post written by: Marc Chernoff

12 Things To Know Before Letting Go

12 Things To Know Before Letting Go

Oftentimes letting go has nothing to do with weakness, and everything to do with strength.  We let go and walk away not because we want the universe to realize our worth, but because we finally realize our own worth.

And that’s what this short article is all about – realizing your worth, and harnessing this realization to identify the negative ideas, habits, and people in your life that you need to let go of.  Here are some points to consider:

  1. The past can steal your present if you let it. – You can spend days, weeks, months, or even years sitting alone in the darkness, over-analyzing a situation from the past, trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could have or should have happened. Or you can just leave the pieces on the floor behind you and walk outside into the sunlight to get some fresh air.
  2. Not everyone, and not everything, is meant to stay. – There are things you don’t want to happen, but have to accept, things you don’t want to know, but have to learn, and people you can’t live without but have to let go.  Some circumstances and people come into your life just to strengthen you, so you can move on without them.  Read The Language of Letting Go.
  3. Happiness is not the absence of problems, but the ability to deal with them. – Imagine all the wondrous things your mind might embrace if it weren’t wrapped so tightly around your struggles.  Always look at what you have, instead of what you have lost.  Because it’s not what the world takes away from you that counts; it’s what you do with what you have left.
  4. Sometimes you just need to do your best and surrender the rest. – Don’t be too hard on yourself.  There are plenty of people willing to do that for you.  Tell yourself, “I am doing the best I can with what I have in this moment.  And that is all I can expect of anyone, including me.”  Love yourself and be proud of everything that you do, even your mistakes.  Because even mistakes mean you’re trying.
  5. You are in control of one person, and one person only: yourself. – There is only one way to happiness, and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of your control.  Letting go in your relationships doesn’t always mean that you don’t care about people anymore; it’s simply realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.
  6. What’s right for you may be wrong for others, and vice versa. – Think for yourself, and allow others the privilege of doing so too.  We all dance to the beat of a different drum.  There are few absolute ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ in the world.  You need to live your life your way – the way that’s right for you.  Read The Road Less Traveled.
  7. Some people will refuse to accept you for who you are. – Always choose to be true to yourself, even at the risk of incurring ridicule from others, rather than being fake and incurring the pain and confusion of trying to be someone you’re not.  When you are comfortable in your skin, not everyone in this world will like you, and that’s okay.  You could be the ripest, juiciest apple in the world, and there’s going to be someone out there who hates apples.
  8. Relationships can only exist on a steady foundation of truth. – When there is breakdown in a relationship, you must have the hard conversation.  It may not be pretty and it may not feel good.  But if you are willing to listen and tell the truth, it will open up.  When you build relationships based on truth and authenticity, rather than masks, false perfection, and being phony, your relationships will heal, connect, and thrive.
  9. The world changes when you change. – Practice really seeing whatever it is you’re looking at.  You are today where your thoughts and perceptions have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts and perceptions take you.  If you truly want to change your life, you must first change your mind.  The world around you changes when you change.
  10. You can make decisions, or you can make excuses. – Life is a continuous exercise in creative problem solving.  A mistake doesn’t become a failure until you refuse to correct it.  Thus, most long-term failures are the outcome of people who make excuses instead of decisions.  Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
  11. It usually takes just a few negative remarks to kill a person’s dream. – Don’t kill people’s dreams with negative words, and don’t put up with those who do.  Don’t let people interrupt you and tell you that you can’t do something.  If you have a dream that you’re passionate about, you must protect it.  When others can’t do something themselves, they’re going to tell you that you can’t do it either; and that’s a lie.  These people are simply speaking from within the boundaries of their own limitations.
  12. Sometimes walking away is the only way to win. – Never waste your time trying to explain yourself to people who have proven that they are committed to misunderstanding you.  In other words, don’t define your intelligence by the number of arguments you have won, but by the number of times you have said, “This needless nonsense is not worth my time.”

Photo by: Lumatic

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  • Thanks so much for this post - especially number 5. It’s time to let go of the things I can’t control so I can concentrate on the things I can. Just the wake-up call I needed today.

