The path to growth is often not a course in adding or obtaining something, but of removal or letting go. We're bombarded every day to produce, expand and accumulate more. All of this has its place; however, it's opposite – learning to let go – is a hidden key to growing personally and professionally.
It is healthy to make room for different and miraculous things to come into your life. If your days are so jam packed, there is no space for new things to arrive. At one point in my life I kept so many old clothes that I knew I would fit into some day. This resolved in a packed closet with nothing to wear. What I wanted was to invite new things into my life. What worked for me was to develop a systematic way of letting go of older clothes. So, whenever I buy something new, I make a conscious choice of what article of clothing I will let go of before putting that new article of clothing in my closet.
In years working with clients, there seems to be common things that need to be released; and when they are, they create massive momentum. Some common things my small business owner clients have discovered that often keeps them bogged down include:
• Negative Attitudes
• Anger / Resentment
• Self-Limiting Habits
• Comfort Zones
• Familiar Situations / Status Quo
• Titles / Roles
• Thinking Patterns
• Working with Non-Ideal Customers
• Need for Certainty
• Not Setting Boundaries
• Trying to do EVERYTHING (this is especially evident for the small business owner)
The range of letting go can be as simple as giving away old clothing or as extreme as leaving a highly dysfunctional relationship. What people fear most is the pain they think they are going to experience. Instead of moving forward, they choose the known environment, no matter how bad it is, over the unknown alternative.
One of the largest hurdles is letting go of excuses. Often times, people use excuses to rationalize their thought process, especially when it is a widely used excuse, like a bad economy. Excuses take away your personal power and simply you are a victim of circumstance, powerless or not responsible for your actions. The opposite is to take PAAR (power, accountability, authority and responsibility) over the results you want to achieve and the life you want to lead. Taking PAAR is empowering. It implies that despite life's circumstances, you are the master of your destiny.
Practicing a letting go philosophy causes amazing changes, often times very quickly. All kinds of problems improve and life becomes much simpler. Why? You are clearing the clutter. Where you are today is the result of your past thoughts, attitudes, and actions. The good news is that if you change your self-limiting habits, thoughts, and attitudes today, your life will change as you move ahead.
Letting go does not have to be complex or hard, it just takes a few steps to get started:
First, identify the "letting go" priority. It is important to choose one thing to let go of and work on that area and move on to the next. Priorities create focus and focus creates momentum.
Second, consciously choose. Make a deliberate choice: A choice over how you choose to feel, how you choose look at things, how you choose to react to things, and what you will commit to. You'll be amazed at just how empowered you feel the first time you choose to step outside of your comfort zone. Each time, it gets easier. You'll create a habit of letting go go faster than what is no longer supportive of getting to your desired future or income.
Third, create a process of letting go. Do the stacks of paper keep growing in your office? Develop a series of questions that you ask yourself to let go of them quicker. Some of the questions might include: Is it Important? What's my motivation for keeping it? Will I respond to it within a week? It is amazing how quickly you break a cycle and let go of something that bogs you down when you have a process that walks you through your stuck point.
Releasing unwanted or self-sabotaging things, habits, feelings, attachments, attitudes, mindsets, beliefs, and even relationships, is an ongoing process. Letting go today is the key to your growth and unlocks unimaginable success for your tomorrow.