How to let go of relationships and mistakes

TV Presenter, author and self-confessed former ‘bad girl’ Casey Beros wants to empower you to let go.

Ever done something so mind-numbingly embarrassing or shameful that you want the ground to swallow you up right then and there?

Don’t worry, TV presenter and self-confessed former ‘bad girl’ Casey Beros has been there, and worse.

How to let go of something you’ve done

Speaking on Body+Soul’s daily podcast Healthy-ish, she says the best bit about messing up is that everyone does it.

“I would say the first thing is, is to welcome yourself to the world’s least exclusive club, which is the People Who Stuff Things Up Frequently club; of which I am at least the vice president, if not the secretary,” she tells host Felicity Harley on the Healthy-ish episode How to let go.

“We learn more from the things we get wrong than we will ever learn from the things that we get right,” she adds.

Basically, we all have something ‘sticky’ and regrettable that we’ve done in the past, and it’s just about coming to terms with that, and understanding how to let go of those feelings that don’t add positivity to our lives.

Likewise, just because you’ve done something wrong doesn’t make you a terrible person – it just means you’ve made a mistake.

“Guilt is when you’ve done something bad. And shame is when you feel that you as an entity or as a person are bad for what you’ve done. And I think it’s really important to try and separate those two things and recognise that they are not one and the same,” she says.

The next step is to find the positive. What did you learn, what lesson did you gain? How will it shape a better future for you? This step should always be followed by an apology.

“When I say apologise, firstly apologise to yourself. You didn’t know then what you know now,” she explains. “And secondly, you can just apologise to the universe.”

If it’s a situation where an apology to the person would do more harm than good, you’ll just need to find another way to get it out.

“Sometimes just getting it out of your head and your heart and into the universe, whether you write it down and burn it somewhere safe (please don’t start fires) or you type it into your phone and then delete it. Or you just say it out loud when you’re sitting in the park.”

“You know, we all have skeletons in our closets. I like to think of them these days as really skinny mates who taught you something,” she adds.

How to let go of someone in your life

If the problem isn’t something you’ve done but someone in your life, ‘letting go’ can be equally as challenging.

Beros says humans are naturally optimistic people, who hate change, so we tend to see situations and people in our life in rose-coloured glasses. This can mean sometimes we stay in toxic relationships for too long without knowing how to let go.

“Life is unfairly short no matter how long we get to live for, if we only get a very, very short time here. And so I think it’s really important to acknowledge that time is precious and we don’t want to waste that on people or on places who don’t deserve us,” she says.

No, you don’t need to cut people out of your life straight away, but if you realise over time that it’s not right – a relationship, a workplace culture, a friend – it might be time to let them go.

“Anybody who’s listening to this will know how toxic and draining being in a bad relationship or being in a in a job that’s not serving you any more can be. It robs you of your happiness. It certainly has a big impact not only on our mental well-being, but also on our physical well-being,” she says.

There’s three simple steps to letting someone go.

1. Consult your ‘board of advisors’

That’s right – your best friend, your work wife, your mum – it’s time to bring them into the fold.

“I have never not gained something from seeking an outside opinion because they almost always ask you something that you perhaps hadn’t considered. And I often ask those people, my advisors, to please play devil’s advocate like be a little bit tough on me here, take my blinkers off and show me what it is that I’m not seeing,” says Beros.

2. Pick the right timing

“You might know you need to put on your big girl pants and make that big, tough decision. But timing is everything, regardless of what it is that you’re trying to extricate yourself from,” says Beros.

Make sure you’re ready to make the decision and that the timing is right not only for yourself but also for your partner. Basically, don’t break up with your boyfriend before his final exam or the day before Christmas. Also not a good idea to leave your employer high and dry before a big preso.

3. Accept that it will be hard

Beros explains that humans are naturally creatures of habit, so we will need to be tough during the adjustment period.

“It’s easier to stay and suck it up than it is to move on from something. So embrace that it will be hard. And then I think the kicker of that is focus on what you have to gain rather than what you have to lose.”

For example, maybe you miss your old colleagues (or the big paycheck) but remember that a toxic work environment just isn’t worth the stress.

4. Let time do its ‘thang’

Beros laughs that if she had the answer for how to get over those residual feelings after the end of a relationship she’d be a multi-trillionaire. Unfortunately the answer is just to endure, and let time do its thing.

“What I do know is that time heals all. Recognise that whilst you might feel really icky today and maybe for the next week, we’re talking particularly about romantic relationships here, you’re not going to feel like that forever. And that might help you sort of withstand some of the discomfort.”

Find out more about Casey’s new book, The ‘Bad’ Girl’s Guide to Better (Murdoch, $32.99), here. Or follow her on Instagram @caseyberos.