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Amira McLaughlin

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Our complaints are based in a number of thoughts and feelings. Letting go of the ones that don’t serve us well will not only help to lessen complaining, it can put you on the path toward truly feeling content. In order to remove these toxic beliefs, ideas and emotions, we first need to know what they are. Let’s take a look at some of the things you can learn to let go of in order to find contentment in your life. 


Letting go of guilt involves removing the “shoulds” from your life. We all have a list of “shoulds” that we tell ourselves each and every day. These are obligations or standards we hold ourselves to or others hold us to that don’t make us happy. There can be a lot of reasons why these things don’t fill us up emotionally or make us feel satisfied. Usually, the basis of these reasons lies in the fact that the obligations aren’t congruent with our values, don’t serve us well or are simply things we don’t truly want for ourselves. Introspection and brutal honesty are needed in order to examine the source of guilt and to let it go from your life, but it can be done. 


Expectations are another thing you might want to let go of if you truly wish to be content. Expectations are different than standards. It’s good to set the bar for the kind of treatment you’ll accept from others and to reach for the stars when it comes to setting your goals. Expectations are another story because they involve what you expect from others and from things that are outside your control. When the things you expect don’t occur, it can be incredibly disappointing. Letting go of unrealistic expectations can be quite freeing. The only person you can control is yourself. Instead of placing expectations on those around you and on factors outside of your control, emphasize your own reactions and behavior with regard to these things. 


There are a lot of things to fear in life. Many are legitimate in that these fears could pose a danger to your health of safety. However, a good number of your fears are things that truly can’t hurt you in the long run. Fear of failure is a very common theme that holds lots of us back from becoming truly happy. It’s scary to go after your dreams or goals because the consequences of not succeeding can be quite traumatic. Other kinds of fear might be holding you back, as well. I recommend making a list of what you’re afraid of and then brainstorming whether these fears are legitimate dangers or if they’re simply things that seem too intimidating to face. Then delve deeper to examine what’s holding you back from working to overcome the illegitimate fears. You might be surprised at your results, and chances are good you’ll emerge with some ideas of how to move past the irrational fears. 


Needless worry is a stealer of joy. Yet so many of us fall prey to it. Some concern for what’s going on in our lives is necessary and healthy, but far too often we find ourselves going down the rabbit hole of endless fixation on things we can’t control. Worrying needlessly about the future takes away the kinds of things you could be doing in the present in order to make your life better. Fixating on past regret is another form of worry that often consumes people. Making an effort to eliminate unnecessary dread from your life will help you along your path to contentment. 

Take time each day to eliminate these things from your day to day. Letting go of feelings and emotions that are toxic and unproductive can go far toward becoming content. 

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