  • This post really hit home today. Thank you for sharing ♥

  • Lucky #7 is spot on! “You could be the ripest, juiciest apple in the world, and there’s going to be someone out there who hates apples.” So darn true!

  • It‘s a new day to smile!!!
    I am sooo happy to be alive.
    Your blog is a blessing to my life, thanks.

  • You are my hero, Marc :) Thank you so much for writing this blog ♡

  • I truly enjoy the wisdom shared on this blog. I am developing a program for the counseling center where I work and would love to use some of this material if I could. Proper credit would be given, of course, and referral links offered. If permission is granted, please email to the address provided.

    Many Blessings,


  • True, True, True!! Absolutely fantastic and powerful. I love each and every one of these, but especially #8 and #12. “Sometimes walking away is the only way to win”….yes. Thank you for this once again and have a beautiful day!

  • Great Post! Love the inclusion of sometimes it’s best to walk away. Too many times I hang on to people/places/things that are causing me more grief than they are worth.

  • Thank you so much for this post. :)

  • This post couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. I’m going thru, an almost surreal, change. So many realizations are coming at me, it’s a bit overwhelming. But for some strange reason it’s feels peaceful, but powerful at the same time. Thank you for the perfect post!!

  • Thank you so much for this post. I have not been able to let go of a relationship that recently unexpectedly ended! I was having a difficult time but this article reminded me that I am stronger than that and I know my worth.

  • Your words of wisdom never cease to amaze me….#7 #8 resonate with me so much, always speak your truth because without trust and authtenicity in relationships you have nothing. I always look forward to your posts, thank you for the wonderful inspiration your blog brings to us all!

  • Thanks for a brilliant post.

    I’m desperately trying to let go after split with my fiancée 7/8 months ago.

    The dreams and the pain keeps bringing me back - all the memories are crippling at times.

    I keep myself busy and surrounded by different people and its still so hard.

    She wanted to be single and find herself, the same.week she found someone else, it didnt work out, so she is now with another guy.

    Gutted, broken and low despite keepin on going

    I must have serious issues to have to put up with all if this for so long.

  • just what needed to read today. thanks!

  • Thanks again for another much needed kick in the butt. I like how this article focuses on both personal habits and relationships.

  • OMG… this is soooo timely. I have a friend that needs this so much. Thank you for publishing such amazing stuff.

  • Thank you so much. :)

    It’s time to let go…

    “Sometimes you just need to do your best and surrender the rest.”

  • One of the best posts I ever read on this blog. Keep it up the good work.

  • Number 7 is what I needed today! I love all your posts, they are so beautiful. And I have gone through such a beautiful change and one of the biggest credit has to go to your posts. Thank you so much! Have a lovely day ahead :)

  • This is so timely. God smiled on me and answers prayers.
    I have been struggling for far too many unnecessary months to let go of a toxic relationship. I was despairing over the weekend and searching to understand what it means to let go; not knowing how to let go even though I know and want to. Reading number 1 to 4… I get it. I get what it is saying, as if these words were only meant for me.
    With a bit more time, to process what I have read here today, and then, “This needless nonsense is not worth my time!”
    Thank you, Marc and Angel, for being His instrument of encouragement. I am always reminded of who I can be and what I can do differently each and every time I read your blog.

  • Dear Dee,

    I hear what you are struggling with. Be gentle and patient with yourself. I read this one here:
    “Take time to heal emotionally. Moving on doesn’t take a day. It takes a lot of little steps to be able to break free from your broken self.”
    You are not alone; we all have some serious issues. Some are not as fortunate as others to realise that and it is sad because we can’t change what we refuse to confront (another great quote from here)
    Here is another, I heard somewhere:
    “Most of life is hell; it is filled with failures and loss; people disappoint you, dreams don’t work out, hearts get broken; and the best moments of life, when everything comes together, are few and fleeting. But you never get to the next best moment is you don’t keep going. So, keep going.”
    When you don’t feel like you can keep going, stop for a moment and see how far you have come. God, a wise man once said, will carry you when you do not have the strength to walk. What He will not do is carry you when you refuse to walk.
    Keep going, Dee. One little step at a time. A journey of a thousand mile is made up of tiny, little, steps.

