15 Things We Often Hold Onto for Too Long (But Regret It)

Just as some things are worth holding on to, there are others that we should let go of sooner to prevent future regrets.



Harboring resentment is like lugging a heavy backpack on a long hike—it just makes the journey harder. The sooner we learn to forgive (not for others but for our own well-being!), the lighter and more liberated we feel.

Toxic Romantic Partner


Staying attached to a partner who undermines your happiness can cloud your life with constant stress. It’s like walking on eggshells—you never know what might trigger the next argument. Recognizing and stepping away from such relationships can lead to profound personal growth and peace.

Sure, letting go of a toxic partner is difficult, but it can do wonders for your mental and emotional well-being (with little regret in the long run).

Expecting Life to Go the Way You Want


Life rarely follows a neatly planned script. 

Clinging to rigid expectations can set us up for disappointment and frustration. It’s liberating to embrace flexibility and adapt to life’s unpredictable twists.

Bad Friend Circle


Letting go of friends who bring negativity into our lives can be tough, but it’s often a breath of fresh air once we do. Imagine constantly feeling drained after hanging out with your crew—definitely a sign that it’s time to reevaluate those friendships.



Guilt occurs when you feel you’ve failed to live up to your own ethical standards or those universally recognized (regardless of whether this perception is grounded in reality). 

To overcome guilt, it’s important to take actionable steps: apologize if necessary, make amends, and then let it go. Dwelling on guilt traps you in the past and robs you of the ability to enjoy the present or plan for the future. Learning to forgive yourself allows you to live more fully in the moment and look forward with optimism.

Living in the Past

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Obsessing over what was, or what could have been, attaches us to old grievances and missed opportunities. Focusing on the present and looking forward to the future can free you from those chains, allowing you to fully enjoy the now.



Procrastination involves delaying tasks unnecessarily, fully aware that this can lead to negative outcomes. It’s essential for you to tackle this habit head-on, as it impedes your productivity and escalates your stress levels. 

When you have the opportunity to complete a task, seize it—don’t push it to tomorrow. Addressing tasks promptly clears your mental space and boosts your sense of achievement (and who doesn’t love crossing things off their to-do list?).

Trying to Change the Unchangeable


Persisting in the attempt to alter what cannot be changed—like other people’s core traits or past events—is like trying to teach a cat to bark. It’s both pointless and exhausting. 

Accepting things as they are can be liberating, allowing you to focus on what we can influence and improve.

Fear of Failure


Why let go of the fear of failure? Holding onto this fear often stops you from stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things. Embracing failure as a natural part of growth can profoundly change our approach to life and learning. The fear of failure can paralyze, making the prospect of venturing into unknown territories seem daunting and undesirable. 

Yet, it’s through these very experiences—where we stumble and fall—that we learn the most. Every failure carries a lesson, and every setback offers a chance to rebuild and approach challenges with a new perspective. Letting go of this fear frees us from self-imposed limitations and opens up a world where every challenge is an opportunity for growth.

Staying in Our Comfort Zone for Too Long


While our comfort zones keep us safe and stress-free, lingering in them for way too long can prevent growth. For example, if you never leave your hometown, you can miss out on the diverse experiences and challenges that forge strength and character. 

Pushing boundaries (even just a bit), can open doors to exciting opportunities and deeper self-understanding.

Dwelling on Past Mistakes

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Obsessing over past mistakes can prevent you from moving forward. 

It’s important to learn from your mistakes without allowing them to define you. Moving forward with the lessons learned allows you to grow and prevents the past from controlling your future.

Worrying About the Future


The future is inherently uncertain, and no amount of worrying will change the outcomes that await us. Excessive concern about what lies ahead can rob us of the joy found in the present moment. By focusing on the now, we can take actionable steps towards a better future without being weighed down by the fear of what might never happen. 

Worrying about the future often leads to anxiety, preventing us from making clear-headed decisions. Letting go of these worries encourages a healthier mental state, where we can invest our energy in productive actions that influence our future positively (rather than fearing it).

People Pleasing


Trying to please everyone else at the expense of your own needs often leads to dissatisfaction and can diminish your sense of self-worth. Recognizing and adjusting this behavior can significantly improve your personal well-being. 

And no, establishing and maintaining boundaries is not selfish—it’s a way to ensure mutual respect and care in relationships. This adjustment allows for a healthier balance where your happiness is valued just as much as others’ (and isn’t that a better way to live?).

Striving to Be Happy All the Time


Life isn’t meant to be a continuous stream of happy moments. 

The pressure to feel upbeat all the time can actually lead to frustration and disappointment. Acknowledging and accepting the full range of emotions enriches our lives and helps us cope with challenges more effectively.

Aversion to Life Changes


Life is a dynamic journey, with each phase bringing its own set of changes. Clinging to past comforts can feel safe, but it often prevents us from experiencing new joys and fulfilling our potential. 

Changes, while intimidating, are the catalysts for growth, pushing us to adapt and evolve. The reluctance to accept change stems from a desire for security and predictability, but it’s important to recognize that flexibility and openness to new experiences are key to personal development and happiness. By letting go of this aversion, we allow ourselves to flow with life’s currents—embracing the new, letting go of the old, and growing with each transition.

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