Living up to societal expectations can leave one feeling lost and overwhelmed. The ‘Let Them’ theory, popularised by Mel Robbins, frees an individual from the anxiety of other people’s opinions. It inspires people to live true to who they are, express themselves freely, and establish clear limits.

This approach suggests letting people have their views while concentrating on what one can control—our actions and responses—instead of attempting to influence or predict others’ impressions. It’s a step toward living a more genuine, confident, and assertive life. The theory has five steps in application: awareness, acceptance, detachment, observation, and reinforcement.

The essence of this theory finds a whimsical reflection in the Disney movie UP. Carl Fredricksen, a retired balloon salesman, embarks on an extraordinary journey, not just across continents, but toward self-discovery and liberation. His decision to let go of his home, buoyed by hundreds of balloons, symbolises the release of societal constraints, allowing him to fulfil a promise and pursue new adventures. Carl’s story teaches us the beauty of holding onto memories while freeing ourselves to write new chapters.

Before seeing this theory anywhere, I heard about it from one of my closest friends, Thola (23), who shared some insights on how it has helped her. “It’s an absolutely powerful theory and has changed the way I do things completely; It has assisted me in letting go of the things I can’t control. I can’t control what people say or do, so why should I let it affect me? I am learning to answer to myself and not others or what society expects of me. When we strive to control and manage others, we become disconnected from ourselves and our needs.” – Beautiful!

Here are ways for you to implement the theory:

Trust your Inner Voice
Trust your inner voice and develop a sense of self-assurance that transcends societal expectations. Today’s world often dictates paths that don’t align with your identity. However, you can use this approach to nurture yourself by listening to and figuring out your desires, passions, and dreams, steering away from the pressure to conform to predetermined norms.

Overcome the fear of Judgment
One of the major hurdles in the journey of self-discovery is the fear of judgment from others. Understand that it is necessary to release this fear and understand that the opinions of others do not define your worth. By letting go of the expectation of constant approval, you can truly explore and embrace your own unique identity.

Navigate Relationships Authentically
Friendships and romantic relationships can become areas of acceptance, with societal expectations dictating what is acceptable. Use the theory to help you make authentic connections, placing yourself in relationships without fear of judgment. This approach enables genuine relationships built on mutual understanding and likes.

Embrace Imperfections and Growth
Self-discovery is a journey marked by both victory and failure. Embrace your imperfections and view your failures as opportunities for growth rather than setbacks. By letting go of the expectation of perfection, you can nurture strength of character and a healthy mindset that will move you forward in whatever you do.

Build a Positive Relationship with yourself
At the core of the theory is creating a positive relationship with oneself. This involves self-acceptance, self-love, and a recognition of individual worth beyond societal benchmarks. By letting go of the need for external validation, you can build a strong foundation of self-esteem and confidence.

I have begun to implement this theory gradually, and it has not been the easiest. It is, for sure, a work in progress; however, for the most part, it has made me feel way more self-assured and mentally well-rounded. So what if people decide to go out without me? So what if I wear something that other people won’t like? If I’m happy and content, that’s all that matters.

It’s a transformative journey towards authenticity, breaking free from the shackles of the expectations of others.

Tell us: How can adopting the ‘Let Them’ theory allow you to navigate life’s challenges with authenticity, and in what ways might it transform your relationship with yourself and the world around you?