We all have memories, thoughts, experiences, beliefs, and habits that, although limiting to our progress, are hard to let go of. We may not even be aware of their existence or just how constraining they are.
In order to accomplish all that you want, you must learn to let go of those elements which inhibit you. When you hold onto something over an extended period of time, the tendency is to give it credibility just because of its longevity.
Jan was thin and awkward looking when she was in elementary school and through most of high school. She was very self-conscious and shy. Jan watched as other more attractive girls were more popular and had many friends.
In college, Jan got involved in sports. Her body filled out while her coordination greatly improved. Today, Jan is in her early 30’s. She is attractive and confident looking. Yet the memories of her school days still affect her. Jan is very shy, fearing people won’t be attracted to her as in the past.
Jan’s memories of the past have become her current reality. She sees herself as she used to be, not as she is. Jan won’t let go of her school recollections. As a result, Jan finds it hard to meet people because she avoids situations where she may be rejected.
Kathy has worked for the same company, in the same position, for the past ten years. She is a great employee with lots of potential. Her boss is afraid of being upstaged by Kathy. Each year, at her annual review, he gives Kathy only a mediocre report. As a result, Kathy has never received a promotion.
Kathy considers the experience with her boss an indication of her lack of promotability. Kathy now feels she will never get a promotion because she isn’t good enough. Kathy has to let go of the experience with her boss and either move to another department with her current employer or find another job where she will be more appreciated.
Ed’s parents repeatedly told him he wouldn’t amount to much. They told Ed the world was a tough place which was very unforgiving. His parents made Ed feel as if he didn’t have much chance of success. Now, an adult, Ed realizes his parents were wrong in their assessment of him. Nevertheless, he blames his parents for his failure to reach his goals. Ed believes his parents’ influence has prevented him from attaining his dreams.
So long as Ed continues to believe he has been limited by what his parents told him, he will be. Until Ed lets go of his parents’ influence, he will continue to subconsciously sabotage his future, thus meeting his parents low expectations.
Examine your life to determine what limitations you have been hanging on to. Everyone has something, so there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Start with one of the issues you discover and practice letting go. You can do this by replacing the thoughts or behavior with ones that are more positive.
Learning to let go becomes easier with practice. You are never too old and it’s never too late for you to get started.
NOW AVAILABLE: “Dare to Live Without Limits,” the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or write him c/o this paper.
© Bryan Golden