Knowing when to let go
QUITE often in life we find ourselves in situations we swore could never happen to us. These situations can tear us up, weaken our confidence and trust in people, and even our own selves. So it is important that we know when to let go of anyone or anything with the potential to cause harm.
Businesses are quite familiar with the concept of knowing when to let go. They practise it all the time. When a product is no longer profitable or a deal has gone bad and cannot be revived, they terminate the agreement because business owners do what’s best for their businesses to remain viable. The same concept should apply to our personal lives — our relationships with our friends and partners.
Here are some tips for letting go:
1. Make acceptance an immediate priority. Dealing with a bad situation can be a lot like dealing with grief and people often go through the same stages — shock and denial, pain and guilt, anger and bargaining, and so on. You might not be able to fully squelch your emotions, but you can decide to accept what happened, regardless of how you feel about it. The sooner you accept it, the sooner you can act from where you are which is the only way to change how you feel.
2. Remove ‘fair’ from your vocabulary. As kids we’re all about fair. “She took my dolly, it’s not fair.” “You said you’d buy me a new bike, it’s not fair!” “I had that crayon first, it’s not fair.” You’d think we’d learn early on that life isn’t fair, but instead we cling to how we think things should be. Hard work should be rewarded. Kindness should be reciprocated. When things don’t work out that way, we feel angry at the world and bad for ourselves. Feeling outraged about life’s injustices won’t change the fact that things are often random and beyond your control. When you start going on an ‘unfair’ spiral, remind yourself, “It is what it is.”
3. Focus on the life lesson. Believe it or not, everyone you meet is here to teach you a lesson. In this way, you’ll see someone who annoys or frustrates you as an opportunity to work on your patience. This same mindset can help improve the way you interpret and respond to events in your life. If you lost your job, perhaps the life lesson is to determine your true purpose. If your relationship falls apart, the life lesson may be to become more independent. Focusing on the lesson allows you to work on positive change, which will make you feel empowered instead of deflated.
4. Question whether it’s as big a problem as it seems. We often turn minor upsets into huge catastrophes in our minds. Some things are challenging like losing your job, your home, or worse, someone you love. But most situations can be solved. Sometimes they’re even blessings in disguise.
5. Make ‘get strong’ mantras. Make up one that suits your situation or Google some, there are many out there. Example, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!’
6. Remember you can continue from this new place. It’s easy to get attached to the road you’re on, especially if it makes you happy. When something or someone throws you off, you may feel disconnected from who you want to be or what you want to do in life. It may help to remember a hurdle doesn’t have to obliterate your plans. Even if you lose your job, you can still pursue your professional goals and maybe even more efficiently. There is always more than one way to skin a cat. The sooner you focus on finding a new way, the sooner you’ll turn a bad thing good.
7. Ask yourself how someone you respect would handle the situation. This may sound silly but it works. Ask yourself how someone with integrity would handle the situation. They would more than likely identify everything they’d learned from the experience, and move on to the next goal with their head held high.
With any problem you face, a proper analysis of the situation should be done to see what went wrong. Look at the lessons to be learnt from it, see if it can be fixed, if not let go, it was never meant to be, it was merely a learning experience. It is important for you to know who you are as a person and what you are about. Stay focused, savvy chicks!
Shakira Thomas is the director at www.caribbeanchick.com - The Source For Savvy Chicks.