The Liberating Power of Letting Go

It is curious to notice what we often choose to hold on to and what we choose to let go. Neuroscientists describe the brain’s negativity bias, we dwell on negative feedback and tend to dismiss the positive. Negative people push our buttons, hijack our lives or throw us off our game. We hold grudges, resentments, past hurts and regrets. We hold on to fixed and rigid thinking, sometimes digging in our heels to defend adamant, legalistic hard line positions. We may have some limiting beliefs that perhaps once served us well, but now may be holding us back from being our best. We hold and carry heavy protective armor that enables us to hide and keeps others from seeing who we are.

It’s hard to let go, but that’s where the growth happens. I’ve sometimes struggled with letting go, saying goodbye and emotionally disengaging from being laid off from former employers and processing rejection from past relationships. EVERY time I have experienced deep loss, despair, or disappointment, and desperately tried to hold on to something and pressed, I can look back and see clearly in hindsight that it was not a right fit. It is encouraging also that EVERY time I let go I’ve eventually found something better. I have been led to explore new paths, discover new vistas, open doors, meet new people and build new relationships I never would have seen otherwise.

When we let go, we create space. Letting go is a liberating act that opens us to receive and let come. We open to the present, noticing beauty and miracles, smelling the roses, expressing gratitude and experiencing joy all around us. Letting go leads to clarity, and clarity leads to new insight. We clear a new pathway for little shafts of new light to flow in that can lead to larger breakthroughs and open floodgates of growth and discovery.

Letting go is not the same as giving up. We do not give up on anyone, including ourselves. But grasping, clinging, or when holding on too tightly is forced, “connection” is not really connection at all. We can learn to love differently. We can still love, deeply, without attachment, and without complete understanding.

We have choices about what behaviors and actions to cultivate and others to let go. We can choose courageousness, explore new paths and take some risks, and let go of staying in our comfort zones. Dr. Brené Brown shares some guideposts for wholehearted living in “The Gifts of Imperfection”. We can choose authenticity and letting go what other people think, not requiring approval or validation. We can choose to cultivate self-compassion over beating ourselves up and let go perfectionism. We can choose to notice and actively practice gratitude for our empathic supporters who are cheering and rooting for us, even when we stumble and fall in the arena, instead of giving our power away, getting hijacked or shrinking from negative critics lobbing shots at us from the cheap seats. We can choose intuition and trusting faith, and let go our need for certainty about the unknown ahead.

What choices, behaviors and actions enable you to show up, be seen, live brave, and dare greatly in the arena? Are there opportunities for letting some things go in your life that are no longer serving you well and liberating yourself?

To learn more about the guideposts for wholehearted living, read Brené Brown’s books Rising Strong, Daring Greatly, and The Gifts of Imperfection, or come experience them applied in leadership in my Daring Leadership™ Orange County retreat September 18-20, 2015, or Daring Leadership™ San Diego October 23-25, 2015, a highly experiential methodology based on the research of Brené Brown to help leaders learn how to show up, be seen, and live braver lives.

For additional information: http://www.randynoe.com/about-the-daring-way/

To RSVP Daring Leadership™ Orange County retreat September 18-20, 2015:
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/daring-leadershiptm-orange-county-tickets-17883662516?aff=es2

Daring Leadership™ San Diego retreat October 23-25, 2015:
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/daring-leadershiptm-san-diego-tickets-17884076755?aff=es2

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