Thanks to many years of hearing about other people’s expectations (and developing plenty of our own), we’re prone to having rather fixed ideas of what life “should” be like. However, this approach is problematic for a number of reasons. 

Firstly, it confines you, stopping you from thinking or dreaming outside of parameters you previously set for yourself—parameters you may have outgrown.

Secondly, it leads to a tendency to be particularly hard on yourself, harshly criticizing your actions and goals when your life doesn’t match up to your image of how it “should” be.

To manifest a freer, more satisfying life, follow these six steps and begin to let go.

1. Reject Old Assumptions

Just like getting rid of any limiting beliefs that undermine your ability to use the Law of Attraction, letting go of what you think life “should” be like involves taking a critical look at your assumptions.

How to: Try writing down ten sentences capturing potentially unhelpful things you’ve always believed about life, e.g. that you don’t question those in authority, that everyone should have children by their 30s or that pursuing creative endeavors isn’t worthwhile.

For each belief, write down where it comes from (thereby demystifying it), then write down an alternative belief that is more positive and authentic. For example, “Everyone should have children of their own by now” can become “I will have children when or if it is right for me.”

2. Picture Yourself Letting Go

You can also use a meditation exercise to let go of your old ideas about how life should be.

How to: Imagine them as negative darkness you’re holding inside, or as something like a glass box holding you in—feel free to be as creative as you like when it comes to visualizing these toxic “shoulds.”

Next, do something that release you—let the darkness flow out of you, or break through the glass and breathe in the fresh air. If you do this every day for a week, you’ll reinforce the message that you’re moving out of an old way of thinking.

You can read the other half of this article on the Law of Attraction’s blog here: