife further down the road.

I once had someone treat me in what I felt was a very bad manner. It happened at what was a very difficult time for me. Rather than risk an argument, I chose to bottle it up and say nothing. Over the following eight months, I got angrier and angrier. I often took my temper out (non-violently) on the wrong people. Eventually, after eight months, I got the chance to sit down and look this person in the eyes. I told them exactly what I thought about their behaviour. I tried to be as kind as possible but after eight months, my words were very strong.

What I found amazing about this experience was that for the next few days, after I had spoken my mind, I was very sick. All the toxic thoughts and feelings I had repressed poured out of me. I can’t even imagine what this was doing to my overall health.


If you want to speak your mind peacefully, check out my article on constructive feedback.

2. Choose to be kind rather than right

Just Let Go Dalai Lama Kindness

When you are facing a difficult situation and you disagree with the treatment you are receiving, you can choose to be kind or to be right. You need to ask yourself if this issue is really important to you. If it is not, perhaps it is time to just let go of your need to be right.

When your life is coming to an end, are you going to look back on this argument and say ‘I am glad I got the better of that one’? I very much doubt it. So, why waste time arguing about it now. Just let go and focus your energies on creating memories that you will cherish in later life.

As my friend Jamie says, ‘Everyone has the right to an opinion and, everyone has the right to be wrong’

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3. Get to know what you value

Just Let Go Ayn Rand Values

When you keep your values to the forefront of your mind, it will help you to make the right choices in difficult situations. Many times, I have had clients tell me how they behaved during a difficult time and then turn around and tell me that it was the complete opposite of the person they wish to be. When I hear this, it brings a smirk to my face because I have been just as guilty of behaving that way.

Our values are like rules and priorities that we have for our life. When we take the time to identify, define, and prioritise our values, we have a simple system for guiding us in our decision making. When we make time to remind ourselves of our values each day, we are more likely to remember those values and, act accordingly, when under pressure.

I don’t know too many people who value arguments and being right over peace, compassion, and kindness. Yet there is a massive amount of conflict in this world. If we all made the effort to identify and live by our values, it would be much easier to just let go of the things which trouble us.

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4. Accept that others have different values

Just Let Go Ralph Marston Values

Just as you have your values, others have their own values. It is unlikely that you will find yourself having the exact same set of values, in the same order, as everyone else in your life. Therefore, there will be disagreements. You can see these disagreements as conflict or as a chance to build stronger relationships. This is where you choose to be kind or choose to be right. When you choose kindness, you will work with the other person to see if you can find a mutually beneficial solution.

If you cannot find a solution, depending on the situation, it may be time to just let go and accept that you are not getting your way on this occasion, After all, there will be times when others lose out as you get your way.


For more advice on how to find a mutually beneficial solution, check out my article on finding a win-win solution.

Negative to Positive

You can identify some key changes to allow you start living a more positive life with my FREE eBook - From Negative to Positive.

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5. Practice non-reaction

Just Let Go Wayne Dyer Reaction

The idea of ‘just let go’ is a practice in non-reaction. In modern society, particularly in Western Culture, we have been conditioned to believe that we must react to everything; that we must have an opinion on everything. That’s simply not true.

When you react to something, you become attached to a particular outcome. When you are attached to a particular outcome, you create a win-lose situation with the other person. For you to feel like you won, you must also feel that they lost. If they are not already in that mindset, your reaction will push them into that state. Now, you have two people determined to win an argument that doesn’t even matter. It becomes an endless cycle as every time that you react, the other person follows suit and vice versa. With each reaction, both parties develop stronger emotions.

If you have ever witnessed a minor altercation turn into a serious incident and wondered ‘How the hell did that escalate so quickly?’, what I have outlined above is the crux of it. I hope that helps you to realise how powerful non-reaction can be.

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Letting go of conflict and arguments, and living by your own values will boost your health, happiness and wellbeing.

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We tend to think that everything is about us but the majority of things that happen in life have nothing to do with you. Even when you are treated in what you perceive to be a bad way, the other person is rarely motivated by their thoughts and feelings about you. Instead, they have their own values, goals, and objectives. They are merely trying to live the life they want, and you are getting caught in the crosshairs. Sure, it would be nice if others would consider the impact on us when they make decisions or take actions but the fact that they don’t should be enough to tell us that they are not acting against us either. So, when it appears that you are being treated unfairly, why not practice a little non-reaction and just let go.


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