The Art of Letting Go

One of the major themes in my life this past year is letting go. Today, I wanted to go into detail on some of the things I’ve let go of or that I’m still working to let go.

For so many reasons, it’s the right time for me to let go of some things—mostly internal things that were weighing me down.

Letting go of what people think. 
I’m sure at one point or another we’ve all overanalyzed what people think. As an online personality, there’s another layer to this too. Through the years, I’ve learned that people can invent all kinds of extra perceptions about me, a lot of which are totally untrue. I used to spend a lot of energy trying to prevent people from taking things I said the wrong way and adding little disclaimers to all kind of things. These days as a working mom there just aren’t as many hours in a day for me to worry about what people think. Whether they think I’m pretty or ugly, smart or not, talented or lucky, a good mom or a bad one … I honestly just had to let go altogether.

People can think what they think. I take comfort in knowing that those people close to me seem to love me and are very loyal. I can’t control everyone’s perceptions beyond that, and I’m no longer trying to.

Augh … sigh of relief.

Overcoming my own imperfections. 
I don’t have a perfect body or perfect skin and I’m finally at peace with that. It’s no longer something I’m pursuing. In my 20s, I was so into photoshopping myself and trying to “fix” my imperfections. It’s crazy how now, in my late 30s, I am so much more comfortable with a raw photo of myself than I was then. I truly can accept my physical imperfections, and own them. I’m not ashamed of them. It feels SO GOOD to be OK with my appearance.

When it comes to my heart, it’s a whole different matter. I’ll keep working there and always try to grow and be better.

Overcoming haters. 
In the early days of blogging, I didn’t know how to handle “haters.” Now, after more than a decade of experience, I’m able to read them pretty well. There are times to ignore and block. There are times to open up to an honest conversation and ask questions and really listen. And there are times to fight back.

It took time to know the difference.

I used to be so afraid for Nova and wanted to protect her from bullies and ugly comments. Now, I can see that it’s an important part of learning to be a confident woman. I don’t need to protect her, I need to teach her to deal with it just like everything else adults deal with. It’s necessary.

I no longer give it more power than it deserves.

Overcoming guilt. 
The big one. Guilt for being behind on my emails (for two years, haha). Guilt for saying no. Guilt for having 10 things on my to-do list today and only getting seven of them done.

It’s an ongoing process for me to overcome guilt, but it’s important to face it and not ignore it. That’s what I’m working to do every day. It feels good to own it instead of run from it. If you’re successful in your career it’s likely going to come with a fair amount of guilt because there are never enough hours in the day to please everyone and do everything you’d like to do. Accepting that is step one.

I am grateful for the perspective that motherhood has forced on me at times. It’s definitely made my shortcomings all that much more obvious, but I’m grateful for it since at times all that really needs to happen is letting it go. It feels good to work through some of this stuff! I honestly didn’t realize how much guilt and shame I was carrying around for no reason in years past. I hope this was helpful to some of you. xx – Elsie

Credits/Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • I love this post so much! I haven’t had a huge problem worrying about what people think, but guilt is something I really struggle with. I feel guilty about everything – from what I eat, or didn’t eat, to not calling my friends to not working hard enough, or not knowing something wouldn’t work out. It’s a daily practice to try to shed that mindset, but it’s slowly working. 🙂

    xoKaelen | https://darlingmarcelle.com

  • Good for you. I am 59 and still struggle with these. You are awesome and never think otherwise.

  • I am always impressed with how well you handle some comments and such that you receive. You are always diplomatic without compromising your own beliefs and you do it with such grace. It’s made less afraid to be on social media bc I think “What would Elsie say to this person?”

  • I think you’d really l like The Four Agreements if you haven’t already read it. It’s short and sweet. Not getting invested in what others think of you is a major theme. It’s the best “self help” book I’ve ever read, but it’s hard to get other people to read self help books, I find. We each need to come upon them ourselves when the time is right. Much love, Elsie.

  • You say you don’t have a perfect body or perfect skin. Who does? What would that even look like? But you are gorgeous. All those imperfections you are struggling to overcome? No one else can even see them.

  • evolve, grow, heal, change – without really realizing it these have been my theme words the past few years. the biggest one is definitely letting go: of so many things that i dont need, so much waste that i can avoid, drinking (which i should have done years ago), fear of putting myself out there and coming on too strong. its so freeing to be 100% myself but still evolving when i know i can do better – https://tps-steph.blogspot.com/2019/02/0028-i-am.html

  • This is a raw and brave post. I applaud your transparency — it connects. You’re also giving your readers something to consider when you get into these topics and from there, we can grow, too. I’ve been reading your blog for years and I know it took work to get here from where you started. You have earned your success. I congratulate you on looking within yourself and facing the things you think are getting in the way. Best wishes to a beautiful person, inside and out.

  • Letting go has been a theme in my life lately too. I’ve always tried to control outcomes, rather than trusting and having faith. Yoga has really helped me accept myself, imperfections and all, and to learn to let go and let God. It really helps me to live in grace. I’m really enjoying these honest posts, as it helps to really see how beautiful you are, inside and out 🙂

    – Laurali Star
    https://www.everydaylauralistar.com

  • I love all of this so much! I felt like in my early 20s I wanted to prove to everyone that I was worthy of… something… and since letting go of that mentality, I’ve started working on projects I care about, and being more intentional with what I’m doing because it makes me happy and satisfied, and not because I’m chasing this weird perfectionist image.

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  • Hi Elsie, Although I don’t you personally I know you through your posts and your career. I met you at CKU many, many years ago. I have loved watch you become a mom and a successful business woman. I think the reason you are so successful is because you are so authentic. It is posts like this that show how resilient you are. I am so glad you shared this. I will always be a fan.

  • This was great. Having worked with the meanest, hate filled bullies for the last 6 years..I’ve learned to stop caring about what anyone thinks of me. I purposely dress frumpy, I purposely wear very little makeup so I will just blend. It has been grown my faith by leaps and bounds in so many ways. P.s. you are very beautiful, perfect just as you were made to be😊

  • Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve really been loving these types of posts from Elsie lately! I totally understand feeling guilty about not getting all the items on my to do list crossed off for the day. I’m going to work on letting that go.

    Laura
    http://www.laurelandfern.com

  • Oh, Elsie, I really loved this post!! You are a real role model for me, and not only because of your crafting skills and your fantastic, unique taste, but for your kindness, honesty and your self-reflective way of thinking. Thank you so much for your work!

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