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Letting go can be one of the most difficult things you can do in your life. That is why I made this collection of quotes about letting go and moving on. It is here to show how many other people, even those famous and powerful, have had a tough time letting go in their lives.
Letting go is tough. Letting go of the past can be even harder, but it can often be the best thing to do in any situation. Holding on to old ways, self-absorbed people, past ideas, or bad habits only causes pain and more of the same. Letting go can suck, but you also open yourself up to possibilities of the future.
Why Letting Go Is Hard
A quote by Jafree Oswald says, “all suffering is caused either by an attachment to a positive outcome or an avoidance of a negative one.”
We are all unique, and each of us displays our own patterns when it comes to our ability to let things go.
To truly let go of something, we first need to have the willingness to do so.
However, as we go through the process of letting go, it is important to make time for laughter and humor wherever as possible, so the letting go process doesn't seem so dramatic, dark, and heavy.
So, why is letting go giving you such a hard time? We face a number of roadblocks as we navigate the road leading to our baggage free futures.
Why Letting Go Can Be Tough:
No trust: if you don't trust in life, then it will be that much more difficult for you to finally let go of what is plaguing you. You have to look at each new day as a gift and believe that positive things will happen.
Facing an emotional misunderstanding: our emotions don't always reflect our reality. When it comes time to face our emotions, we need to remember not to seek someone or something to rescue us; instead, we need to realize that we are the only ones with the power to make ourselves feel better.
Ego: this is that other side of ourselves that doesn't actually always reflect our true self and our reality. It goes hand in hand with our emotional misunderstandings. Thinking about what is happening and why it is happening can help us face reality and overcome it.
Not understanding love: if you can't let go of a past love, then stop and think about what love really is. If you are asked why you can't let go and you give the reason that you are still in love, then you are making that love possessive – and love is far from that. It is free, and it always exists. You need to understand this so you can start the process of letting go.
Without further ado, let’s check out our first batch of letting go quotes…
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Quotes About Letting Go and Moving on to Better Things
- “All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.”– H. Havelock Ellis
- “Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.”– Steve Maraboli
- “It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.”– J. K. Rowling
- “In the process of letting go, you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.” – Deepak Chopra
- “Even on my weakest days, I get a little bit stronger.”– Sara Evans
- “It is mental slavery to cling to things that have stopped serving its purpose in your life.”– Chinonye J. Chidolue
- “It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.”– Theodore Roosevelt
- “Life is just a slide. Back and forth between loving and leaving, remembering and forgetting, holding on, and letting go.”– Nicole Lyons
- “Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity, and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.”– Tony Schwartz
- “Life moves forward. The old leaves wither, die, and fall away, and the new growth extends forward into the light.”– Bryant McGill
- “Renew, release, let go. Yesterday’s gone. There’s nothing you can do to bring it back. You can’t “should’ve” done something. You can only DO something. Renew yourself. Release that attachment. Today is a new day!”– Steve Maraboli
- “Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”– Ann Lander
- “The greatest loss of time is delay and expectation, which depend upon the future. We let go the present, which we have in our power, and look forward to that which depends upon chance, and so relinquish a certainty for an uncertainty.”– Seneca
- “The day I understood everything was the day I stopped trying to figure everything out. The day I knew peace was the day I let everything go.”– C. JoyBell, C.
“The day I understood everything was the day I stopped trying to figure everything out. The day I knew peace was the day I let everything go.”– C. JoyBell, C.
- “The only thing a person can ever really do is keep moving forward. Take that big leap forward without hesitation, without once looking back. Simply forget the past and forge toward the future.”– Alyson Noel
- “There are times in life when people must know when not to let go. Balloons are designed to teach small children this.”– Terry Pratchett
- “What happens when you let go when your strength leaves you, and you sink into darkness, when there’s nothing that you or anyone else can do, no matter how desperate you are, no matter how you try? Perhaps it’s then, when you have neither pride nor power, that you are saved, brought to an unimaginably great reward.”– Mark Halperin
- “You can only lose what you cling to.”– Buddha
- “You’ve got to make a conscious choice every day to shed the old – whatever ‘the old’ means for you.”– Sarah Ban Breathnach
- “Your past does not equal your future.”– Anthony Robbins
[Letting go is easier said than done. If the past haunts you it may be difficult to let it go, but worth the effort if you succeed. Get some tips to help you let go of the past.]
