When I bought my first place back in the 90s, I decided to replace the handles on every cabinet and drawer in the kitchen and the bathrooms. I went to a hardware store and picked out new handles, unscrewed all the old ones, and replaced them with the shiny, new modern ones. Then I did a peculiar thing. I put the 25 or 30 old handles in individual plastic baggies and stored them “just in case” I might need them again later. It was silly, really. I couldn’t stand those handles. They were ugly. They were outdated. There was no way I would use them again! And yet I couldn’t bring myself to throw them out. Maybe someone else might want them, I told myself. I doubted it, but just in case, I kept them and they helped clutter up my storage space.

Why is it so hard to let go? Whether it’s old e-mail or a worn-out sweater, outdated files or a toxic friendship, sometimes we hold on to things for too long. They serve no purpose but to clutter our lives unnecessarily. Today, I want to challenge you to face your fear of letting go.

There are a few common fears that appear when it’s time to let go of something. What are you hanging on to even though it’s time to let go? Which of these pesky fears is it time to face?

fear that you won’t have what you need in the future

fear of being wrong

fear of loneliness

fear of regret

Breaking through fear requires one key factor: courage. Courage requires faith and trust that your future will be okay without the thing you are letting go of. And you can muster up the courage to let go by coaching yourself with questions that will help you get unstuck, such as:

What does my intuition tell me about letting go of this situation? Will I follow it?

If the thing I fear most happens, what is my plan B?

Who could I ask to hold me accountable and encourage me as I let go?

Make a decision. Carve out some time to do what you need to do. You can do it. By the way, I let go of my old cabinet handles. And I’ve never once needed them or missed them. Imagine that!