woman in red tank top standing beside brown tree

11 Toxic Things You Need to Let Go Of To Become Who You’re Meant To Be

You know, I think we’ve all had that moment when we just grow tired of the status quo. We grow tired of playing pretend and grow tired of seeking one-sided relationships. We grow tired of always putting our timelines and even ourselves secondary for the sake of not hurting someone else’s feelings. In many ways, we grow tired of where we are in life. We get stuck daydreaming about the day that’ll come without realizing that day’s already here. Maybe it’s been losing my mom or turning 30 for me to fully grow into the woman I am today, but I tend to rely a lot less on other people’s opinion of me. They’re just not as valuable to me as my own opinion of myself. So, it got me thinking: What other toxic traits have been holding me back? Which ones do I need to let go of in order to become the best version of myself? Maybe these will apply to you.

1. You need to let go of the idea that you need to stay with people just because you’re comfortable with them.

Sometimes you just outgrow your group of friends. That’s okay. As people gain new experiences, the more they may realize that the people they grew up with or those they formed relationships with don’t fulfill them anymore. One of the worst decisions you can make is staying connected to those who bring you nothing but misery. There’s a common phrase that the people you hang out with are a reflection of you; there’s truth in that.

2. You need to stop saying “yes” to things you don’t want to do.

And guess what? It’s okay if the person on the other side of “no” disagrees. Far too often, we let other people’s plans and desires dictate our free time. It’s important to remember that your time, your interests, your mental health, your career, and your hobbies are valuable. You never have to say “yes” to something that feels like an obligation, regardless of who’s asking, what it’s for, and if everyone else is going.

3. You need to realize it’s okay for your dreams and goals to change.

I think a lot of people get lost in the idea that the goals they had when they were children need to still ring true today. Sometimes that’s not possible or desirable anymore. It’s okay that dreams change because life changes. You’re not less of a person or less motivated simply because you decided to take your life into another direction.

4. You need to let go of the idea that fixing someone else is also fixing yourself.

This can be hard to curb because at the end of the day, fixing someone else’s problems might seem like the right thing to do. In reality, trying to fix someone is a way for us to reap a personal reward. We feel better when someone thanks us or says “What would I do without you?” It feels good to help but you need to check your motivation for getting involved. Instead, focus on how you can give more love to yourself that way you’re not seeking to find it in others.

5. You need to let go of the idea that you can change someone’s mind about you.

Even if you’re the nicest person in the world, someone will complain about it. While being liked is important, it’s not necessary for you to hold value in yourself. If someone doesn’t like you, nothing you do is ever going to be enough for them because they will always think your motives aren’t genuine. It’s okay to not be liked by someone. They have a right to not like you, just as you have a right to not like them. Sometimes it’s as simple as your vibe not mixing with someone else’s.

6. You need to stop going to everyone for their opinions.

No one’s opinions are going to line up with yours. While there’s nothing wrong with getting genuine advice on a problem you aren’t able to look at clearly, many of us look to others to get confirmation that we’re making the right decision. When we don’t get the approval that we want, we tend to get angry and either sacrifice our own desires for the sake of someone else or do it anyway and piss people off. Cut out the aggravation. Have faith that your decision is what’s right for you and move forward with it. You don’t need anyone else’s approval when they have their own life to live.

7. You need to stop selling yourself short.

We are our harshest critics, which means that when we don’t attempt something, the blame usually falls on us. Your path to getting what you want out of this life won’t be easy, but put yourself out there, say yes to that thing you keep thinking about, and take a chance, because at the end of the day, you are worth taking risks for.

8. Let go of the idea that you always have to apologize.

Listen, there’s nothing wrong with admitting when you’re wrong or accepting that your words or actions hurt someone. Owning up to your own wrongdoings is part of being a healthy adult. But there’s a thin line between standing up for what you believe and buckling under the pressure that in order to keep the status quo, you have to accept full responsibility for the way someone else feels. All it does is victimize yourself and lead to difficult relationships. It’s okay to feel sorry that someone else is hurt while recognizing that you’re not sorry for having an opinion or boundaries.

9. Stop thinking that you “owe” someone.

You don’t owe anything to anyone. We are all capable of making decisions, so don’t let someone convince you that you have to do this or that because they did this for you. You are not responsible for the choices someone else makes for their own reasons.

10. You have to let go of the idea that you have time.

Life can change on a dime. The truth of the matter is that we’re only on this planet for a short while. Spend it doing the things you love with the people you genuinely want to spend your time with. Don’t ever settle for anything else. The only person you’re hurting by not choosing today to make a difference in your life is you.

11. You have to let go of the idea of being an expert right away.

No matter what you tackle, you will not be an expert right away. And that’s okay! Honestly, learning something new is part of the fun. You have to let go of the idea that you have to be good at something right away. It’s okay if your learning curve takes time, because eventually, you’ll get there. And when you do, it’s going to feel so good. Hang in there!

About the author
Mid-twenties something navigating through life one cup of coffee at a time. Read more articles from Courtney on Thought Catalog.

Learn more about Thought Catalog and our writers on our about page.

Related