It is difficult to tell others that they need to let go of their bad habits because people can become really attached to these bad habits. Have you ever tried to warn a smoker about the perils of smoking? It can be tough. You basically need them to be ready for change and then allow them to come to you.
It can equally be as tough to tell someone to let go of the bad things in their past. Yes, these bad things from the past hold them back, but they also make people who they are today. By letting go, they may feel they risk losing some important part of themselves.
But the toughest, hands down, is to try to convince someone about letting go of a bad relationship. Unless they are ready to make some changes, most people never want to hear negative things about their relationships; this is particularly true when they know the things are true. A bad relationship can hold you back and keep you from achieving success in life just as easily as bad habits and a bad past can.
Letting Go of a Relationship Quotes
- “I’m guilty of giving people more chances than they deserve, but when I’m done, I’m done.”– Turcois Ominek
- “Sometimes the hardest part isn’t letting go but rather learning to start over.” – Nicole Sobon
- “It is by giving the freedom to the other, that is by letting go, we gain our own freedom back.”– Aleksandra Ninkovic
- “Letting go does not mean you stop caring. It means you stop trying to force others to.” – Mandy Hale
- “Just because someone has been in your life for many years, doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be a point at which you finally decide to let go.”– Wilfred James Dolor
- “Just remember, when you should grab something, grab it; when you should let go, let go.”– Unknown
- “Let go of your attachment to being right, and suddenly your mind is more open. You’re able to benefit from the unique viewpoints of others, without being crippled by your own judgment.”– Ralph Marston
- “Relinquishing control to another person is like death: it’s only scary until it finally happens.”– Agnostic Zetetic
- “Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So, you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them, they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.”– Stephen King
- “Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.”– Octavia Butler
- “Sometimes the door closes on a relationship, not because we failed but because something bigger than us says this no longer fits our life. So, lock the door, shed a tear, turn around and look for the new door that’s opened. It’s a sign that you’re no longer that person you were; it’s time to change into who you are. It’s going to be okay.”– Lee Goff
- “The bottom line is this; when one person stops being a part of your life, another one will come, and fill that empty space. Leave the ones who left in the past, right where they belong, and never look back.”– Ena Snow
- “There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.”– Unknown
- “Sometimes, you have to let things go. Sometimes, you have to stop caring for a minute.”– Trina Etmanskie
Sometimes, you have to let things go. Sometimes, you have to stop caring for a minute.”– Trina Etmanskie
- “When we think we have been hurt by someone in the past, we build up defenses to protect ourselves from being hurt in the future. So, the fearful past causes a fearful future, and the past and future become one. We cannot love when we feel fear…. When we release the fearful past and forgive everyone, we will experience total love and oneness with all.”– Gerald G. Jampolsky
- “Your time is way too valuable to be wasting on people that can't accept who you are.”– Turcois Ominek
- “Accept the fact that you will grow apart from people you’ve had significant relationships with. Understand when someone no longer positively affects your life. Let them go. Don’t hinder your growth.”– Unknown
- “The person who doesn't value you is blocking you from the one who will. Let them go.” – Robert Tew
So, what can you get when you finally decide to “let go” of the things that hold you back? I think the simple answer to that is everything. When you let go of what holds you back, you also let go of your limits.
Who says you can’t go back to school? Who says you can’t travel the world? Why can’t you start your own business? What is stopping you from losing weight, breaking bad habits, learning new skills, or finding a supportive relationship? Nothing, and no one!
When you let go of what holds you back, you lift the limits on your life. You can do anything.
