How To Know When To Let Go
We may even find ourselves hanging on for dear life!
For better or for worse, we like to stay in our comfort zone where we know the terrain and can essentially predict what tomorrow will bring.
Something interesting though - when we get really honest with ourselves, we can recognize there is quite a bit of discomfort in our comfort but that takes some brutal honesty.
So if you've been feeling a bit off - maybe irritated or unsettled or you feel called to make a change in your life but are confused about your next step, I have 5 questions you can ask yourself to help you get clear on when to let go.
Whether you are deciding to stay in or leave your job, start a business or pivot an existing one, these questions will help you get clearer on what to do.
I saw this quote on a BMW commercial of all places,
“Sometimes you have to unfollow your old dreams, to make new ones.”
I know for me, I've definitely had to do a lot of unfollowing to create and live the new dreams I have today.
When I was in the corporate life, there came a time when I started feeling nauseous on the drive to work and it grew worse the closer I got to the building.
That's a pretty clear sign I had gone way past the best time to let go.
I have many clients who share this experience too. They say the tipping point for them was when they started to feel sick either thinking about work, being at work or driving to it.
And I truly believe there's a way to let go that doesn't include allowing it to get so painful. Or, you may just be feeling "off" right now. That's usually where it begins.
Most of us put off these big, difficult decisions because the truth is, there's a lot at stake.
And sometimes it's hard to know when it's that right time but here's something you can count on... Your body will tell you first.
You can feel it in your bones but the challenge is, we don't always trust that feeling.
Or we are concerned what other people may think.
It can be scary to change our lives and break away from the comfort of what we know, to see what we are capable of yet we crave the challenge of seeing where our limits truly are.
We want to be more of who we are. That's why you're here.
You like to grow. You want to grow.
I talk with women every day who are feeling that intense thirst but they feel stuck. Day-after-day goes by, and nothing changes.
There's nothing more frustrating than that.
When we delay the bigger decisions long after we've outgrown where we are, we suffer and the more time passes, the more painful it gets.
We procrastinate because we think that letting go requires a huge leap and that scares the beegeebies out of us and the fears come rolling in!
It really can feel like survival when actually, it isn't.
What if you didn't have to take a big leap right now today anyway?
What if you took just a baby step or two?
I call those baby leaps.
Every great journey is only ever taken one step at a time.
The first step is, a simple decision to let go.
This usually means releasing the attachment we feel before we make any big moves or take big action.
Once we allow ourselves the option to let go, we are free to entertain other possibilities. Because until that point, our options are pretty limited. We are not seeing very far, but here's the fun part...
When we release the attachment, those other choices begin to “magically” appear because we are now open to seeing them.
Quick story - I searched many years for a mentor to show me how to get out of corporate and start a business like this but none appeared (or at least I never saw them) until I decided to leave. It was as though I was blind to seeing the answers, until that moment of decision.
I had no idea what I would do or how I would do it. I had no clue where to begin but I knew I needed to leave that life and start a new one. It began as a subtle shift within me that the universe clearly heard loud and clear because one very lonely night at the office I did a random online search for something unrelated to looking for business coaching and my first Business Coach popped up at the top of my search.
I was actually searching on how to get certified as a coach even though I was already a Franklin Covey Certified Coach.
I was looking for even more certifications and training which is often just a sign that, we're afraid.
We are afraid to pull the trigger.
We are afraid we aren’t good enough.
We are afraid to be judged and criticized.
So we seek external evidence to help validate that we are in fact, good enough.
In my case, while searching for an additional certification, my first Business Coach showed up and she just happened to live about a mile and a half from me.
I saw it as a sign that maybe I was more ready than I thought to actually DO this thing.
So I reached out and my life has never been the same.
That’s what led me here and here's the thing...
It could have happened much faster because at that point I had been in a LOT of pain for far too many years - 10 years in fact. That sure is a lot of wasted time.
When we finally get honest with ourselves, let our guard down and trust the signs, that’s when we find ourselves getting closer to our dreams.
That's when we get light on our feet and a sense of true happiness comes in.
We begin to feel freer because we have more options in front of us than we were willing to see before and that's what creates a real sense of joy... allowing ourselves as many options as possible to choose from.
Life is only as good as we allow it to be.
So whether it’s giving yourself the option to leave a job (now or later), ending a project or replacing someone on your team, it's worth your attention because that is how we create freedom in our lives.
Otherwise we limp around in size 4 shoes when we are now clearly a size 6, and that's pretty painful.
The truth is, we know when it's time. We just allow our fears to get in the way and then wonder why we feel stuck, confused, tired, restless, or even embarrassed about where we are in life.
We need to move through things faster because whether it's physical or non-physical, what we're holding onto can act like an anchor in our lives.
The moment it feels even the slightest heavy, it's time to let go -
before it becomes a crushing weight.
Here are 5 great questions you can use to determine whether it's time.
This is about getting really honest with yourself. I've used this process to point me in the right direction, time and time again. It has led me to the incredibly fulfilling life
I have now and to be clear, I have not done this perfectly.
Not at all.
