Knowing When To Let Go

I have often come across affirmations that say, “Never give up”, “Believe in yourself”, “Keep on moving forward”. These are great affirmations but I believe there are also times to let go.

I had my ‘letting go” moment this year. With the success of the RISE Conference I had lots of plans to expand on my achievement. I had an action plan and I allocated time to research the best possible contacts for support.

During the period of strategic planning, I engaged with many organisations and individuals to make my dream a reality. Some had given immediate confirmation that they where on board others took a while to say yes.  I had meetings, telephone conversations to discuss my strategy. All was going well.

As time drew closer my calls became more regular as did my emails to those organisations and individuals to clarify what their contributions would be. It soon dawned on me that those organisations and individuals were not working at the pace that I expected which would enable me to have the outcome that I was looking for. Frustration started setting in, I became tense and extremely agitated.

Through this period I had many conversations with colleagues family members who tried to assure me that all would be well. I thought this also because I knew I had done due diligence and scoped out what was required. Those who had committed to supporting me just had to hold up there end of the bargain. It was then I realised that all my plans depended on their actions and I had no control over their behaviours.   There saying that you can’t measure people with the same standards you hold because you are likely to be disappointed. This became a distinct reality.

I had reached a point that I was starting to feel very stressed about what was happening, it was then I decided to let go of my ambitions plans and give myself time to accept that no amount of pushing would turn things around, it would be better to exhale and give my mind time to think about what was really important to me. Maybe my destiny wasn’t were I thought it should be, maybe I should be preparing myself for something more. I gave my self permission to let go! Once I went with this approach and accepted what is I began working on other opportunities.

I know this article will resinate with some of you because I know this feeling isn’t unique to me. For those of you that are afraid to let go, think about why you want to hold on. You may surprise yourself and recognise that the pressure you are currently under need not be something you have to suffer. There is great mileage in regrouping to set out new goals or improve old ones. When obstacles are in your way, you do not have to steam roll over them.

I am not sure how many of you are familiar with Kurt Lewin’s Freeze Unfreeze model. This is often used during change management programmes. It encourages us to review the current state of of an organisation, unfreeze and make changes that are necessary then refreeze. This can be done on an individual basis. Letting go and regrouping is in essence the same approach.

Give yourself permission to let go and take the opportunity to regroup. Change direction if necessary or approach your current project in a different way to get the best out of what you are trying to do and also get the best out of yourself.

You haven’t failed just because you have decided to let go what you have done is allow yourself to become stronger and to better position yourself for the success that is to come. “Never Give Up”, “Believe In Yourself”, “Keep On Moving On”  but add to this “Letting Go” when necessary.