Changes | How Learning to Let Go Creates Opportunities
If this post feels familiar it might be because it’s an update with substantial changes to the original from several years ago. Some topics beg to be revisited. This is one of them.
Every human has four endowments – self-awareness, conscience, independent will, and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change. Stephen Covey
We all face changes nearly daily. Some are big; many are little and insignificant. How you adjust to changes regardless of size often is the pivot point that separates happiness and gloom, and success versus stagnation.
Dealing with Change Needn’t Be Discomforting
A Harvard Business Review article on “How to Get Better at Dealing with Change” offers straightforward advice. It provides these quick pointers to help out:
Fortunately, there are ways to adapt to change, and even to take advantage of it.
- Find the humor in the situation. …
- Talk about problems more than feelings. …
- Don’t stress out about stressing out. …
- Focus on your values instead of your fears. …
- Accept the past, but fight for the future. …
- Don’t expect stability.
It goes on to tell you that stress can be a good thing — if you choose to see it that way. I agree.
We Each Respond Differently to Letting Go, Stress and Change
One person responds with an Alfred E Neuman-like “What Me Worry?” happy-go-lucky attitude. Yet another person experiencing the same thing bristles, gets angry or shrivels when unexpected things happen to them. I can’t change how you are or how you respond, but you can. Please reread the Stephen Covey quote at the top. He is right.
Letting go of the things that hold us back is never easy. Those things can be toxic people, old feelings of anger or resentment, or physical objects. They serve no purpose other than to take up space. Our attachment to these things is powerful.
Examine why you cling if you must. There’s a reason. When you know and accept it, then you can move to let it go. Sometimes you need help. The object is too heavy to lift, or the topic is too heavy to handle on your own. Never be afraid to ask for help.
Are Pain and Happiness Related?
I’ve written before about being happy. I think artists in pain sometimes make beautiful art from experience. Could Hank Williams have written, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” if he never plumbed the depths of lost love? When Elvis Presley sang it, he introduced the song saying, “I’d like to sing a song that’s… probably the saddest song I’ve ever heard.”
Still, I’d like to think that alongside the loneliness of Williams’ experience that he also experienced highs of happiness, too. Maybe, the only way to know real happiness is to have known sadness and sorrow first. We don’t always get to choose our circumstances—life’s not fair that way—but we still get to choose our reaction.
The Path We’ve Chosen
Today, I’m thinking about you and all my artist friends, and I’m thinking about me, too. We are each on a unique path to somewhere. Conditions may have dictated our direction to a degree. But, mostly, we’re where we are because of the choices we made.
You Can Make Changes. You Are Not Stuck!
If you are not happy with your given status, do you have a plan to make changes? Do you realize you are mostly stuck with the choices you made? Are you ready to embrace something new? You can change your thinking, change your paradigm, and change your life. You must decide you want to change and then commit to making it happen.
Letting Go Frees Your Mind and Opens Opportunities
I’m not saying every problem is solved by letting go. Some things are worth mending—worth fighting to fix. Only you know for sure. Still, other elements are the sort you cling to because it’s what you have done for years.
It might be you have so much clutter physically and emotionally that you are full. As such, you lack the time and energy to take on new things. Opportunity may be knocking hard on your door, and you don’t hear it and don’t open it. So, it moves on toward greener pastures.
You can try, but it never helps to regret your past losses. It just makes you feel worse about circumstances beyond your control. A better solution is to consider how to Kondoize, as in simplify, your life, or your career. If you feel stuck, it’s a sure bet that what fills you up is a barricade to new opportunities.
Letting Go Leads to Opportunity and Change
Although I can’t tell you how to learn to let go, I can tell you it works. Sometimes it takes difficult situations to force the issue. Other times it’s an enlightening moment from a friend, mentor, or total stranger that stirs action. I’ve seen how letting go of invalidated careers, unsubstantiated beliefs, or old ways of doing things leads to dramatic, unexpected life and career shifts.
I’ve witnessed enough to know when you are full of stuff of little value, your chances for life and career-changing opportunities are slim. That is the time to draw on your four endowments and move toward making the most of your life.
It Takes Courage to Make Changes
I’ll be here urging you on and rooting for you. Now is the best time to start making changes in your life and your career. Aim to move away from the mournful sadness of Hank Williams. Try going into the light of being and happiness espoused by the late, great Wayne Dyer. His Wishes Fulfilled PBS program was both powerful and poignant. Here’s a sample.
If want to accomplish something, you must first expect it of yourself. — Wayne Dyer
Let’s Hear from You!
Are you ready to make changes? Let us hear about them. Post your comments, questions, thoughts, fears, desires, or vision in the comments. I promise to reply and help you as I can.