A Zen student once asked his teacher, “Master, what is enlightenment?” The master replied, “When hungry, eat. When tired, sleep. When it is time, let go.”
Unfortunately, lots of us are shockingly bad at that last part. We hold onto things – physical, spiritual, and emotional – that have long since stopped serving us, and our lives decrease in quality as a result.
Are you sick of being dragged by baggage you no longer need?
Here are five things to stop caring about today to feel happier tomorrow!
1. Stop Caring If You Are Enough
How much time do you spend worrying about whether you’re attractive enough? Rich enough? Fit enough? Smart enough? Good enough? Funny enough?
It’s exhausting, and it’s one of the main things we could all stand to let go of.
The main idea behind it is pretty simple: You Are Enough. No matter what.
So often we let other people or situations convince us that this is not true, that we lack something. And that this ‘something’ is preventing us from being happy. If we could just be a little taller, thinner, smarter, richer or more attractive, everything would be great. Our problems would magically disappear. Our life would be much easier and more satisfying.
If you believe that you are not enough, you will act out of place of fear, of doubt and you will always hold yourself back. There is no immediate cure for negative beliefs. Learning to love and appreciate yourself takes time, but this is a battle worth fighting.
Looking for tools? Affirmations and meditation are both excellent tools on the path to self-acceptance.
2. Stop Caring What Other People Think About Your Goals
Here’s a fun experiment: tell ten people that you want to lose 10 pounds by limiting your weekly red meat intake and see what happens.
Most likely you will get ten completely different pieces of advice about what you should and should not do. It’s normal. Everyone is different, has different experiences and different opinions about eating habits.
If you let these differences get inside your head, though, all that external input can start to affect your internal voice and goal-setting process.
For every goal that you set for yourself, there will be someone trying to talk you out of it. If you listen to every single opinion, you won’t ever start anything. With this in mind, be sure you’re only sharing your goals with people who can inspire you, contribute to your personal growth, and give you a hand!
3. Stop Caring About Showing Your Vulnerability
Are you embarrassed to cry at movies? Are you worried that if you show people your true emotions, they may take advantage and hurt you in some way? In Western culture, being vulnerable is often associated with weakness.
Luckily, this isn’t remotely true.
Vulnerability is a base for love, compassion, trust, creativity, and self-acceptance. If you have come to believe that it is not okay to feel or demonstrate certain emotions, you deny yourself the pleasure of experiencing life.
4. Stop Caring About What Other People Have
It’s one of the headiest temptations of human life – comparing ourselves to other people.
How much does this guy make a month? Who is that new girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife/date? Why are they buying a new TV when they already have one? Why can’t I go on a vacation like that? How’d they afford that house?
When you think about it, though, focusing on these things only sets us up to feel inadequate and less-than. If you’re sick of chasing things you don’t need or feeling like you’re failing to “keep up with the Joneses,” do yourself a favor – put on your blinders and run your race.
If you’re struggling to do this, taking a break from social media can be a great boost.
5. Stop Caring About the Illusion of Perfection
“Good is better than perfect.”
While this can be applied to many things, it’s especially relevant as a motto for life.
If you’re always wrapped up with the idea of perfection, it’s unlikely that you’re ever going to get much of anything done.
The harsh truth is that perfectionism does not pay off. The real world rewards people who get things done, not ones who strive to do things perfectly. And the only way to get anything done is to make peace with your best efforts and know when it’s time to let something go.
Don’t let your perfectionist tendencies turn into an excuse for not finishing things. It is much easier to learn from the outcome and improve than to get something ‘perfect’ the first time.
Our team at The Fitness Tribe often collaborates together to produce content. When you see “TFT Team” this is because the content was not written by a single author, but rather a team effort.