Do you have trouble letting go of past mistakes? We have all experienced being stuck in a rut, even when we are doing all the right activities to let go and move ahead? What is the “stuff” that keeps us stuck in a rut? Where do we begin letting go?

Jim Rohn said, “You don’t get in life what you want, you get in life what you are.” We are the sum of our thoughts. When we don’t focus our thoughts effectively, they can become scattered and fixated on “stuff” that can lead to negative notions, toxic relationships, and fear of taking risks. How can one begin to learn to let go?

One of seven steps in developing the art of letting go of stuff is to acknowledge that you have “stuff.” Acknowledgment leads to acceptance and acceptance can lead to self-forgiveness, and eventually to a conscious change. In 1992, after the death of my Mom, I was distraught, angry, and frustrated over why she died at such a young age. For a long while this “stuff” interfered with my ability to be effective on the job, in my relationships, and in better understanding who I was as a person. Once I took inventory of my internal dialog and acknowledged my feelings, I was able to begin letting go of the notion that she was “gone too soon.”

Taking inventory of and acknowledging what you want to let go will help you to bring about acceptance of the “stuff” in your life. One can’t let go until one has accepted, or realized there is a need to let go.

To accept our “stuff” we must be willing to do something else that is critical. We must forgive. In the space between acknowledgment and acceptance is the opportunity to forgive. By forgiving one’s self, and then others, that space between acknowledging and accepting becomes smaller and smaller until they eventually become aligned. Once there is alignment, it becomes easier to continue the process of letting go and getting unstuck.

Forgiveness allows you to begin moving from a place of pain and suffering to one of peace and harmony. Though much more may be involved, below are three steps to get you started on forgiving yourself.

Make a list of those you need and would like to forgive (include yourself)
Give yourself permission to forgive those listed
Ask them to forgive you; and accept their responses even if you disagree
Congratulations for being willing to let go, forgive, and move on – and for beginning today.


Darren L Johnson is the Nation’s leading expert on Letting Go of Stuff. He is author of the book Letting Go of Stuff: Powerful Secrets To Simplify Your Life. Learn more at about letting go at


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