I have held on far too long to what I knew wasn't best for me. What I have improved on is, moving more quickly through the stuck points in my life.
And now it is much easier to let go faster, when I need to. That is what I want to help you with today, to process what you already know deep inside so you can make the best decisions possible and create a better life, business or career.
To start, think about an area of your life where you are feeling a great deal of tension and then answer these questions with this in mind:
1) When I get still and silent, what does my heart say it truly wants?
Some of you may have concerns about being selfish or you might minimize the importance of what you want but for now, this is simply an invitation to give yourself permission to explore what you truly want for your life and work.
No one else is living your life but you and the happier you are,
the more those around you are too.
Imagine if everyone were tuned in, completely fulfilled and living their Calling. This world would be a very different place.
I love this quote by Howard Thurman,
“Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
2) If I weren't afraid, what would I do?
This is a powerful question to ask yourself because most of us would make a very different decision if we set aside the fear. And here's what's really interesting, maybe even a little sobering...
If we would let go of this job, relationship, project, business – whatever it is… if we weren't afraid, then that means we're holding on because we are afraid.
And that says a lot about what's driving us, doesn't it?
So ask yourself, do I want to be a woman who makes decisions or doesn't make decisions, because I am afraid?
When I got really honest with myself and thought about this, I quickly realized I didn’t want to be a woman who was on the puppet strings of fear.
That was incredibly clear to me.
This is also where SoulFUEL® comes in because once you know your SoulFUEL®, your specific reason for being alive right now, you are much better equipped to override/manage/kick-to-the-curb your fear because you're acting from a much greater – much bigger - Vision.
It's your Calling and knowing exactly what that is - because it's bigger than just lil’ ole you, gives you the courage to take bigger actions and put fear in the back seat, because there's something much more significant at stake for you.
It's not just about you.
It's about the difference you are here to make in the world - with your clients, in your community and in your family.
Understanding that on the deepest level, will help to calm your fears.
3) If I weren't so concerned about what other people think, what would I do?
This can shed light into any people-pleasing tendencies. This can be particularly sensitive for women because we are often conditioned to be more concerned about what other people think, than what we think and when we are caught up in that, we are not coming from a place of leadership or personal power. We are coming from a not-good-enough place which drains your strength and courage, to do what you are meant to do.
This is the question that allowed me to let go of a very unhealthy relationship that looked perfect on the outside but was far from it on the inside.
When I answered this honestly, I broke off my engagement just a few weeks before the wedding after my entire family had booked flights and hotels and all the venues were paid for. I had to set aside the concern about what other people would think, and do what was right for me. After all, they weren’t marrying him. I was.
4) When I look back on this time in my life right now, if I don't do what I feel deep within I need to do, will I regret it?
Will you regret not at least trying? This question gave me the final push I needed to take the leap from corporate because I knew I would always regret not giving it my all.
When I was in my job, I was crazy envious of entrepreneurs who were doing what they loved. I watched them from the outside while they were traveling the world making a difference, and I got really tired of my own jealousy.
I finally decided to allow that jealousy to FUEL me and challenge me to do what they did because jealousy tells us a whole lot about what we really want.
I believe jealousy also tells you what you are capable of yourself because I don't believe you can be jealous of something you're not capable of yourself. It is often a sign that you know deep down this is something you could do or be and you are essentially kicking yourself, that you're not doing it.
Try allowing jealousy to inform you and see what that reveals.
5) When I followed this kind of intuitive nudge in the past, how did it work out?
The answer is usually, very well.
One of the best ways to grow self-trust, which leads to greater self-confidence and therefore, greater success is to reflect on the times when you followed your intuition and things worked out really well for you.
So take a glance back and find a time in your life when you had a feeling about something and chose to follow it, even though it may not have appeared logical or practical (often, it doesn’t!).
In fact, it may not have made any “sense” at all yet you heard that whisper. You followed it anyway and there was a fantastic result.
It can also be helpful to reflect on what happened when you didn't listen too.
I hope these questions help you to know when it’s time, to let go.
This could amount to a simple and quiet decision that you take steps toward today or at the very least, perhaps it's given you food for thought.
Anytime you make a transition in your life, it can also help to create mantras to build your confidence.
You can say things like, “I am clear. I know what I need to do.” or
“I am getting clearer every day.” or maybe try on, “I am choosing to walk forward in faith and trust and get the help and support I need to make this change in my life.”
You can also share with a friend you trust who will support you in making positive changes. If you do this today, you will reinforce that you are a powerful, decisive woman (or man) who is willing to make things happen and not just talk about it.
And remember, baby steps are fine. We're not talking about you quitting your job tomorrow or firing your assistant right this moment or separating from your partner tonight. Unless you know for sure it’s time!
This is just about being honest with yourself so you can begin building the bridge to your next, more beautiful chapter.
When you follow your intuitive wisdom, everything in your life gets better and only good things can come of that.
The greatest things in life require bigger leaps of faith.
What came up for you with these questions? I’d LOVE to hear from you in the comments below. And please also share this with a friend you know who needs this message today. Thank you for sharing the love.