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Why Letting Go is Hard

Posted Dec 14 2010 5:04pm

I had a conversation with a friend/colleague recently about the concept of “letting go”.  I’ve written about it in the past and think about it quite often.  For the past few months, if not most of 2010, I’ve been in a process of letting go, shedding a layer, peeling back the onion.

And while each time feels easier, it’s never easy.  Letting go requires a lot of confidence, support and a willingness to not only let go of activities or people, but also to let go of control.

Below is a short list my friend and I came up with about why letting go is hard.

  • You may be letting go of what other people expect in order to listen to your inner voice
  • You are entering new territory and need to build your skills
  • You are entering an unknown entity and you are unsure of the outcome
  • You are growing, possibly more than your friends/family
  • You need to re-brand yourself
  • You set yourself up for criticism from others (which, when ill-hearted, typically stems from fear, lack of knowledge or the like)
  • You set yourself up for success

I spent a lot of time over the past five years trying to identify my place in the world of work.  While I haven’t ventured far from wellness, I have tried a variety of delivery methods.  Some were confused and stressed by my exploration, but it made sense to me.  Letting go of what doesn’t serve me well makes room for what does.

In order to let go I needed to build my confidence (through exercise, yoga, meditation), create support networks that provided a safe place to grow, and manage the stress that often follows evolution.

No matter how hard it may be, letting go of what someone else believes in order to make room for what you believe, that is feel good living.

What about you?  Have you gone through a process of letting go?  Was it hard?  What would you add to the list?

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