Are you carrying anything with you right now that’s a little too heavy?

Just recently, John and I wrapped up two crazy back-to-back wedding weekends that had us on two different coastlines. It was a blast being back in San Diego, but my favorite part was experiencing the enchantment of fall in New England when we made our way up to Newport, Rhode Island.

There are a lot of things I loved about it up there: apple cider donuts and feeling like a real life Gilmore Girl being two of the most important. But seeing the gorgeous colors of the leaves changing reminded me of a quote I saved on Pinterest a while back, one that truly resonated with me: the trees are about to show us how beautiful it can be to let the dead things go. Chances are, you’ve probably got something that would benefit you to let go of. I know I do! Sometimes the trick to finding true happiness isn’t getting something you don’t have, it’s getting rid of something you don’t need! Here are ten things you can let go of right now:

  1. Living by an imaginary “timeline”

How many of us struggle with the feeling we’re supposed to be at a certain point in our lives right now… but aren’t? I know I’m guilty of that. After college graduation, it’s easy to fall into the flawed thinking that you’re behind if you’re not doing XYZ by a certain age. I’m here to tell you that everyone’s path is different. Trust the process and know what’s meant for you will come when it’s supposed to! You’ll enjoy the journey so much more this way.

  1. Comparing your real life to someone else’s highlight reel

There’s no denying ya girl LOVES Instagram. Give me a fabulous filter and a witty caption any day! But I also know firsthand how damaging overindulging on social media can be, especially when you go down the rabbit hole of comparison. That girl with 100k followers, a hot doctor husband, and enough Chanel bags to end world hunger is only putting a very small, edited version of her reality online. Remind yourself it’s easy to make life look picture perfect on an app, and we all— no matter how many likes someone gets— deal with our own struggles behind the scenes.

  1. Toxic relationships

I’m not just talking about that guy you see every once in a while who’s just “not ready for anything serious.” Whether it’s a complicated love interest you can’t seem to shake or a longtime friend you feel obligated to, don’t be afraid to cut ties with someone who’s bringing unnecessary negativity in your life. We are undoubtedly a sum of those we surround ourselves by whether we realize it or not. So by letting someone who brings us down or makes us question our self worth play a pivotal role in our life, we’re allowing them to prevent us from being our very best. They’re also taking up space that could be occupied by someone new and amazing! Remember that next time you answer that 2 am text, girlfriend!

  1. Your comfort zone

Listen up because this one is important! It may be a quote I found on Pinterest, but I’ll be damned, it’s a good one: “Great things never come from comfort zones.” The amazing, life-changing, incredible experiences you have the potential to create are the product of doing things that scare you. Ask for the promotion. Go out with friends on a night you’re tempted to Netflix binge. It doesn’t matter how big or small the act, what matters is you’re doing something you wouldn’t have done otherwise and that’s when the magic happens.

  1. Past heartbreak

I realize this is tricky and a lot easier said than done. I remember when I was in the middle of my first big heartbreak and it felt like absolutely nothing could make it better. Then I had finally gotten over the hurt and moved on with my life— or so I thought. A lot of painful emotions can linger below the surface and we often let them interfere with our happiness without realizing it. I highly recommend taking time to reflect on times when you were hurt and finding a lesson in each one. It’s a great way to get closure, gain perspective, and grow from a negative experience. Most importantly, it’ll help you heal.

  1. Control

Now I’m not necessarily advocating going completely crazy, although I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t done it myself a few times. But I do believe one of the best things you can do for yourself and your future is to relinquish control and let things pan out the way they’re supposed to. Didn’t hear back from this great guy after a first date? I challenge you to stop recounting the details over and over again to your friends and remember nothing will pass you if it’s meant for you! All that stressing and over analyzing does nothing positive except make the experience of meeting and dating people an absolute dread. Plus, it’s his loss anyways 😉 Learn to trust the process and know the right guy or the right job— whatever it is you’re praying for— will work our because it’s supposed to!

  1. Making excuses

Wow, does this hit home for me! As someone who has battled major depressive order and ADHD since childhood, I am very prone to convincing myself (and others) I can’t do something. It’s not intentional— I truly don’t think I’m capable of that given thing in the moment. And don’t misunderstand me here: there truly are times when my mental health needs to take priority, even if it means having to sit out an engagement. However, there are definitely times I could forcefully pull myself out of an episode and just show up. The benefits of this are endless, but notably it means keeping your word to those counting on you and feeling better in the long run because you are taking care of your responsibilities. So next time you’re tempted to cancel last minute, take a moment to decide if you can muster up the strength to overcome. If there’s even a glimmer of hope, go get ‘em!

  1. Negative self talk

You know how you hype up your friend when she’s down? When she posts a great selfie? When she’s all dolled up and ready for a night out? That’s the kind of verbiage that should not only be used for others, but for you too! If you compare the way most of us speak to our friends to how we talk to ourselves, well, let’s just say we don’t exactly act like our own biggest fan. And if you tell yourself something enough, you’ll end up believing it. Replace “I’m not good enough” with “I’m more than enough.” Try taking “I can’t” out of your vocabulary completely! I promise you’ll like the results.

  1. Grudges

We’ve all been scorned by someone. The difference is whether or not we forgive and grow or feed the feelings and let them fester. Nothing good comes out of harboring a grudge and that’s a fact. I’m not saying to let these people back into your life, but forgiveness is so empowering. You’re not doing them a favor by letting it go, you’re doing yourself one!

  1. What you want

This may seem strange, but I’m gonna let you in on a little secret that took me a whole lot of time to figure out. It’ll save you a lot of trouble. When you let go of what you want, you get what you need.

See y’all real soon!