  • Wow, today’s list is amazing and in my current state and frame of mind, totally apt. Thank you!

  • Another great post..


  • So aptly timed… thank you for this. and to Dee, it does and it will get easier. sometimes one day at a time is too much and you simply need to take one hour at a time. as you break through the walls of grief, it will allow some wonderful moments and people to flow into your life and help you heal wholly and completely.

  • Hi Dee,

    I know exactly how this feels, as iam going through something similar to yours.

    My Fiancée of 1.5 yrs visited US for an official trip and vanished! He refuses to pick or answer my calls, no mails or no texts. Later I realized he was doing it deliberately; It is planned and he is executing it. My entire family was waiting for our engagement in another 10 days and everything crashed right in front of my eyes.
    I went freaking crazy for days with feelings of betrayal, doubts and confusion and hurt until I realized that its time to let go…

    If I need to cry… Let me for months and get over this person than to even think of associating with him again even as a friend let alone marrying.

    I know it hurts, it hurts like crazy…but lets not take it personal as it reveals a lot about that person and not us! Let’s not waste another minute on our precious God given life on someone who behaved that cheap and left us an emotional wreck.

    Cheer Up

  • What a great list - number 3 really hit me as being so bloody true.

  • This post rang true on many levels with me. Thanks for a good Friday afternoon read.

  • Thank you… this was great.

  • I just love this article, and especially number 9 and 12 help me to understand more…

  • “Don’t kill people’s dreams with negative words, and don’t put up with those who do.”

    I DO agree. So that’s a thing I do everytime I talk with people, I watch my words. Thanks a lot for remind me about this (:

  • What an awesome reminder from a person across the globe! Cheers from Philippines!

  • *Imagine all the wondrous things your mind might embrace if it weren’t wrapped so tightly around your struggles*

    I am paying the price of identifying myself with my goal struggles, a project worthing my life become an idolatry “over” me. I am paying the hardest price because I am not letting go the goal itself (easiest road). I am reframing it, putting myself first, refreshing the perspective (and enjoying it!).

    Through your words I can see it better:when you unwrap yourself from your struggles and invite in that temporary emptiness possibilities, evolution, patience, unexpected elements and - why not - a new useful pain, God…the world…the universe…pay it forward*

    Thanks for your inspiring post!

  • I just want to say I truly love your blog. It is such an inspiration and helps me stay on track. Keep up the GREAT work!

  • RT410, Dee:

    I’m always happy to read responses to amazing posts here but today after reading your post (Dee) I’m slowly realizing I’m not alone. What you’re going through is extremely painful and as hard as it is say, I can say that it does get better.

    I know for me, its a slow but sure process. I still have my moments regarding a somewhat recent breakup with an ex. We were together for roughly 2 years and it abruptly came to an end which was something I didn’t expect. After all the breakups I went through I thought finally I found the right person–but in hindsight I think she was part of my life to help strengthen me enough to realize more of my worth and to not be so hard on myself.

    It still hurts me not being with her but I realized we both deserve better for each other, whether that means we’ll find other people remains to be seen. Focusing on my own personal growth is best thing for me right now and in some ways I’ve gotten better about a lot of things connected to the breakup. This doesn’t mean I don’t have moments where I feel like I’m never going to get married or I’m not jaded about relationships but now I can recognize my negative behavior and combat my own insecurities.

    I say all this to say that you’re not the only guy out there in pain. There’s a misconception that all of us (men) just drink it off and move on to the next one…we don’t all fit that mold. I put my all into personal relationships so it takes a while to recover. Even with that I can slowly see that certain things don’t bother me as much and that with a few years time it won’t bother me as much if at all.

    Getting over a breakup is a long journey but as long as you put one foot in front of the other you’ll get exactly where you’re supposed to be, and it’ll all make sense.

  • Number 2 is where I am today. I had to walk away from my family (although they sort of walked away from me first) but instead of just saying “I’m ok with this”, something in me shifted, and I realized that I am not going to put up with this anymore. I need to move on and that means leaving them behind, and although there is sadness, I feel so much freer than I ever imagined.

  • Love #12~~~~could have used this advice 11 years ago. Hope I never need to use this advice , however if I do, I know I will feel liberated and free of the invisible weight that has been in my life for far too long. Thank you for this great list… Namaste’

  • I can not thank you guys enough for your wonderful website. I read all your posts daily and live by your wise words. You are both beautiful people and have changed my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


  • Another wonderful post.

    With so much “negative” energy out there these days, both in society as well as “social networks”, we should all remember to be kinder to ourselves and don’t let others define who we are!

    Thanks for sharing!


  • Thank you so much for the motivating, uplifting and inspiring post!
    I feel I can breathe now, I feel free. Finally last night I was able to sleep in my bed, after 44 nights of sleeping in the sofa.
    Thank you Marc and Angel!
    Thank you! Millions Thanks you!

    Karla N.

  • this has been a great help.
    he made his decision n broke my heart.
    now, i have to make mine. i have to let go.

  • I made myself hang on for 2 years now since the separation and still couldn’t let it go. Posts like this are really helpful to me, a separated single mom. Its just so hurtful to let go a relationship that lasted 8 years, of which 3 years dying. Thanks for this post. I will let go. Thank you.

  • Thank you for your posting…it did help a whole lot.
    I was on a long term relationship for almost six years…and every time I think I’m ready to move on the pain and the shuttered dreams keep holding me back…
    I find it so hard to move on and I tried so hard to just let go.. I’ve been going out on dates but without success. I finally stop going out because I can’t find anyone that I find remotely appealing intellectually or emotionally.
    Now after seven months without him, the pain seems less and the memories are starting to fade… I finally found someone that makes me laugh all the time and he seems to care for me. However, I won’t allow myself and my heart to give in so easily.

  • This was a good read. Thank you

    I dated narcissistic man who was so convinced that because I was nice to people I must be sleeping with them , this among many other unflattering qualities he accused me of. None of them were true. He was a handsome Tango dancer and model and becoming successful and I wanted to be apart of this life he was living. I thought it would be like out of a passionate novel. I was afraid to let go even though it was nothing at all like this. I stopped being friendly to my customers and everyone noticed I had changed into this quiet un-confidant mouse of a woman when I was always the happy loud mouthed Chicagoan woman with a joke. I changed so much for him only to have him leave me for someone who was supposedly better.

    I look back now and realize that even though I am not successful (yet) in my life I should of never traded who I was for any man. I also saw that he was jealous of my life with my family and friends . He saw the great people and things in my life that I forgot to be grateful for. People no matter if they are positive or negative, can come into your life and teach you a necessary lesson. At some point you have to let go of the negative person but learn from them.

  • Thank you for your sharing. This short post actually made me feel better :)

  • Thanks for the wonderful post. I am at my worst time right now. And your post makes me feel stronger. :)

  • This just blessed me in a major WAY.
    I believe we really were put on this earth to help each other… Thanks brother & sister, I needed this! #awesome

  • Thank you for sharing these words. I have a far way to go, but I have also come very far. I wanted to be in love so much that I was careless and didn’t pay attention to what was going to happen.
    So much for a first marriage, it was all wrong from the the start. I have learned how far I can push myself. The cost was too high. There was nothing that has helped as much as these words.
    No family or friends could comfort me. There was also no way I could avoid this other than to see I made my own mistakes just as she. It’s still hard, but ever since I found this information last year I have been slowly doing better. I just had to say something for having found this.
    Thanks again Marc. I want to keep the momentum going, Ron.

  • Well done - my 2013 Rules of Engagement.

  • Hi, I just wanted to say thank you for all the positive and great advice and input. Im 47 and my girlfriend left me for another man after 11 years together, no warning at all. It totally devastated me and 8 months on im still battling with it but reading this today and articles I’ve read over the last few days have made me feel, well, so much more positive about future love and life. I can feel myself feeling differently about life and im beginning to see the blessing in being able to find myself, reassess what i want and to just be truly happy as a single man.

