Success is Letting Go – in 2 easy steps
You are successful. Your LinkedIn profile picture shows you smiling, radiating. Everybody wants to work with you, your picture says. You won’t let anybody down.
We all know that profile pictures are very short moments in times. The radiating smile might have lasted just long enough for the photographer to press the button on his otherwise fully automatic camera.
How are you, really? In your moments of doubt, fear, frustration and sometimes even despair, what do you do?
Do you suppress every inconvenient thought or emotion? Do you just soldier-on? Or do you express what bothers you? Do you talk about it?
There is a third option beside suppressing and expressing – letting go.
Children are good at letting go. Grown-ups though, often have forgotten what it’s like to be carefree and to live but in the present moment.
Let’s do a quick exercise together. Can you take a pen? Can you hold it really tight? Firmly hold it in your hand as if it belongs there forever. Can you feel how your hand is quickly getting used to the feeling of tightly holding the pen? It is beginning to become normal for the pen to sit their – to not go anywhere – isn’t it?
Then, relax your fingers. Let the pen rest in the palm of your open hand. Can you let the pen roll a little bit? Can you notice how it is not attached to your hand, although it nearly felt like that already? It is not attached – it may be your pen, but it is not you, is it?
Now, can you drop the pen? Can you decide to let it go? Yes? Simply drop it.
Was it hard to let go of the pen? Of course it wasn’t. It just dropped, and there you were with an empty hand, ready to pick up something else.
This analogy is used to show how we can let go of emotions, feelings and thoughts, too. Like the pen, a feeling may seem to be attached to us, but it’s really us who holds on to it. The moment we decide to drop it – to let it go -, we can. Like the pen, we must first “hold” the feeling or thought that we want to get rid of.
Step 1 – Welcome
Before we can let go of an emotion, we must first allow ourselves to truly have it. As long as you deny it, you can’t do anything with it.
So, can you allow yourself to welcome this feeling that you don’t want to have? For the sake of the exercise, can you consciously have this feeling? Simply allow it to be here. Simply “hold it” like you did with the pen.
Now ask yourself: ‘What do I want to do with this emotion/ thought? Do I want to suppress it, express it, or would I rather let it go?’
Step 2 – Deciding to drop it
If your answer is, that you would rather let it go, ask yourself these next questions: ‘Could I let it go?’ Followed by: ‘Would I?’ And finally: ‘When?’
If your answer to the question ‘Would I?’ is ‘Yes’, and you answer ‘Now’ to the question ‘When?’, simply drop it.
If you’ve answered ‘No’ to the question ‘Would I?’, and your answer to ‘When?’ is anything other than ‘Now’, ask yourself: ‘Would I rather hang onto it, or would I rather be free from it?’
And ask again: ‘Would I let this go?’ And if yes, ask: ‘When?’
The sensation of letting go
Letting go is different for each person. For some, it’s like letting balloons go up in the sky. For others, it’s like flushing things through the toilet. For again others, it’s more like throwing things out the window, or in the sea. Others picture themselves putting things in the stream of a river, or in a fire.
Letting go is a personal and intimate experience. Give yourself some time, and use your imagination, to picture your preferred method of letting go.
You are free
Once you let go of thoughts and feelings that were nagging, hindering, limiting or distracting you, you feel relieved and free. You can achieve what you want.
You always have choice
Negative thoughts and emotions will always pop up. It’s what 80% of the mind’s work does: presenting you with worry, stress, alarming reminders, warnings, etc. The mind wants to protect you. But you are not the mind. You are the awareness that witnesses what the mind produces. You can choose what you want to do with what the mind presents. If a thoughts or a feeling isn’t helpful, you can choose to welcome it nevertheless, but only in order to let it go – to free yourself from that which isn’t helpful – to be open to that which is.
You’ve got this now. Now you understand that a thought is just a thought and doesn’t necessarily have to be true; an emotion is just an emotion that doesn’t have to spoil the party – you certainly don’t have to be restricted and limited by it. Is the emotion or the thought helpful? Great – work with it. Is it not? Okay – decide to let it go.
Summarising the 2 steps to letting go
Step 1: Welcome – ‘Could I welcome the thought/ feeling?’
Step 2: Deciding to drop it – ‘Could I let it go?’ – ‘Would I let it go?’ – ‘When?’
You look amazing
Now your LinkedIn profile picture will truly be radiating. Now we will see you liberated, empowered, and free.
To your greatness and creativity – to your true radiance and success,
Miriam van Keulen MAHRI, Dip HRM, Dip Couns, BFA
Accredited Professional Life, Leadership & Performance Coach, Meditation Teacher & Facilitator
“Deciding to drop it” is one of the five ways of The Sedona Method®.