Letting go of obligation

In Blog by Celine RedfieldLeave a Comment

6064736_7121ddd8b0_zIf you are living out of a sense of obligation then you are a slave. ~Dr. Wayne Dyer

For people who have any people-pleasing tendencies obligation can be a thorn in your side. The truth is you are never obligated to do anything. Everything in your life is a choice. Everything that has happened to you as an adult has been a result of a choices that you have made. If you feel obligated or guilty about something that is on you, no other person can make you “feel” that way. You can enter into agreements by making promises where you honor your words or you break your bonds, but you never have to feel obligated to say yes. Here are 5 action steps to stop over obligating in your life:

1) Before you say yes to something, check in with yourself  first.

This is a pertinent step in living without obligation. Learn to to pause, take a deep breath, and ask yourself does this serve my highest good? Does this action live in alignment with my values; does it feed my soul? I know this sounds corny, but every action unfolds the path of our lives. Remember your time is precious. Treat it like it is commodity. This is necessary in creating a life that you love and are grateful for.


To gain clarity, press  your third eye point while you breathe and repeat this affirmation: I make decisions that serve my highest good and live in alignment with the universe. Practice this for 2 to 3 minutes.

2) Take one day a week that you have few obligations / plans so that you can decompress.

In our very busy lives, we can be stretched too thin and have so many plans, so we do not have time to relax. I love this quote from Wayne Dyer: are you a human being, or a human doing? We get so caught up in accomplishing things and having plans that we don’t have time to just sit in the garden and watch the butterflies and the clouds in the sky. It is important to not always be busy because if we are constantly running around. We are creating stress for our bodies. Stress creates illness and disease. Rest, meditation, and contemplation elicit the relaxation response in the body.

This week if you cannot carve out time to spend a whole day to rest, try this for 1 to 3 hrs. Do relaxing exercises, breathing exercises, meditate, dance, make art, write, do something where no technology is involved. Spend 1 to 3 hours per week unplugged.

3) Let go of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).

Social media can lead us to feel terrible about missing out on events. We want to be a part of everything and have healthy social lives. I get it. However, if we do show up to everything, we have nothing to give back to ourselves, and this just creates stress, burn out, and sickness. As I discussed in the previous two points, we have to connect with ourselves to see if this choice  is actually the best idea for us to do.

There is also another thing that we must release and that is FOMO, the fear of missing out. When we live in this place, we are viewing the world as a place of lack, and that the universe does not take care of us. Having this mentality can be very lonely, and it creates a trap of busyness or a fear of not being cool or relevant.

The only way we can truly love and cherish our lives is if we let go of thinking that we will miss something or be letting someone down. Everything in life happens at the perfect time just as it is supposed to. By living in FOMO we are not being grateful for the experiences that we are currently having. Stop trying so hard. Remember the universe has our backs. We can relax and just go for the ride. Trust that you are exactly where you are supposed to be today.

Affirmation to help with FOMO: I release the need to be constantly busy.  I embrace where I am now.

4) Let go of the things in your life that do not bring you joy.

We have this one life, and although we on average live for 80+ years now, life is relatively short. Why are you continuing to stay at a job that does not feed your soul? Why do you spend time with people that we don’t even like? Why are you living a life that you don’t love?

Most people stay in situations because they are afraid of the unknown. When you have routine you feel safe and you know what is going to happen. When you take a chance and do something different this leads you to be vulnerable. Many people are unwilling to believe in their dreams and walk into the darkness before the dawn. Sometimes making changes is difficult: try writing about it; visit a clergy person; talk to a trusted friend, and/or seek out a therapist.

If you don’t love your life, it is time to change it. What is one step that you can take towards your dream this week?

5) Stop spending time with people that you do not like.

Relationships based on obligation lack dignity. ~Wayne Dyer

If you spend time with people because you feel obligated to or you feel it is your duty, this means that you lack dignity and compassion for this person. Unless you can change, how you view this person?  You are doing a disservice to them and yourself since you are being inauthentic.

We as human beings, deserve authentic and loving interactions. As humans we have a great capacity for change and growth if we are willing.  

If you are currently unable to do this with an someone, try asking the universe to change your perception of them. Do this daily for a few weeks. If this does not shift your ideas about them, be willing to release the relationship.  No shame or blame. Sometimes people are meant to be in our lives for a lifetime and sometimes it is just for the blink of an eye.

I hope that this article was helpful for you. Do you have any comments or questions? Feel free to write them below or contact me celine@innergrowththerapy.com.

May you have a blessed week!






Image: Shadow Puppet Show by Nadine Incoll

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