To let it go is hard. But when you finally get it right, you’ll set yourself free and find new and exciting opportunities…
Let it go…
Everything in life is constantly changing. And just because something (your career, relationship, a project, home, or habit) was right for you in the past, doesn’t mean it will still be in future.
But when your life is good, comfortable or secure, you yearn for it to remain the same. And it does for a while, but then one day you wake up and something has changed. And you fear it, you don’t like it, and you resist it.
You desperately try to hold on to the old life, that secure, cozy feelings of comfort and safety that you know so well. But you also know your current lifestyle no longer fits, and you have to let it go to move forward, to grow, and to keep up with things developing around- and within yourself.
Letting go is all about facing the facts…
It’s a process to discover more about who you are and what you want from life – once you’ve realized the people and routines you’ve known for so long are no longer aligned with your values.
Then the straight-shooting quote by Ginni Rometty starts to niggle in your belly, “Never love something so much that you can’t let go of it.”
Sometimes letting go will be painful, sometimes it will be sad, sometimes it will be nostalgic, sometimes you will fear what’s to come.
But sometimes it will have a tinge of excitement for the unknown:
“Humans are explorers by nature,” said Stewart Weaver in a survey of the history of exploration, published by Oxford University Press. “For all the different forms exploration takes in different historical periods, for all the worthy and unworthy motives that lie behind it, exploration – for the sake of discovery and adventure – it seems, is a human compulsion, a human obsession even.”
And as the paleontologist Maeve Leakey said, “It’s a defining element of a distinctly human identity and it will never rest at any frontier.”
They were mainly refering to travel and exploration off course. But going on an expedition is merely the outward journey of an inward pursuit for purpose and happiness.
Just like saying goodbye to those ones staying behind when you leave for a travel journey, you have to learn to say goodbye to the things in your life that no longer serve you.
Why you need to let it go…
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.” – Lao Tzu.
To heal from past pain and trauma
Humans often hold onto pain far longer than necessary to learn the lesson. You replay past mistakes over and over, allowing feelings of shame, regret and guilt to shape your actions in the present. Fears and disappointments of the past that holds your spirit hostage, create enormous amounts of stress that can lead to serious health issues. If you’ve been hurt in the past in any way, realize it’s now a part of your history, and not a part of your destiny…
To free up energy and time
Learning to let go can free up huge amounts of energy and time, allowing you to instead use it for something far better and more fulfilling. Better to struggle at something you love than waste your energy on something that can not serve you any longer.
To conquer fear
The mental space you create by letting go of things that are already behind gives you the ability to fill the space with something fresh and fun. But like anything new and unknown, this might induce some fear. As you form a habit of letting go and taking on the new, you will get used to challenging your fears and after a while realize fear is merely excitement.
To find new opportunities
Holding on to the weight of the past will not only hold you back, but also block blessings and opportunities. You can’t see new opportunities if you are still blinded by old beliefs and shackled by past failures. Learn that living is learning, and that all positive change is the end result of going through some adversity. Learn from it, move on and find new opportunities that can serve you better.
Why you may find it hard to let go
The need for certainty
Certainty is fundamentally about human survival: avoid pain, pursue pleasure and comfort. It’s frightening to step into the unknown, and uncomfortable to have uncertainty about what lies ahead. So you hang on to the past, because even if it’s steeped in pain, it’s what you’re familiar with and what you’re certain about.
How you link emotion to information
Emotions and feelings are what drive and motivate human beings. Information with emotion make a lasting impression with significant impact. And when there’s still emotion tied to a memory, it becomes increasingly difficult to let go. Reexamine your emotions, deal with them first before you take the steps to let go.
What you focus on expands
Whatever you give your attention to will grow. If you focus on past pain, regrets, and frustrations, you’ll experience more of that. If you focus on happiness, joy, and satisfaction, you’ll experience more of that. Withdraw your attention completely from what you don’t want or need, and start to focus on what you do want for the future.
12 concrete steps for letting go…
Make the decision to let it go
Things don’t disappear on their own. You need to make a firm commitment to the process. If you don’t make this conscious choice up-front, you’ll self-sabotage any effort to move on.
Express your pain and your role in it
Express the pain of what you need to let go of. Get it all out of your system. Doing so will also help you understand what it is all about.
Express your gratitude
To let go is to show your thankfulness for all experiences. It’s the acceptance of everything you have, everything you once had, and the possibilities that lie ahead. Gratitude will help you find the strength to embrace life’s changes, to trust your intuition, to learn, to realize that every experience has value, and to continue with positivity and inspiration.
Determine the reason for wanting to let go
This is the most important aspect of the process, because it’s your emotional drive and will help you stay motivated through setbacks and challenges. And if you have a strong enough reason and purpose, you’ll stay focused and dedicated. Find the reasons why you absolutely must move beyond this.
Consider the consequences
What will the long-term consequences be if you do not let go? How will it affect the next couple of years of your life? Knowing what will happen if you don’t move on, as opposed to how things can change for the better when you do, is a powerful motivator that pushes you forward.
Identify your emotions
Your emotions have profound influence on the way you look at life, the way you carry yourself, and the way you act. By identifying your emotions, you can actively condition yourself towards a more positive experience, and to feel passionate, joyful and strong.
Letting in instead of letting go
When you let go of something and don’t know what to replace it with, you leave space for uncertainty and the unknown. So, consciously decide what you’re going to replace that something (letting go) with and what should come next (letting in). If you want to let go of anxiety and doubt, invite peace and confidence. If you want to let go of a dull version of yourself, invite an active and energetic version of yourself.
Focus on what you desire and what you can change
Imagine, visualize, and fantasize what want in your life. Focus on what you can change, and if you can’t change something you don’t like, change the way you think about it. Review your options and then re-frame your mind to achieve something better.
Focus on the here and now
When the past (that what you let go) creep into your consciousness, acknowledge it for a moment, but then bring yourself back into the present moment. Look for the joy that today bring and again, focus on the future. Meditation and visualization can help with this.
The more you condition yourself, the stronger your new emotions and ideas around the change become. Feed yourself empowering ideas and stories, surround yourself with people who make your life and you as a person better, and drive yourself to peak performance.
Giving back reminds you of your blessings and what you have as opposed to others who have not. Focusing on the needs of others will motivate you to do more and make you more productive, and to find creative solutions to problems. Step forward into the future in a more loving and compassionate way – you’ll see your life improve dramatically with a higher purpose and meaning.
Live and let live
You don’t have the power to fix other communities, people or situations. Only they can chose to change or better themselves. You can only look realistically at the situation, take personal responsibility for your role in it, and learn to tolerate the opinions and behavior of others so that they will similarly tolerate yours.
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