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The Art of Letting Go

With 2018 quickly approaching many of us have pondered dreams and goals we want to achieve.  Maybe you have created a vision board or have shared your new goals with those close to you.  Looking forward to the future is great! However, I want to share briefly some of the reasons dreams of moving on to bigger and better things, do not come to fruition.  For many people, obstacles seem to get in the way of them truly reaching their full potential in jobs, school, relationships, or personal endeavors.  Below are a few things to think about as you start to embark on this New Year.

Allowing your PAST to be the puppet master of your FUTURE

Many of you are unable to move forward because you are trying to fix past hurts in your current relationships thus repeating unhealthy cycles that leave you lost, unhappy and unfulfilled. Instead of taking the time to heal and acknowledge unhealthy behaviors, unhealthy people you allowed in your life or the frustrating patterns you find yourself in; you ignore these things and move on to the next person or situation that allows you to escape unwanted feelings.  Doing this only increases the likelihood that the unhealthy patterns will repeat themselves.  You REPEAT what you don’t REPAIR.
In other words, until you allow yourself to heal and then find the strength to really take a look at yourself (which can be very difficult to do) your personal growth is hindered.  Think about it.  How much control of your life are you giving to your ex, a past supervisor, childhood friend, a parent, your family members or any other person or situation that has caused your emotional wounds?

Refusing to Forgive

Forgiveness seems to be something that many people hold hostage thinking that doing so will teach the other person a lesson.   Forgiveness does not mean:

  • You condone the persons behavior
  • You are giving the person a pass to hurt you again
  • You have to trust the person
  • You have to forget what was done

Forgiveness means you no longer allow that person or situation to have emotional control over you.  If a person can totally change your mood simply by entering a room or posting on social media, they have emotional control over you.  No person or situation deserves this much power.  Now, I will say forgiveness is a process; however the first step is to acknowledge the above points.  Forgiving can be very freeing.  Refusing to forgive prolongs healing.

Fear of Success

The fear that if you actually succeed people will now have extremely high expectations of you.  This leads to feelings that you have to be perfect.  This fear of having to be perfect and unable to make mistakes (which are an unavoidable and necessary aspect of success), keeps you from starting in the first place.   I call it “being comfortable in your discomfort.”  It is more comfortable to stay in a familiar situation, even if it doesn’t bring you great satisfaction.  However, achieving success (however you define it) means you are entering uncharted territory. You are taking a chance in possibly being scrutinized and criticized, and exposing yourself to new expectations and demands. It’s only human to wonder whether you’ll be up to the challenge and be nervous about taking such a risk.  Yet, you have to ask yourself what exactly are you sacrificing if you don’t?

Fear of Failure

The fear that you simply won’t succeed. Therefore, you don’t try at all which guarantees failure.  Failure is absolutely necessary to become successful.  It is the only way to learn and grow.  Every successful person you know has failed many times; it is how they got to where they are.  I encourage you to look at failure as the opportunity to grow, develop and learn something new.  Changing your perception regarding failure will increase the likeliness of you taking the first step in achieving your goals.
Do you fall into any of these categories?  If so, it’s great that you know have identified your barrier.  Here are some suggestions that may give you a jump start in making the necessary changes.  I want you to imagine what your life would be like if you were to overcome these barriers.  What would life be like if you changed the patterns you often find yourself in?  If you forgave that person or situation, how might things be different in your day to day routine?  Would you be more happy?  Would smile more or go out with family/friends more?  Would you travel more?  If your fear of success was not an issue, where might you be in the next 6 months?  If your fear of failure wasn’t stopping you, how many projects or business ventures would you start?  I encourage you to think about these things and journal about them.  The first step to achieving a goal is to envision what life would be like once you have succeeded in accomplishing your goal.  Let’s make 2018 a year of letting go of what hinders us and embracing new thoughts, actions, and people that bring us closer to being the best version of ourselves.

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