Letting Go - Focus

Hubert Koh

Senior Member
Feb 20, 2016
The Cost of Holding On:

Tightly clench your hand. After a few seconds, you'll notice
how tiring it is to do this.

Holding on takes energy. It doesn't really matter what we're
holding on to, a relationship, job, or material possessions,
it all takes energy.

And as the clenched hand exercise illustrates so well, you
can't reach out or grasp anything new when your hands are
clenched to hold on!

Why We Don't Let Go:

There are many, many reasons why we don't let go. Sometimes
it means facing our grief or other challenging emotions. For
example, we might not want to let go of a relationship
because then we'd have to face our fear of being lonely. Or
we might not want to let go of a job because we'd feel
worried about money.

It's really helpful to identify these emotions. Here's a
sentence completion exercise that will help you identify
what emotion is holding you back. Finish this sentence with
the first thing that comes to mind.

"If I let go of (fill in your situation) I'd have to face my

Once you've identified the emotion that's holding things up,
practice letting that emotion go all by itself. Just for
now. Using the above illustration, the person who's worried
about facing their loneliness could practice saying, "I let
go of my worry about feeling lonely. For now."

I use the phrase 'for now' because we can only work with
ourselves in the present tense.

It helps to remind yourself that all things change. All
things. Winter isn't a failure because spring is here.
Change is the natural rhythm of things. In my experience,
more damage is done by holding on to things too long than is
done by letting go of something too early.

A Behaviour Modification Technique:

Here is a technique you will find helpful. Write a phrase or
few sentences about something you'd like to let go of. Eg:
"This situation at work" or "My feelings about D." Now,
scrunch up that paper and burn it or throw it away or rip it
into pieces. There's something powerful about putting things
into a physical form like this that makes it feel more real.

Letting Go in Stages:

Another thing that will help you let go is to do it in
stages. Start with a little, then work up to something
larger. Like any muscle, letting go is a skill that gets
easier with practice. I find this particularly helpful with
thoughts and emotions that I need to release. I'll just ask
myself to let go for an hour. Or an afternoon. Or a day...
Baby steps. Do you know if you change the direction of an
airplane by just one degree, it will arrive in a whole
different country? Small works.

Reframe the Thought:

Lastly, reframe the idea of letting go and think of it
instead as moving things along. Moving things along is being
in the natural flow of life and it involves releasing so the
new can come in. We release the old air in our lungs so the
new air can come in. We release what's in our intestinal


Senior Member
Nov 2, 2015
Hey Hubert thanks for your topic, very interesting.
My let go learning needed a time but I have keep an essential thing : "If I can change I do it, if I can't I accept" ;-)


Nice essay, Hubert. Regular sessions of consciously letting go through deliberate and focused deep relaxation, is highly beneficial - especially for people who have a tendency to accumulate mental, emotional and physical tensions.
Alan A
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