101+ Things To Let Go Of To Find Happiness (2024)

This list of things to let go of will help you become happier.

In my role as a life coach, I am always helping clients explore how to live their best life, and it often involves letting go just as much as adding things

That’s why I’m keen to share this list with you. 

Let’s Dive In

What Are Some Things I Can Let Go Of?

The idea of ‘letting go’ means to drop the thoughts and habits that don’t serve you. So many people get stuck in a loop of unhelpful thoughts and actions for their entire lives, without realizing what’s holding them back from the life they want.

It’s worth doing an audit every few months of all the thoughts and habits that have repeated throughout the past year of your life, and asking: “How is this serving me?”

You can then make a conscious choice to let go of the things that hold you back from the life you want. 

I predict this will create a much happier life for you, compared to the person who decides to keep adding new things like a bigger house or a faster car. 

Do this throughout the course of your entire life and you’ll be amazed at the progress you make. 

What Should I Let Go Of?

Below, you’ll find a list of 101 ideas for things to let go of, split into four categories. Make a note of the habits in this list that appear in your own life, then ask yourself that magical question for each of them.

“How is this serving me?”

Hopefully this question inspires you to let go of the things that make you feel bad, so you can create a better life for yourself. 

Things To Let Go Of
Photo By RoseBox On Unsplash

Things To Let Go Of RIGHT NOW

Here are some ideas for things you need to let go of as a matter of urgency. 

  1. Being depressed about your past. 
  2. Wasting time worrying about the future.
  3. Allowing your feelings to control your actions.
  4. Living your life according to other people’s expectations.
  5. Ignoring the inner voice that’s telling you to chase your big goals. 
  6. Escapism. Tackle your problems head on, instead of running from them. 
  7. Delaying happiness until the future.
  8. Denying what you actually want to do with your life.
  9. Listening to negative thoughts.
  10. Finding your identity in your job, hobbies or relationship.
  11. Living for the weekend.
  12. Trying to do everything without help. 
  13. Meeting everyone else’s needs while neglecting your own.
  14. Focusing on the bad side of life. 
  15. Wanting to change, but not doing anything.
  16. Your attachments to a person, place or thing.
  17. Caring about others’ opinions.
  18. Obsessing over things you can’t change. This guide on the Best Ways To Learn Acceptance And Letting Go should help.
  19. Ignoring your mental health. Practicing self-care is more important than you probably realize.
  20. Saying “I can’t do it” without trying. This negative thinking becomes your reality. 
  21. Putting off the important things in your life.
  22. Making excuses.
  23. Over-spending on things you don’t need. You’ll tend to find fewer things and more space brings extra happiness to your life.
  24. Your low standards.
  25. Resisting your fitness goals
  26. Laziness.
  27. Stubbornness and trefusing to change.
  28. Your past mistakes.
  29. Your identity as someone who is always making mistakes and getting things wrong.
  30. Your comfort zone.
  31. The idea of a “perfect life”.
  32. Your desperation to fit in with everyone.
  33. Letting things happen to you, rather than taking action to make things happen.
  34. Letting your past define your future.
  35. Putting things off until the “perfect moment”. This is usually driven by a fear of failure.

Toxic Things To Let Go Of

In this list, you’ll find thoughts and habits that are detrimental to your life. To let go of these toxic things will help to purify your life and make it easier to find happiness. 

  1. Judging others.
  2. Justifying your flaws by saying “it’s just the way I am”. 
  3. Your need to always spend money on the newest items.
  4. Lying.
  5. Breaking promises.
  6. Your addiction to your phone and other devices that take you out of the present moment. 
  7. Allowing social media to affect your mental health.
  8. Your belief that it’s impossible to give up the habits that ruin your physical health.
  9. Your refusal to ask for help. 
  10. Your refusal to take a break and recharge. Self-care is important for everyone.
  11. Your people-pleasing habit.
  12. Blaming others for your mistakes.
  13. Comparing yourself to other people.
  14. Your need to complain about so many things that don’t matter. 
  15. Greed and selfishness.
  16. Thinking you’re the only person who has it so bad in life.  
  17. Negative self-talk.
  18. Relying on drugs or alcohol to vreate good feelings within you. The extra cost to your health is never worth it in the long run.
  19. Negative people who encourage your unhealthy habits.
  20. Playing the victim
  21. Refusing to feel guilty when you hurt others. This defense mechanism might protect your feelings, but it only causes problems and ruins your social connections in the long run. 
  22. Refusing to consider the other side of the story.
  23. Delusion about where you are in life. The truth shall set you free!