Now let’s take another look at some expert quotes on letting go…
Quotes About Letting Go of the Past
- “A bridge can still be built, while the bitter waters are flowing beneath.”– Anthony Liccione
- “Once you realize you deserve a bright future, letting go of your dark past is the best choice you will ever make.”– Roy T. Bennett
- “Sooner or later, we’ve all got to let go of our past.”– Dan Brown
- “Letting go is not getting rid of memories. Memories will stay; they always do. Letting go is making sure that the pain associated with the memories goes away.”– Arti Honrao
Letting go is not getting rid of memories. Memories will stay; they always do. Letting go is making sure that the pain associated with the memories goes away.”– Arti Honrao
- “Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.”– Wayne Dyer
- “The beautiful journey of today can only begin when we learn to let go of yesterday.”– Steve Maraboli
- “Today expect something good to happen to you no matter what occurred yesterday. Realize the past no longer holds you captive. It can only continue to hurt you if you hold on to it. Let the past go. A simply abundant world awaits.”– Sarah Ban Breathnach
- “When we go back into the past and rake up all the troubles we’ve had, we end up reeling and staggering through life. Stability and peace of mind come by living in the moment.”– Pam W. Vredevelt
- “Holding on is believing that there’s a past; letting go is knowing that there’s a future.” – Daphne Rose Kingma
- “Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”– Lyndon B. Johnson
- “You can’t move forward if you’re still hanging on.”– Sue Fitzmaurice
- “You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.”– Jan Glidewell
Did you have abusive or negligent parents? Did you have a tough time getting through high school? Have you had a particularly bad relationship in the past, or memories of fear, anger, and hatred?
Letting go of the past is a tough cookie to crumble. On the one hand, these injuries from the past are what makes us who we are today; they can make us strong, resilient, and give us the fire to push ourselves forward when others quit. But they eventually our past can become the thing that holds us back and keeps us from evolving in life.
It is hard to have happiness, for example, when you are still constantly mad at something your parents did 20 years ago. No matter how much you succeed it will leave a hole that can’t be filled.
[Negativity is something that can hold you back from the success you desire. If you want to let go, you may first have to gain a more positive attitude. Learn how to stop being negative.]
Quotes About Letting Go of Love
- “Cry me a river, build a bridge, and get over it.”– Justin Timberlake
- “Hide yourself in God, so when a man wants to find you, he will have to go there first.”– Shannon L. Alder
- “I think every girl has that one guy she has trouble letting go of.”– Rashida Jones
- “I think that you never fall out of love with somebody, you just let go and move on.”– Ashley Rickards
- “The truth was, he now belonged only to my past, and it was time I begin to accept it, as much as it hurt to do so.”– Tammara Webber
“The truth was, he now belonged only to my past, and it was time I begin to accept it, as much as it hurt to do so.”– Tammara Webber
- “If love becomes too painful, then it’s time to let that love go and save yourself. You have to keep this in mind because you’ll be able to find another love but not another self.”– Robert Tew
- “If you only knew how to respect my heart, I wouldn’t have found a reason to let you go.”– Jourdane Erasquin
- “Pain will leave you when you let go.”– Jeremy Aldana
- “She let him go once. Every day demands that she release him over and over again.”– Julianna Baggott
- “There’s no point in arguing and loving someone who doesn’t want to be with you and doesn’t want to keep you in his life… the real person will try harder to reach out and work for the best and what’s supposed to be done to their relationship… but things are not so good this time, it’s time to try letting go.”– Ressha
- “This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.”– Rumi
- “Letting go of someone we love is the hardest thing we will ever do. Some people never surrender to love for the fear of being hurt. But to not have loved, to not have felt the immense joy it brings, would have been a far worse kind of death.”– Goldie Hawn
“Letting go of someone we love is the hardest thing we will ever do. Some people never surrender to love for the fear of being hurt. But to not have loved, to not have felt the immense joy it brings, would have been a far worse kind of death.”– Goldie Hawn
- “To love and let go, love and let go, love, and let go… it's the single most important thing we can learn in this lifetime.”– Rachel Brathen
- “You’ve got to know when to let a woman go if you want to keep her, and if you don’t want to keep her, you let her go anyhow. It’s always a process of letting go, one way or the other.”– Charles Bukowski
- “The moment after being let go, when we can finally let it go is the moment when love once again has hope.” – Brian MacLearn
Love is something most of us desire. Unfortunately, far too few find love in a way that lasts forever. The chances are good that you have had your heart broken. Many people (maybe even most people) have had their hearts broken at least one time in their lives.
Some people have had love and lost it multiple times. They may even think they are unlovable, or some universal force is keeping them from finding happiness and love. This is why letting go of love when it doesn’t work is important.
