Let Go and Trust
image courtesy of endlessorigami.com
My inner GPS has decided to take over scheduling my life, and it’s been a fascinating thing to watch.
I recently transitioned into full-time self-employment, and a coach friend suggested I plan out my days to ensure I get stuff done. Normally, that’d sound like heaven to my schedule-loving, list-obsessed self, but before she even finished the sentence, I knew it wasn’t right for me.
Very quickly, I discovered that I can sketch out an idea of what I want to get done during the week, but attempting to delegate tasks to certain days feels like I’m trying to run directly into hurricane-force winds. It’s too freaking hard, and, of course, goes totally against my easy experiment.
So instead of planning, I’m trusting: trusting my inner GPS to guide me, trusting that everything that needs to get done will, trusting that when something I’d tried to plan changes, it’s because something else—maybe even something better—is coming my way instead.
As for things that really do have to be scheduled, like doctor appointments or deadlines for projects, they still fit perfectly in to this way of living. How? Because these are things I’m choosing to do for myself because they feel right, plus I know that everything else in my life can be flexible. So the scheduling (and the doing) does still happen, but with the added bonus that there’s less stress around it all.
Letting go and trusting the process really does take the pressure off. I still get disappointed something didn’t work out or have moments of regret that I didn’t get something done, but those feelings tend to pass pretty quickly. More often than not, I’m living in a state of curiosity about why things happened the way it did, where this is going, and what exciting things are coming my way. It’s actually pretty damn fun living this way.
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At this point you very well may be thinking something along the lines of, “But I can’t live like this because I have a job/have to take care of my family/need to constantly keep my eye on my Ebay auctions.” Trust me, I totally get it. I’ve spent the vast majority of my life being told where I needed to be and when, so I never take this opportunity or this freedom for granted.
This is just where my inner GPS has led me, and, ultimately, that’s what this post is about—letting go, being led, and allowing what wants to happen just happen. In my case, I was led to stop trying to control of my life, to stop giving other people permission to control it, and instead to Trust with a capital “T.”
Now, lest you think that one day I just casually switched from being an over-thinking super-scheduler to a feeling-my-way non-scheduler, I just want to say—Not. Even. Close.
While there were many wonderful, magical moments along my journey, it was also a scary, difficult and (at times) seemingly endless road littered with struggle and fear. I knew things were going to change, but I just couldn’t imagine how, even as I stuck with all my coaching training.
My brain was constantly firing off thoughts along the lines of “But what if [insert bad thing here] happens?” There was a strong inner battle between holding on and letting go. But, with help from fabulous coaches and my amazing holistic healthcare practitioner, I kept doing the internal work I needed to do and continued checking in with my inner GPS about which direction I should take.
Then one day, suddenly and unexpectedly, it was like a switch flipped. I knew without a doubt what I needed to do, and I felt calm, clear, and completely confident about the big leap of faith I knew I needed to take. The excitement overtook the nerves, and the “what ifs” went from scary images of my future to truly amazing possibilities of where this life will lead me.
So if you’re struggling, I’ve been there. I know how crappy it can feel to be in it, and I know how incredible it can feel to be on the other side of it. I promise you that even when it seems like you’re not making progress, you are; the steps you’re taking, no matter how small, really will all add up.
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Sometimes we all need a little help to keep moving forward, so if that’s where you are these days, here’s an easy turtle step you can take: email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your free 30-minute consultation.
(And yes, I did say “schedule.” In this case, it’s totally worth it, because I can’t imagine anything better than filling my days with helping awesome people like you create better lives.)
Finding the Light
We all know the saying "there’s light at the end of the tunnel." But what if I were to tell you there’s light wherever you are in the tunnel? Well, there is, and there's a really quick and simple way to find it and make whatever you’re going through a little easier.
To get started, let’s look at some examples of less-than-ideal situations you might be dealing with:
- You spilled your coffee all over your desk.
- You’ve got the stomach bug from hell.
- Your boss makes you stay late for the 17th day in a row.
All varying degrees of frustration and misery with no upside, right? Wrong!
Now, I’m going to suggest something that might make you want to punch me in the face, but please resist the urge for physical violence and just ask yourself this question:
“What’s perfect about this?”
Because in 99% of situations, you’re going to find at least one good thing. (Yes, even you cynics out there will be able to find something!) Proof?
- Spilling that coffee ensures you’ll clean your desk. It also ensures your office will smell delicious.
- Most of us don’t make time to rest and take care of ourselves, so guess what? Now the time has been set aside for you!
- This could be the last straw—now you KNOW it's time to find a new and better job!
By identifying something good about an otherwise crappy situation, you alter your perspective of what’s going on, which then positively affects your emotions, helps clear your head a little, and can even empower you to take steps towards a better life. All by just asking that one little question!
Now I’m sure you’ve got some more serious examples jumping to your mind—situations where you’re sure this question just wouldn’t work. Trust me, my brain’s coming up with some doozies as I write this! But in my heart, I really do believe something good can come out of even the most awful situations. New, supportive relationships are formed. Better laws are enacted. Leaders emerge.
To that end, sometimes you really can only see the good once you’re looking back at the situation. If you’ve tried and tried but can’t find what’s perfect in the present moment, imagine something good that might happen in the future thanks to what you’re going through. Just doing a little daydreaming can help change how you experience your present sucky situation, bringing you less stress and more optimism. And, seriously, who doesn’t want that?
And if you’re up for a little more than just imagining, take some turtle steps towards making that daydream a reality—slow and steady wins the race! And even if you take the teeniest tiniest step you could possibly take, you’ll be able you ask yourself “What’s perfect about this?” and have an answer: “This situation is inspiring me to take action towards getting the better life I deserve.”
And voila! No more waiting until the end of the tunnel for that light.
Rejected? It Really is All Good
“So You Think You Can Dance” is back for season 12. As usual, there are some blow-your-mind dancers, and, as usual, many of those incredibly talented people are getting sent home.
It’s not that these particular dancers aren’t ridiculously good at what they do, it’s just that their skill set isn’t right for this particular season of this particular show. Maybe they can’t follow choreography. Maybe they can’t do other styles of dance.
Whatever the reason, even as they’re being rejected, they’ve had a great opportunity to be reminded of what they’re good at, discover where they can grow, and become more aware of what just doesn’t work for them.
This means that even if they’re feeling upset, disappointed, and/or angry at the moment—all completely understandable given the circumstances—ultimately, it’s all good.
Once they work through their emotions, they’ll be clearer on which direction to go in next. Train more and try again? Look for other opportunities that better fit their current skill sets? Take a break and do some soul searching?
Regardless of what they choose, they’ll be taking steps that will help them get closer to making their dreams a reality. They’ll see that their rejection from the show isn’t life’s way of saying “No, never” to their dreams, just “Not here. Not now. Not yet.”
All they can do—all any of us can do in our own versions of this experience—is learn from it and keep going.
Their paths may be different what they initially imagined. They may even find that their dreams completely change as time goes on. But as they let go, trust the process, and follow their hearts, they’ll see that everything really does work out exactly as it should.