At the beginning of September, I announced I was shutting down my book blog of five years. But the truth was, the blog had been dead long before then, even though we continued to post there.
How often do we hang onto things too long?
Letting go of my book blog ultimately has little impact on anyone’s life but my own. People I’ve met through blogging connect with me other ways, and I continue to read (and occasionally review) books.
My love of reading didn’t change, but how I expressed it did. Keeping my book blog going did no one any favors.
Am I proud of everything I accomplished in five years? Absolutely. But I changed, and my book blog no longer served the same purpose it once did.
When I finally announced the end, there was little reaction. All this told me? It was dead before I killed it. I held onto it because I was afraid of what “giving up” meant, without realizing that my apathy toward it had suffocated the poor thing already.
My story is just about a blog, but it’s a lesson that can be applied across our lives. What possessions do you cling to that only take up physical—and mental—space? What relationship are you holding onto that no longer serves you? Which out-dated belief is holding you back?
Our avoidance often leads to struggle.
The thing is, I was avoiding the pain of letting go of my book blog, only to gain the struggle of keeping it alive. And I see this so often not just in the book blogging world, but the writing community too.
We push ourselves to keep going because we find it’s too difficult to say “No” or admit something’s no longer within our capability—or admit that what we are capable of isn’t what everyone else is.
And then we end up feeling burnt out and negative because we’re trying to move forward with something that doesn’t lift us up and strengthen us.
I don’t know why it’s so hard for us to just speak up. Are we afraid of people realizing we’re not perfect? Are we afraid of letting people down? Are we determined to meet the goals we’ve set out for ourselves, even if it makes us unhappy and unhealthy?
Learn to let go.
It sucks having to break an obligation, even when the only obligation is to yourself. It hurts to say goodbye to friend, even when you know that person is dragging you down. It’s hard letting old beliefs go and trying something new when it means opening yourself up to failure.
You have to let go of what’s not working so you can embrace what is. My book blog may not have been working for me, but that doesn’t mean I’ve given up reading or interacting with the book community. It just means I do it differently.
You also have to let go of what’s not working so you can be open to new ideas and thoughts and processes. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is, well, insanity, as the saying goes. And you have to clear the old out to make way for the new.
What’s something you’ve been hanging onto?