As we grow up, we need to learn a lot of things that are good and healthy for our mental health. Besides learning, unlearning certain things is also important. Knowing what to hold on to and what to let go helps in determining the curve of personal growth that we are working on. When we start to identify things that are holding us back from developing ourselves and becoming a better version, we should learn to let them go slowly but steadily. Sometimes, we hold onto certain teachings, habits and patterns since childhood because of the orientation we received in the family and from past experiences. Personal growth involves understanding what is unhealthy for us and what no longer serves us and letting those things go.
Therapist Israa Nasir addressed this and shared a few things that we need to let go for our personal growth:
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Thinking that sacrifice and love are the same: We often mistake sacrifice with love. This happens because of how we have seen the older generation glorify sacrifices. However, these two are extremely different things, and love does not need to be conditional. We should set clear boundaries in love and understand that sacrifice is not always driven by love – it also often leads to resentment.
Letting other people’s opinions guide you: While we all need a little bit of guidance in life, we should know that the perspectives of others have nothing to do with us. How they perceive us is based on their orientation – we should learn to have our own perspectives of ourselves and love ourselves no matter what.
Feeling responsible for other people’s emotions: We always should take ownership of our own mistakes, but we should also identify things that we have no control over and learn to move on from them.
Comparing ourselves to others: Each person has their own set of strengths, weaknesses, boundaries and skills. When we start to compare our progress with that of others, we start to disrespect ourselves more. Instead, we should love and embrace ourselves.
Being afraid of change: Life demands changes with time. We should be able to make changes and adapt to the changing environments with time. That is the only way to move forward.