How To Let “It” Go

Too many times have people told me that I was “high-strung” and needed to let “it” go. I couldn’t count how many times someone told me that my life would be so much easier if I’d just forget about it and move on.

The fact is, I put too much weight into the things that I’m doing.

I used to go hard with my grades. It was an A or I might as well be failing. I had to be able to present my work to The President of The United States or I might as well not have done it at all. Obviously, this kind of perfectionism isn’t conducive to everyday life, nor is it healthy.

After a solid year of struggling to keep my grades up and work part-time, I became chronically anxious and depressed. Nothing was being completed to my standards, and my work ethic was wavering.

After a while, I realized that I needed to let it go. But how?

Everything in Moderation

First, you need to balance everything. If you have any sort of expectation, you need to give yourself time to meet it. Period, the end.

Put too much effort into school, and you won’t have time for your social life or your health. Too much time into your job and school suffers. Put equal time into both, but don’t give yourself enough time to focus on meeting expectation for either and, well, your mental health is going to take a dive into the deep end.

Leave yourself enough time to actually sleep. To shower occasionally or shave your unibrow. Otherwise, these are just a few more expectations to stress about not being able to do because of time.  Expectations are hard. Take time to meet them.

Recognize What Your Time is Worth

But don’t get cocky about it. Some people feel obligated to take on their bosses role after they leave.

Don’t.

If you’re looking to be promoted to that position, go for it, but make it clear that that’s what you want. Otherwise, it’s fine to help out occasionally, but if you take on their job, plus yours, you’ll just stress yourself out. Then, when they hire somebody to fill the position, you probably won’t be recognized for your work, either.

It’s okay to say no to other people’s things to balance your own.

Don’t be so Hard on Yourself

You are human. No one expects perfection from you, just competence. In an environment with teams, let yourself be really good at one or two things so you can complement your team members’ abilities. Their strengths will complement you in turn

If something goes awry, don’t berate yourself. You can be stressed, but you need to learn how to take a giant mistake as a learning experience, rather than a reason to hate yourself. Figure out the flaw, take the steps to fix it, then follow through and make sure it stays fixed.

Leave yourself enough time to actually sleep. To shower occasionally or shave your unibrow. Otherwise, these are just a few more expectations to stress about not being able to do because of time.  Expectations are hard. Take time to meet them.

Recognize What Your Time is Worth

But don’t get cocky about it. Too many people take on the role of someone in the position above them because they feel obligated to.

Don’t.

If you’re looking to be promoted to that position, go for it, but make it clear that that’s what you want. Otherwise, it’s fine to help out occasionally, but if you take on their job, plus yours, you’ll just stress yourself out. Then, when they hire somebody to fill in the spot, you probably won’t be recognized for your work, either.

It’s okay to say no to other people’s things to balance your own.

Don’t be so Hard on Yourself

You are human. No one expects perfection from you, just that you’re competent. In an environment with teams, let yourself be really good at one thing so you can fill in the weaknesses of your team. Their strengths will fill in your weaknesses in turn.  

If something goes awry, don’t berate yourself. You can be stressed, but you need to learn how to take a giant mistake as a learning experience, rather than a reason to hate yourself. Figure out the flaw, take the steps to fix it, then follow through and make sure it stays fixed.

Ask for Help

It’s okay to ask for help. Sometimes, the weight of everything becomes overwhelming, and it feels like it might crush you. There’s nothing wrong with that. You’re human, remember? We evolved as social creatures. It’s literally in our genes to rely on our community for help.

If it’s money, swallow your pride and ask your parents for help with gas for a month, or your lowest utility bill. Boom, $40+ more that you have to work with.

Work? Ask for a day off or to get a shift covered. Take an extra day to take care of yourself. I promise that your boss would want you to take a day off then come back as a competent employee rather than you just show but just to be there. Or, ask a coworker if they have an hour to spare to help you organize things.

Ask for Help

It’s okay to ask for help. Sometimes, the weight of everything becomes overwhelming, and it feels like it might crush you. There’s nothing wrong with that. You’re human, remember? We evolved as social creatures. It’s literally in our genes to rely on our community for help.

If it’s money, swallow your pride and ask your parents for help with gas for a month, or your lowest utility bill. Boom, $40+ more that you have to work with.

Work? Ask for a day off or to get a shift covered. Take an extra day to take care of yourself. I promise that your boss would want you to take a day off then come back as a competent employee rather than one that shows up just to be there  Or, ask a coworker if they have an hour to spare to help you organize things.

Work? Ask for a day off or to get a shift covered. Take an extra day to take care of yourself. I promise that your boss would want you to take a day off then come back as a competent employee rather than you just show but just to be there. Or, ask a coworker if they have an hour to spare to help you organize things.

Is it school? This can be hard, but sometimes you just need to drop a class. Free up some of your time to do homework, to catch up on some material, to breathe. School is hard. Don’t overburden yourself.

Is it school? This can be hard, but sometimes you just need to drop a class. Free up some of your time to do homework, to catch up on some material, to breathe. School is hard. Don’t overburden yourself.

Mental illness? You don’t even have to leave your house anymore. A quick Google search will bring up several websites for online therapists, or if you can’t afford one, try reaching out to someone who has a similar issue. Online support groups exist for that reason.

All in all, learning to let “it” go takes time and a serious mental reset. You have to train yourself to realize what’s worth stressing over and what’s not. That’s up to you, but once you’ve figured it out, everything will get a lot easier.

Is it school? This can be hard, but sometimes you just need to drop a class. Free up some of your time to do homework, to catch up on some material, to breathe. School is hard. Don’t overburden yourself.

Mental illness? You don’t even have to leave your house anymore. A quick Google search will bring up several websites for online therapists, or if you can’t afford one, try reaching out to someone who has a similar issue. Online supports groups exist for that reason.

All in all, learning to let “it” go takes time and a serious mental reset. You have to train yourself to realize what’s worth stressing over and what’s not. That’s up to you, but once you’ve figured it out, everything will get a lot easier.