If you can’t let go of these 10 things, true happiness will always elude you

Do you ever feel that happiness always seems to elude your grasp? Everyone else seems to be content with their lives, and you wonder how you can achieve that.

Did you know that happiness is a choice? It’s not only about what you do, it’s also about what you don’t do.

You may be holding on to things that are hindering your ability to be happy. Today we’ll explore 10 of these things that you should let go so that you can live your best life.

1) Grudges

It’s tough to let go of the hurts that people have caused you or the people you care about. It’s one thing to forgive, but another to forget.

Usually, people are reluctant to let go because they feel that this would a disservice to the person who was hurt. Whether it was themselves or another person, they would rather hold on to that memory instead of forgetting that it took place.

But harboring such negative feelings can cause serious strain on your mental health over the long term. The worst part is that the person that you hate so much may have no idea about the impact of their actions. The only person you’re hurting is yourself.

Therefore, if you want to be happy, set yourself free from grudges. Let forgiveness and peace replace those negative feelings. Of course, you have every right to feel upset. But this will only affect your mental health in the long run. 

2) Unrealistic Expectations

All of us have our individual expectations of how the world should be like. This also extends to ourselves. But when these expectations get a bit unrealistic, we start to become disappointed. 

If we pin our happiness on these expectations, it’s understandable that we will remain unhappy

Sometimes it’s good to take things as they are. It’s normal to expect good things, but it’s also important to be realistic. If not, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. 

3) Relationships that don’t work for you

Be true to yourself. Are you happy in your relationship? If you have to think about it before answering, you may just have the answer to why you’re not happy at all. And this extends to platonic relationships as well.

Reflect on the people that inspire and make you happy, and those that drain your energy. Is the second group of people really worth stressing over? Are they the ones holding you back from experiencing true happiness?

Sometimes, it’s tough to cut people completely from your life. As a start, reduce their presence in your life slowly. Alternatively, you could also address whatever issues you have with them – depending on the nature of the relationship.

4) Control

Wanting to have control over everything is a sure way to live in constant disappointment. Because in life, we never have full control over everything. The sooner we come to terms with that the better.

We can prepare for a long period for something – let’s say a competition, exam, presentation, or interview.

And this still may not work out. The issue may not be you as well. There are a myriad of factors at play in every given situation.

Instead, tell yourself that you will make the most out of every situation you’re in. Instead of feeling unhappy over things that didn’t go your way, try to see it from a different angle.

5) Comparisons

If you cant let go of these things true happiness will always elude you 1 If you can’t let go of these 10 things, true happiness will always elude you

Comparison is truly the thief of joy. If we live our lives comparing with everyone else’s, we’ll never be content. Because the truth is that there will always be someone doing better than you.

Instead, be thankful for what you have. This helps you reflect on your accomplishments over the years and grounds you in a world full of people comparing themselves with others online. 

You may not have the fanciest car, the best job, or the smartest children. But you may have things that someone else does not have. Focus on your journey instead.

6) Fear of failure

While it’s important to learn how to succeed, it’s equally important to learn how to fail. Society has programmed us to be fearful of failure and we start to see it as something embarrassing that shouldn’t be discussed.

But in reality, life has its ups and downs. We will have good and bad periods. 

If we’re always fearful of failure, this may hinder us from embarking on something that may potentially be life-changing. While we shouldn’t expect ourselves to fail from the outset, we should instead have a positive mindset when we work on something new.

We should also see failure as learning opportunities or a redirection into something much better for you.

7) Negative self-talk

Criticizing yourself before you embark on a new project, or if you’re in the midst of working through a project, can cause your self-worth to take a beating.

This can also have long-term effects on the way you see yourself. Very soon, you’ll unconsciously think that you’re worthless and good for nothing. You’ll have a tough time trying to find happiness after that.

So what you should do instead, is start each day with something positive. Set mini goals for yourself to achieve throughout the day or week. It’ll help boost your confidence.

8) Living in the past

Don’t let your inability to let go of the past rob you of what you can experience in the present.

It’s normal to have memories, especially during periods that were meaningful to you. But if you’re somehow unable to let go of a past regret, mistake, or wrong decision, it may rob you of what you could achieve now and in the future. 

Fully appreciate the present – you only have one chance at experiencing every moment. So make it count. You’ll start to realize that happiness may not be too far off after all.

9) What other people think of you

We often value what other people think of us a bit too much. While it’s normal to want to know what people think of us, it’s another thing to let their opinions overly impact our lives.

You’ll meet people who doubt, criticize or simply do not like you. And that’s okay. Instead of ending up trying to please the whole world at your expense, know your worth. 

Seek the input of people whom you trust to get a better understanding of yourself, but ultimately, you know yourself best. The opinion that should be valued the most is yours. 

Once you learn to prioritize yourself, you’ll start appreciating yourself a lot more.

10) The need to be right all the time

It’s human to make mistakes, bad judgment calls, and wrong decisions. Inevitably, these will impact our lives and the lives of the people around us. We just need to be responsible for our decisions and move on from there.

If you live your life with the need to be right all the time, you will be very miserable. Life is all about learning and growing. Learning from our mistakes is an opportunity for us to become a better version of ourselves.


There’s no magic key to happiness, but it starts with letting go of all the habits and thoughts that no longer serve you well.

It’s often a choice, and that’s what is stopping us from moving towards a much better, more positive place. 

So if you’re in a situation like this, try lettins go of whatever is holding you back from true happiness. 

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Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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