Freeing Yourself

The only limits that exist are those walls which we build for ourselves. If you don’t believe me, just listen to my friend, Cady Heron:

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The limit only exists if we make it exist. We, in our own rights, hold the power to open ourselves to the multitudes of infinity concomitant to our world. Everything we could ever need or want or cherish—love, happiness, family, friends, opportunity, contentment, and success—is right before our eyes if we choose to see possibility.

I used to be blind, trying to chase perfection, when in reality, I was running away from freedom. My self-negativity and constant criticism kept me trapped in this maladaptive mentality, one in which the infinite heart of life ceased to beat. The more I tried to obsessively control every aspect of my life, the more I was being controlled. And because of that, I began to sabotage my own freedom.

“IN THE END, THESE THINGS MATTER MOST: HOW WELL DID YOU LOVE? HOW FULLY DID YOU LIVE? HOW DEEPLY DID YOU LET GO?”

— BUDDHA

But how do we let go deeply and profoundly? How do we tear down the walls we built for ourselves? How do we free ourselves from the mental prison to taste the fresh air of freedom once again? Although therapists and yoga instructors may tell us to “Just let go,” it’s never that simple. Letting go takes a certain amount of self-awareness and humility. Letting go means accepting that the path to success will never be easy, flat, and certain, but difficult, bumpy, and ambiguous. Letting go means looking past the surface to see the immensity found in each and every instant of time. Luckily, there are steps you can take to free yourself from the stifling cycle of negativity….

  1. Laugh daily and learn not to take everything too seriously. 

    Sometimes, we just have to laugh at our mistakes and learn from them. Not every disappointment is an end-all-be-all. Not every failure is the end of the world.

  2. Focus on the process rather than the outcome.

    If you are always dying for what comes next, will you ever truly live? Instead of having tunnel-vision, of solely focusing your prospects on the future, try to enjoy the present moment. For it is the journey that truly matters.

  3. Open your mind and heart to the possibilities of the world.

    As I mentioned, there are multitudes of infinity that exist. We just have to take the time to see them, to dive deeper than the tip of the iceberg.

  4. Realize that you have the power to erase the limits you drew for yourself.

    Your mentality—the way you perceive the world and yourself—is capable of imprisoning yourself, but it is just as capable of opening your eyes to limitless opportunities.

  5. Accept that some things are out of your control.

    Despite how hard you may want to feel in control of anything and everything, you simply can’t. You are just one person….you can’t tackle infinity. Some occurrences in life are merely random, children of chance.

  6. Understand that the life you envisioned for yourself may not always be the life you will actually have.

    The more we live, the more we learn that things don’t always go as planned. But through all the twists and turns that may be thrown your way, remind yourself that nothing is strong enough to stop you from moving forward on your path.

  7. Remember that there is not just one, predetermined path for everyone.

    Just because you miss out on one opportunity or a door closes, it doesn’t signal the failure of your journey. And often, closed doors can help us realize what we want and where we want to be….we often discover ourselves in unexpected places.


about the author: SIMRAN BANSAL

Hi! My name is Simran Bansal and I am 17 years old. I am currently a junior in high school and live in Long Island, New York. 5 years ago, I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. In middle school, my life was constantly uprooted as I moved from treatment center to treatment center, away from my family, friends, and school. When my psychological health took a turn for the worst, I desperately needed treatment. However, the insurance company looked at me merely as a number, judging that I was too “medically stable” to receive intervention. It was not until I hit rock bottom six months later that they covered my stay at a hospital. My point is, we should not have to wait until we are near our deathbed to receive help. My experience of being denied treatment when I needed it most has inspired me to be a part of the Project Heal community. I know how essential getting treatment is for those with eating disorders—financial strains should not be blocking the road to recovery.

In my free time, I love to play piano, take photographs, volunteer at my local children’s hospital, and play tennis. If I am not found sleeping on top of my piles of textbooks or cramming for a test, I am probably writing for my blog, Numbers Don’t Define Us. Numbers Don’t Define Us is a site I made to help other adolescents struggling with body image and to foster recovery through language, imagery, and self-expression. When I grow up, I want to become a surgeon (inspired by Grey’s Anatomy) and an author. Ideally, in 20 years, I would be sitting on a beautiful beach in Hawaii writing my next novel!

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