Broken relationships should not be a life sentence. There should be a time of grief, and then you proceed to move on. You may never forget the past loves, but you need to be resilient enough to move on and give yourself another shot at love in the future.
Letting Go Quotes to Help Your Work and Career
- “You really don’t have to burn any bridges to let go… You don’t have to destroy anything. You can just decide to cross over and move on.”– Marta Mrotek
- “I think that the power is the principle. The principle of moving forward, as though you have the confidence to move forward, eventually gives you confidence when you look back and see what you’ve done.”– Robert Downey Jr.
- “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”– Henry Ford
- “Leaders spend 5% of their time on the problem and 95% of their time on the solution. Get over it and crush it.”– Anthony Robbins
- “We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.”– C. JoyBell, C.
- “The best skill at cards is knowing when to discard.”– Baltasar Gracián
“The best skill at cards is knowing when to discard.”– Baltasar Gracián
- “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”– Walt Disney
- “We need to learn to let go as easily as we grasp, and we will find our hands full and our minds empty.”– Leo F. Buscaglia
- “The pathway to success is paved with the stones of failure.” – SJ Scott
- “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”– Alexander Graham Bell
- “Anything I cannot transform into something marvelous, I let go.”– Anais Nin
- “Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.” – Dalai Lama
Yes, you may need to “let go” of things that happen to you in your work and career. We view these bad events as something that may derail our work and career and cause us to become failures, but in doing so, we forget the most important part.
When you invest too much time thinking about how you failed, then you are not spending time learning the lessons of failure.
Quotes About Letting Go and Forgiveness
- “It is important that we forgive ourselves for making mistakes. We need to learn from our errors and move on.”– Steve Maraboli
- “Letting go may sound so simple, but rarely is it a one-time thing. Just keep letting go, until one day it’s gone for good.”– Eleanor Brownn
- “Suffering is not holding you. You are holding suffering. When you become good at the art of letting sufferings go, then you’ll come to realize how unnecessary it was for you to drag those burdens around with you. You’ll see that no one else other than you were responsible. The truth is that existence wants your life to become a festival.”– Osho
- “Take all the time, you need to heal emotionally. Moving on doesn’t take a day; it takes lots of little steps to be able to break free of your broken self.”– Tere Arigo
- “You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So, let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.”– C. JoyBell
“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So, let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.”– C. JoyBell
- “I demolish my bridges behind me… then there is no choice but to move forward.”– Fridtjof Nansen
- “Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it, and then move on.”– Bob Newhart
- “Let go of something old that no longer serves you to make room for something new.”– Roy T. Bennett
- “Let go or be dragged.”– Unknown
- “Sometimes, you have to take a step back to move forward.”– Erika Taylor
- “There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.”– Miguel Ruiz
- “Time doesn’t heal emotional pain; you need to learn how to let go.” – Roy T. Bennett
Sometimes when we make statements about letting go, and it means just that. If your parents were abusive, toxic, or negligent, for example, it might be best to simply cut off all contact and think of them as having passed on.
But many issues that haunt our past are not enough to ruin a relationship. Perhaps your loved ones made a big mistake but have otherwise always been there for you. In situations like these, it may be best to face the past problem, come to grips with it, and then let it go, and allow forgiveness.
You see, when it comes to the pain of the past, forgiving and letting go actually does more to help YOU than it does to help the person you forgive.
Well, hopefully, this collection of letting go quotes has shown you that you are not alone. Many of the best minds in history have struggled with thoughts of letting go and moving on. They have struggled with the idea and left these awesome letting go quotes behind to share with us.
Final Thoughts on Letting Go Quotes
Don't waste your energy holding onto the past. Focus on improving your future instead. Learn to let go so you can enjoy your present.
Start by reading about the seven steps to letting go of the past and your negative emotions.
If you like these quotes about letting go and moving on, why not share your favorite in the comments below. Or share any good “letting go” quote I may have missed. I would love to share your input with others.
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And if you want more eye-opening quotes, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- 91 Forgiveness Quotes for Letting Go of Your Anger
- 173 Uplifting Quotes for Difficult Times in Your Life
- 103 Quotes About Having Strength During Hard Times
Finally, if you want to use these quotes to make a lasting change to your life, then watch this free video that details the 7-minute habit for planning your day to focus on what's truly important to you..