CE Insight: Knowing When To Let Go
At some time or another we face the question of having to let go of something, someone, a job, or something we have spent a lot of time on - and it can be really tough.
Today I want to talk a bit about letting go, and discuss the value of exploring these tough questions from a grounded place within our body.
I've recently been faced with this question multiple times over the last couple years. And I have had to make some tough decisions along the way.
I faced questions like:
Is this project I have stopping me from feeling well?
Is it giving me the opportunity to grow?
Or is it a lost cause and keeping me stuck?
I wrestled with these questions from my mind at times, only thinking about my decisions. From this lens, a cognitive bias can enter called sunk cost fallacy.
This essentially causes us to continue pushing down a certain path simply because of the amount of time or resources we have put into it.
Because we have invested a lot, we choose to keep going, even if it's killing us or is a lost cause.
We may do this with relationships, projects, businesses - almost anything in life.
And while sometimes it's harmless, other times it can feel like a weight.
For me, it's the times where it feels like a weight that are important to reflect on. Ignoring these situations can lead to going in circles and a lack of wellness.
Here are some things to consider when facing questions about letting go.
1. Face Reality
When we resist facing the reality of our situation, it can be a lot more energetically draining and painful than accepting it.
For me, I was in a situation where the industry my business was in was completely stacked up and rigged against me, yet I kept trying to fight and push thinking things would work out simply because we did it for so long and that what we were doing was 'right.'
I felt what was happening was unfair not because of victimization but because I felt hurt in facing the idea that I had to, in some ways, let go of what I spent 13 years building.
But continuing along without facing these realities was causing me a great deal of stress.
So I took a step back, and began looking deeper.
I prioritized my wellness and asked "how would my business have to change to focus on wellness vs. just letting the problem dictate how I felt for another 5 or 10 years.
It was 3 years ago that I made that decision, and things have gotten better every year since. And I've gotten VERY clear on what to let go of along the way.
Observation: Simply because we have the best intentions and are doing what we think is the right thing, doesn't always mean 'the universe will give us what's in our mind.'
Our world can be a messy place, and it's important to recognize when it's time to adjust our path.
To do that, sometimes we have to stop, look at the reality of our situation and ask whether it's truly good for us or whether we're just comfortable in the pain.
Tip: Take some time to truly reflect on something you are thinking about letting go of or changing.
Journal out different scenarios associated with your situations, and really try to feel or imagine what each scenario would be like.
Part of what stops us from letting go is we don't believe or make space for anything else to be possible.
Give yourself some time to imagine, dream, and see what comes up. Connect with the possibility of those realities.
When I ask people "how do you know you like something?"
Most of the time they smile, touch their belly or open up their arms. Their eyes and face soften and they blurt out words like "I feel excited or I feel warm or I feel energy."
People often look to their body (somatic self) and its sensations and feelings when reflecting on what we like. This also works with what we don't like.
I had lost touch with my body in 2017 after years of continual stress.
In 2020, I began focusing a lot on nervous system health and somatic work. So much so that I began training as a practitioner.
Getting in tune with my body and system, and building daily consciousness around them, was a powerful way to start getting clearer on how I felt.
It also began to give me the energy and capacity to make changes.
When we're faced with uncertainty around direction, and are dealing with stress, it's harder to think clearly and listen to our gut (or intuition.)
This is because physiologically parts of our brain turn off, and our ability to listen to our heart's intelligence becomes deeply hindered.
We then might interpret our body's stress responses or anxiety as 'intuition.'
The cycle of confusion continues.
The remedy to this is to slow down, focus on embodiment, and prioritize nervous system regulation.
As we tune more deeply into our body, we can get a better sense of how we truly feel. In our minds we might think something is OK, but after attuning to our body we realize we feel stuck, tense, twisted, or anxious about our situation.
Our body will often tell more of the story.
In my journey, creating a simple, titrated daily practice gave me the capacity to think and feel clearly again, and good decisions followed.
It also gave me clarity on the stored stress and emotions that were stuck in my body.
Combining the ability to imagine new possibilities with a deep sense of feeling our body can really bring clarity on how we feel about something.
Tip: I shared with you several weeks ago one technique to help you be more present and embodied. It can work well here.
To take the practice of embodiment a little deeper, check out my free my 5 Days of You Challenge. It's a simple journey towards greater clarity, embodiment and nervous system regulation.
In the end, it's common for us to take our situations very seriously and we can forget to take a breath and slow down.
Embrace life as a journey. Explore new ideas, paths, and opportunities, even if that means having to let go sometimes.
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