Why do we hold onto things that are not helpful?
Why do we hold onto things that are not helpful?
Koesteren van dat wat je niet verder helpt

We humans are creatures of habit. Over time we gather more and more people, things and places, as well as thoughts, behavior and emotions, to which we attach ourselves. But how often do you actually ask yourself the following question; “do I hold onto something that is not helping me?”

It may sound like a crazy question, because why would you bed attached to something that is of no use to you? It’s because it does give us something, especially in the short term.

Everything we do, we do for a reason

We do what we do because it gives us something positive, or because we can avoid something negative with it. So also holding on to negative ideas and beliefs or emotions such as anger or sadness. This does not seem logical when we think of the bigger picture or when we consider what we want to achieve. But in the short term, it certainly means something to us.

For example, grief can immediately call for compassion and support from others. Or anger justifies the belief that “you are right.” Always saying yes gives you appreciation of others. And by staying at your boring job, you don’t have to think about your future.

The pitfall

In those short-term rewards it is precisely where the pitfall lies. The short-term rewards feel comfortable and  safe. It takes courage to let go, because it opens the door to the unknown. And that is almost always scary. However, holding on to the things that we do not need, can stagnate our development and sometimes our well-being.

“When I let go of who I am, I become who I could be. When I let go of what I have, I get what I need. “~ Tao Te Ching

Three questions

How do you let go of the things that are not helpful for you? Like with almost everything, this starts with awareness. After all, you can only change something when you have the insight. The following three questions can help you:

  • To which thoughts / habits / feelings do I feel attached even though they are not helpful?
  • Which short-term rewards do these things give me? (what do I get out of it / what do I avoid with it?)
  • What would my life look like if you let go of these things?

NiceDay app

Are you connected to a NiceDay professional? Write the answers to this questions in your diary in the NiceDay app so that you can find ways to let go of the unuseful things.

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Ayla Hoogenboom

Being a psychologist and a coach, Ayla is fascinated by what drives and motivates people. Her coaching is empowering. She is an enterprising out-of-the-box thinker. She gets energy from her family, running and doing yoga.

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