One of the benefits of being committed to continual improvement is that we don’t always have to gain new insights, ideas and strategies to improve ourselves. At times, rather than striving to develop new habits or behaviours, it may be easier to choose to let go of things to start seeing improvements quickly.
So often, we unconsciously take on or hang on to ideas and beliefs which do not serve us in the long term. Once we become aware of what some of these things are, it will:
- Allow us to make the necessary adjustments we know we need to make to see improvements.
- Reduce build-up of tension or stress.
- Take the pressure of us to constantly acquire new knowledge or develop new behaviours.
- Bring a sense of ease and lightness back into our lives.
Over the years, one thing I have been able to let go is the need to do things my way, which has not always worked out well for me. When I first started out in business, I focused a lot of the image of the business, which were just cosmetic things, rather than focusing on providing the best service I could.
I failed to seek advice or mentoring from those who had established businesses because I was of the opinion that if I can manage a multi-million dollar operation, then I should be able to run my own business. When I was finally able to let go of trying to do everything my way and admit that I needed help, that’s when I started to turn things around. Choosing to invest in my education allowed me to form new connections and open new doors that previously were not available to me.
Here are 10 things to consider letting go of now so that we can start moving forward with a lot more ease and with a lot less stress in order to accomplish the things that matter most to us.
- Waiting until the time is right to pursue your dreams. The truth is there will never be a perfect time to do what matters most because we do not know how much time we have left on Earth. All we have is the time we have right now. As the saying goes, “Now is the best time to get started.” There are exceptions to this, but for most of the dreams we have been putting off, the best thing we can do is to start taking some action towards them.
- Not listening to your intuition. Our intuition is one of our mental faculties, which can be developed just like any other muscle or skill. Our inner voice, our gut feelings or our inklings are signs of our intuition giving us feedback or telling us what to do. We very rarely go wrong if we learn to trust and act on our intuition. The key is knowing what is the voice of our intuition and what is the voice of our rational or logical self, whose main function is to keep us safe.
- Seeking approval or validation from others. A lot of what we do can be put down to our desire to prove our worth and to get validation from those we are trying to please. Unfortunately, that is a misguided approach because we are not responsible for how people think, feel and act. One of our main drivers in life should always be to become the best person we can be and continually challenge ourselves to improve.
- Focusing on what is not going right in your life. We are easily drawn to focus on what is not going right because so much of our environment focuses on it. Just think of the daily news on television, radio and on websites — we have been programmed and conditioned to give more attention to what is not going right rather than what is. Once we start focusing on the things that are going well, we will put ourselves in a more calm, relaxed and positive state, which means we will be more aware of the good things that are happening around us all the time.
- Making decisions based on whether you have the resources or not. How often do we delay making a decision on something because we don’t believe we have the right resources? When we operate from such a mindset, we do not allow ourselves to operate from a higher level of awareness. The fact is we don’t need any resources until we have made a decision. Once we make a decision, that’s when we will start thinking new thoughts and attracting new things that will help us get to our ultimate outcome.
- Needing to be busy all the time. One valuable lesson I have learned is that we are human beings, not “human doings.” It is okay to stop and just enjoy life rather than constantly be pursuing the next thing or the next success. We don’t have to be busy to prove that we are living a meaningful and fulfilled life. How many times do we respond when asked how we are doing by saying, “I’ve been really busy” or “I’m very busy right now.” Maybe we should consider adding new responses when asked how we are doing.
- Trying to do everything yourself. No one has ever accomplished anything of significance or importance on their own. They’ve all had help whether it was from their family, friends, colleagues or team. Not only is it not an intelligent strategy to try and do everything ourselves, it is physically tiring and mentally exhausting, which makes it challenging to be at our best consistently. It is important that we are able to reach out and ask for help when required rather than continuing to struggle to do everything on our own.
- Pursuing success for recognition, fame and fortune. There is nothing wrong with pursuing success because in the process of getting to where we want to go, we will gain more awareness, knowledge, skills and develop new behaviours. The recognition, fame or fortune are by-products of achieving success for the right reasons. The need to serve, contribute, make a difference and live our purpose, I believe, should be what drives us to do what we do.
- Believing there is only one way to achieve something you want. We can get caught in the idea that there is a set formula or perfect plan that will help us achieve what we want. Having such a belief can cause us to miss opportunities that may be around us, which in turn, may extend how long it takes to achieve what we want. If we adopt the belief that there isn’t an “only way” to achieve something, it will allow us to be more open to new ideas, which could lead us to what we want a lot easier and faster.
- Taking things too seriously or personally. I believe that if we can’t have a laugh, especially at ourselves, then we are missing a big part of what life is about. If we are constantly working and not allowing ourselves to have some fun and enjoy what we have accomplished, then what is the point of having all that success? Also, if we are going to allow ourselves to get upset by other people’s opinions or comments, then we’ll constantly be watching what we do and trying to get approval or validation from others. As mentioned earlier, that is not an intelligent strategy. It’s time to loosen up and have some fun.
Letting go of things we’ve been hanging onto for a long time can be challenging. The longer we hang on to them, the more difficult it will be for us to have new experiences in life. If we can make a decision to start letting go of these things which may be inhibiting our progress in life, we will feel so much better about ourselves. And it can start with letting go of one thing.
Question: What is another thing we should consider letting go in order to have a better life?
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