Emotions To Let Go Of

Your thoughts create your emotions. Your emotions create your actions. Your actions create the life you’re living today. To let go of these emotions, you may need to evaluate your way of thinking. What negative thoughts can get you let go of to create a more positive mindset?

A life coach or a therapist will help you answer these difficult questions. In the meantime, here is a list of negative feelings and emotions that you might want to aim to let go of.  

  1. The fear of the unknown.
  2. Putting so much pressure on yourself.
  3. Keeping your feelings bottled up. 
  4. Your negative body image.
  5. Beating yourself up when you’ve done your best.
  6. The fear of not being enough for someone.
  7. Worrying what others think of you. You’ll needlessly spend so much energy on this and most people tend to not care, honestly.
  8. Perfectionism.
  9. Shame about your past. See this guide for help: Expert Insights – How To Let Go Of Shame.
  10. Letting your insecurities control your life.
  11. Setting unrealistic expectations of yourself and others. See this guide on Effective Ways How To Let Go Of Expectations for assistance. 
  12. Self-doubt.
  13. Fear of failure.
  14. Guilt over past events. These Practical TIPS On Letting Go Of Guilt & Forgive Yourself will help you. 
  15. Obsessing over things you can’t change. 
  16. Your need to be in control of everything.
  17. Holding grudges from the past.
  18. Jealousy.
  19. Your desire for revenge.
  20. Thinking you’re not ready.
  21. Your need to always be right.
  22. Expecting the worst of everything.
  23. The fear of success.

Things To Let Go Of In A Relationship

Your relationships play a huge role in your overall sense of happiness. It’s not only about who you’re choosing to spend so much of your precious time with, but how you’re treating each other during that time.

It makes sense that you’ll want to get rid of bad relationships or ‘toxic relationships’ as they’re called so often. However, a lot of people either aren’t aware of what a toxic relationship is, or they’re unable to admit it.

Even if you’re with the right person, there are probably still habits that it’s in your best interests to let go of. Here are some ideas of things to let go of in your relationship 

  1. Your need to control your partner.
  2. Letting your partner make you feel inferior.
  3. Lashing out when your partner criticizes you.  
  4. The idea of the “perfect relationship”.
  5. Trying to “fix” your partner.
  6. The fear of your partner leaving.
  7. Feeling the need to hurt your partner when they hurt you.
  8. Letting your past pain affect your current relationship. 
  9. Having the relationship that society wants you to have.
  10. The fear of putting your partner first.
  11. Your fear of vulnerability. 
  12. Refusing to face the truth of the flaws in your relationship.
  13. Hiding your feelings from your partner.
  14. Hiding your actions from your partner.
  15. Avoiding difficult discussions.
  16. Refusing to accept when you’re wrong.
  17. The idea there’s only one person out there for you.  
  18. Your “me vs. them” attitude. You’re a team.
  19. Comparing yourself to other couples.
  20. Refusing to work on your relationship.

What Do I Need To Let Go Of To Be Happy?

You’ve seen a huge list of ideas for things to let go of to be happy. Ultimately, only you can decide what you need to let go of to be happy.

To find these, it’s all about asking yourself what thoughts and habits no longer serve you (or never did). 

I look forward to seeing what the future holds for you after this fresh start.  

Any Questions?

Thanks for reading my list. I hope it helps you on your life journey to become the best version of yourself as a human being. 

If you have any questions, take a moment to leave a comment below.

It always puts me in a great mood to read the kind words from the positive people that read my articles, 

Your opinions matter! It would be great to hear from you and I’ll do my best to respond to your comment. 

About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.