    Thank you for all your wise and uplifting words and its good to know your not alone cause sometimes it can feel like that. Much love and happiness, Steve w

  • Thank you for this. A year ago, I moved from WI to MI to marry the greatest guy ever…after 40 years in my hometown with my close-knit family only minutes away. Though I love my husband, I was very homesick and lonely for the people and places I’d known all my life, and really needed the support, humor and encouragement of my family as I adjusted. I spoke about every other week with my mother or a close uncle (no one else) for a few months, but after that the whole family almost completely blew me off - if I didn’t contact them, they wouldn’t contact me. It’s like I died. Even my own mother acts like I’m just a casual friend and not her daughter. I cannot even begin to describe the heartache and confusion their detachment has caused me. Recently, I had a weird little epiphany…and the homesickness seems to finally be fading and I’m so much happier now.

    ANYWAY, your “12 Things” are pretty much the conclusions I had reached, so this made me smile, if a bit ruefully. I still love my family, and will stay in contact as I can, but I love myself and my husband more and realize now that my happiness can’t be dependent upon their attentions.

  • Marc,
    I don’t have words. All I could I say for this insightful article is “Wonderful”.

    Thank you!

  • This perfectly describes some of my struggles. Thank you for for sharing this. I have lived my whole life feeling unhappy. It is like God made you to open a whole new world for me. With this, I really feel at peace. Thanks once again.

  • Just googled that ‘Im sad that I’m ready to let go’ - this article is really nice - broke up from a six year relationship - we’re still good friends and I do still love the guy, but it wasnt working - I know I’m better off, and we’re in different countries. I’m just starting to be interested in seeing someone else, but that makes me feel both guilty and sad.

  • Sometimes you know the truth, but just need to read it in words spelled in such a way to make it hit you.

    You are of great help!

  • Thank you. Thank you. Wow, I stumbled upon this at just the right time. Thank you.

  • Thank you for writing this. Reading these words today saved my life.

  • Very beautiful words of wisdom and also very painful

  • Wow, this is so beautiful and just everything that i needed to hear.. or read. I love number 5 and especially number 11. It’s sad how the people that bring you down are sometimes your own family. Breaks my heart. Life just isn’t so great right now, but i guess that calls for a change. So maybe what i need to do is number 9 and a change so beyond my wildest dreams shall happen. And that will all happen because of you. Because you wrote this. Thank you so much for the wonderful words. This is truly amazing and life changing.

  • This really hit home for me. Reading through the comments I realize that so many on any given day are experiencing heartache. I had an unexpected break up via text on New Years Eve. We were only together for 5 months but I really thought he was the one for me. I bookmarked this article and will keep reading it as a reminder.

  • I have only just found this website, and it has come at a perfect time! I’m getting over a break up to which I let him in completely and showed my true self! I’m feeling very exposed at the moment! Finding it hard to stay focused but these words are really helping! The day is either good or bad but you have given me hope that things will get better! Thank you for your amazing words!

  • my best friend,mom
    May 17th, 2014 at 7:07 am

    Losing my mom to people in my family who cared more about getting 500.00 from her then caring about her health and well being, has hurt me to the core. How does someone put more value on money then on their own mother? I don’t understand why only that they are greedy, evil people.

  • “You could be the ripest, juiciest apple in the world, and there’s going to be someone out there who hates apples.” - This quote is gold!!! I actually reposted it w/ a link to this site on my FB page b/c it resonates so much with me - thank you!

    # 11 - Very simple solution to this - don’t share your dreams with everyone! Be very selective on who you let be privy to your private thoughts, dreams and goals. I learned this the hard way, as most people probably do. Now, when I know I have a good idea or motivation, I only share with people I can trust will be supportive or nonjudgmental about it. People who are happy to sprinkle some water on my garden, not trample it.

    #12 - I had spent most of my life trying to convince my own parents that I was not this horrible person they insist on making me out to be. It was exhausting, made me paranoid, insecure, doubtful of my own judgment - the list goes on and on. I mean, they are my parents after all - I wanted their approval. Then one day I thought to myself - Hey! Wait a minute! These people are my PARENTS ater all - shouldn’t they already know ME? Shouldn’t they love & accept me just because I am their child? From then on, I stopped worrying, stopped caring, had to ‘walk away’. It still gets to me from time to time when they speak to me like another person is standing in front of them, but I give them less and less opportunity to do so, and now I just do my own thing. Suddenly its as if I can breathe…

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