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Posts Tagged ‘letting go’

Well, here we are at the last day of 2011. I hope its been a good year for you and that next year is even better.

As always at this time of year there’s loads of talk about New Years Resolutions with the usual miserable buggers saying “what’s the point?” – well with that attitude, that’s a really good question!

But the thing about New Years Resolutions is that you can’t expect to succeed at them without moving something out of your life to make room for the new.

My grandmother used to always have a huge clear out at the end of the year, she used to say she had to make space for the New Year to come in and I think that’s a great idea.

So your task for the last day of the year is to think about what it is in your life that is not required for 2012 and to make a plan for clearing it out. It can be physical stuff – I’m looking at my over cluttered wardrobe right now! Or it can be mental stuff. What or who is there in your life that is not serving you? It might not actually be holding you back, but its not helping you move forward. And if its not helping you then its got to go!

There’s a wonderful quote from William Morris – “have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful” – I think that’s a pretty good philosophy for life too!

Happy Hogmanay!

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One of my favourite quotes is “anything worth doing well is worth doing badly at first”.

Think about it, any really important thing you have ever done in your life, you probably weren’t that great at to start with. From walking to talking to drawing and painting when we were little kids we were allowed to make a big mess, fall over lots and even use totally the wrong words and no one thought it was a big deal. Well apart from the time that I announced to my Sunday School teacher that our new Old English Sheepdog puppy was a Durex Dog – that took a bit of explaining from my mother although it wasn’t until many, many years later than I learned how wrong I had been – at the time there was a dog on TV used to advertise Dulux paint and another dog used to advertise Andrex toilet paper – you figure it out!

So when did it stop being OK to mess up? We only learn when we’re messing up. When we get things right its because we’ve done all the learning needed here and its time to move on up! And if you got it right the first time it was probably because you didn’t set a challenging enough goal. And here’s the great thing about messing up – not only do you get all the fantastic learning – but you get some really good stories too.

Here’s another favourite quote:

Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.

 

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I love this video! I hope it makes you smile like it does me:

Remember – you are always perfect when you are being you!

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We all have the same 24 hours in a day and at the moment, until someone perfects a time machine,  we all use all of them every day. We don’t get a refund if we use some of those hours in a less than productive way, and its not as if we can keep them in the bank and save them for when we need them. In fact the whole concept of “saving time” is deeply flawed!

So if you want to introduce something new into your life, whether its new goals or new activities, the one absolute certainty is that something old is going to have to move out. And if you don’t consciously move it out then one of two things has to happen – either something else will move to accommodate the new activity but it won’t be something of your choice, or the new activity will not take hold and your new goals will not be achieved.

Think of it this way. Imagine you decide that you need to lose weight and you decide to introduce a great new healthy eating programme into your life. But you don’t change your existing eating habits at all. So you’re eating all this good healthy stuff, but at the same time continuing to eat all old old rubbish that was making you fat. What do you think the result would be? Do you think adding in the healthy eating programme would help you lose weight or make you feel better?

It might seem obvious when applied to diets but time and again I see people doing the same thing with other goals and they wonder why they don’t get the results they know they deserve.

Often letting go of things is scary, but it has to be done. What do you have to let go of in your life to allow new results to come in?

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We’ve had kind of a sad evening tonight saying goodbye to good friends who are leaving Dubai for ever to go and start a new life in Thailand. But while it will be really sad to not have them living ten minutes from us, there are so many ways that technology today makes it so easy to maintain long distance friendships. We’ve got Facebook and Skype and sms and email so the great thing is we are not really losing friends – we are gaining a destination!

I’ve noticed that many people like to criticise technology and say it gets in the way of people having proper relationships. But I have to say in my experience the reverse is true. I get to have face to face conversations when ever I like with friends and family all over the world. We can make quick connections on Facebook or long conversations on Skype, or just drop them an instant message to say we’re thinking about them. Its up to us. We can share experiences at the click of a mouse and sometimes create wonderful friendships with people we have never physically met. We can create relationship which are based entirely on common interest and geography is irrelevant.

People who say technology gets in the way of human relationships are clearly just not doing it right!

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While letting go might be simple, we all know that its rarely easy. The theory is great, but the reality is that its a big change and the chances of waking up that Inner Reptile are very high. Letting go always means moving out of an old familiar comfort zone and you need to be prepared for the Inner Reptile to put up a fight!

So while its great to say “just do it”, the chances are if you try to “just do it” in one go, you won’t! You need a plan!

Firstly practice visualising what life will be like without the things that are holding you back. Get really clear on this vision, as always the more detail the better. And it really helps if you can make a vision board to help you hold on to this clarity when things get tough. When you put yourself under the stress of making big changes one of the first things that goes is your ability to see into the future, so having a clear and detailed vision will help you here.

If you can, practice letting go and then holding on again. Remember when you learned to swim or skate – the more you practiced letting go, the longer you found you could do it until eventually you didn’t need the support at all any more. Its not always possible, but if you can do this its a lot less stressful and the change is more likely to stick.

Start to spend more and more time with other people who are already where you want to be. Its a hard fact, but often letting go also means letting go of old friends and relationships and they will want to keep you where you are, not because they wish you ill, but because they don’t want to lose you. Make sure you have new relationships being built that will nurture the new you, otherwise its a bit lonely out there! You don’t always need to sever old connections completely but you do need to become very aware of when old relationships are dragging you backwards and be prepared to deal with them when the time is right.

Make sure when you let go you have something really positive to keep you moving forward. Otherwise the temptation will always be to slip back into old ways of being. Change is nearly always uncomfortable so be gentle with yourself. Recognise this is a process and that there may be times you feel like you’re going backwards. But staying conscious and focused on the reasons for letting go will help you get back on track quickly.

It might seem as if all these steps make the whole process really time consuming and tedious. But the truth is, taking lots and lots of small steps is almost always more productive and more permanent over the longer term than trying to make that one giant leap.

The question is, do you want results or do you want drama?

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How are you getting on with the letting go thing? Its not easy, so here’s some great music to help!

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