In a world where we typically focus on benefiting ourselves and selfishness, it is hard to imagine why giving things up would actually make our lives any better.
How will this help me? Will this make me successful? Will this make me happy?
If it doesn’t, then I don’t need it.
No, I don’t want it.
Yet, we don’t see that giving up some things actually give us something in return. Something even greater.
*GASP* Yeah, that’s right.
Lately, I have been detoxing a lot from my life and have come to see many benefits from everything I have been giving up.
Here are some things that I have given up that have actually saved me in other ways.
Yea, I can admit it.
I am a control freak. No, I was a control freak.
I planned out everything I was going to do for the day to the very last second.
Wake up at 6am and head to work. ( I literally ate on my way to work.)
Work 7 -4pm.
Exercise from 4:30–6pm.
Head home and shower. Eat dinner and get to bed by 11pm.
And this is not even THAT detailed. (But, that is besides the point.)
The point is that I wanted to control everything in my life. But, I realized that controlling it was not getting me as far as I wanted.
I was stressing over the teeny, tiny little things and would have panic attacks.
But, I had to give it up. Controlling everything was too much for me.
Honestly, giving up control in my life was what saved me the most.
Well, technically, some control.
Now, I am not saying to lose total reigns of your life, go crazy, and not give an f*** about your day.
Giving up control of my life let me finally live my life. I was able to Gain minimal control on some things and letting other things go with the flow.
I could hold a grudge like no ones business. Let me tell you.
Yeah, remember that time in first grade when you took my crayon. Yea, I remember.
“Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.” ― Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith
My mother always said, that holding grudges only hurt you since those you hold the grudge against do not even know that you have it against them.
All this anger started taking a toll on my relationships and health. I started realizing that all this anger inside was deteriorating my state of mind.
Releasing the anger towards people and myself in my life let me gain inner peace.
I can’t do this. I am nobody to actually do this. Get it done by today or else you suck.
I used to think I was crap.
Worthless for even trying.
Useless when I could not help.
Once in a while, those negative thoughts creep themselves into my mind. It is one if the largest influences in how you live your life.
“ I’ll always use the negativity as more motivation to work even harder and become even stronger.” — Tim Tebow
I started meditating and reflecting positive thoughts to rid myself of negative thoughts.
You can do this. If you do not finish today, you can finish tomorrow.
I gave myself pep talks when deciding whether the cheese burger I was about to buy was worth it.
I talked myself into living a healthier life.
I did it.
I got rid of those negative thoughts and turned them into positive encouragements that have helped me strive for my goals.
One of the greatest influences in your life are the people you hang out with — your friends and family.
The thing is, you do not realize how toxic some “friends” can be until you get rid of them and see the turnaround your life takes.
Toxic people have no positive gain in your life.
You don’t learn from them. You don’t grow with them.
They criticize you. They slow you down. They stop you from achieving.
We are so easily influenced by others that our individual wants get ignored for the collective “desires” of the group.
Letting go of toxic people in your life is a big step in loving yourself.” — Hussein Nishah
Figuring out who those people are and getting rid of them allowed me to grow.
By dumping them out of my life, I had more room to gain the right people for me. Those that would support me and my goals. Those that would teach me how to be a better person.
Those that would help me grow as an individual.
It is hard to find a moment for yourself.
Think about it. Like, really, really think about it.
When are you alone — no distractions. No Social Media. No TV. No people talking.
Just you and your mind.
Uninstalling Facebook and Snapchat was one of the scariest, yet most liberating things I had ever done in my life.
I was afraid of giving up my social presence.
But, I was more afraid of giving up my time.
It takes discipline not to let social media steal your time. — Alexis Ohanian
So, I deleted Facebook. I deleted SnapChat. I stopped replying to Instagram.
I gained time.
Who would have thought that instead of being on Facebook for two straight hours, I could finish reading a book or building a website.
I regret wasting all my time, but now more time has let me enjoy life more.
Seriously, we treat our body like crap.
Now, I know I am not the only one to eat 20 chicken nuggets at a time, but seriously.
Not healthy at all.
The most important thing that giving up unhealthy food was gaining a healthy lifestyle.
“The greatest wealth is health.” — Virgil
Sometimes we think that money is the Greatest Wealth and we fail to see that our health is more important.
I learned how to take care of myself and to love myself more than anything.
From everything that I gave up, I gained some insight on my life that I had not seen before that was worth more than anything.
All these gains have let me live a more fulfilling life.
Who would not want that?
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What I Gained From Giving Up… was originally published in The Ascent on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.