“If you want to fly in the sky, you need to leave the earth. If you want to move forward, you need to let go the past that drags you down.”-
Can you remember the first time you learnt to ride a bicycle?
I was around four years old. My dad would take me out in the street and show me how to pedal, steer and apply the brakes.
Luckily, at that time I always had the added comfort of having training balance wheels so I always felt a kind of reassurance and confidence in my efforts.
However, there came a time when I eventually had to take away that support and take my efforts to the next level.
To keep me safe my dad ran behind me holding the seat urging me on. This gave me a sense of safety knowing he was still there. It allowed me to overcome any fear.
Over time, as my confidence grew, he started to let go that little bit more.
Until one day, when I felt like I was flying, I glanced back for that reassuring hand of safety but it was gone.
That day marked an important milestone.
It wasn’t my dad that let go. It was me.
I had let go of:
- My fear of falling
- My need for support
- My doubts
- My limiting beliefs
What can we learn from this example?
Trust allows us freedom to move
This simple example shows how we all can learn to find that much needed balance in life to allow ourselves to find that inner confidence to move forward.
It relies on letting go of our fears, desires, habits and routines and trusting in ourselves in the present moment.
- Trust that we can ride a bike without the support of balance wheels.
- Trust that we can build a career without fear.
- Trust that we can live a life without resentment and complaint.
By letting go of our uncertainties or doubts we find balance and learn a great lesson.
In order for us to get somewhere, we have to be somewhere in the first place.
What does that mean?
You can’t get somewhere unless you are somewhere in the first place.
Generally, as humans we are always future focused. We stress and worry about what will be. We become consumed with an anxiety around whether we will reach a perceived destination or desired outcome. The prize. The reward.
Being off balanced in this way- focusing on getting somewhere- can make us feel restless and concerned. We may be motivated by the challenge; however we are cautious and feel uneasy.
Will the presentation go well tomorrow?
Will I get the promotion I desperately want?
The pressure of succeeding, measuring up, responding to demands, or getting somewhere in life can keep us living in a constant state of anticipation.
It robs us of any sense of well-being. It makes life seem like a huge burden.
Thinking of the future limit us
Ironically, focusing too much on the future may not help us achieve our goals as much as we think.
When our efforts become solely focused on getting somewhere, we become limited in our thinking and what we can achieve.
Sometimes we need to take the time to look beneath the surface of a situation. The best way to achieve this is by firstly learning to let go of the impulse to keep speeding up.
The key is learning to be 100% fully present where we are.
Letting go requires us to relax and open up into the present situation with no fixed ideas or biases.
It asks that we trust ourselves enough to loosen our hold on whatever is familiar and comfortable.
By letting go we postpone the story lines and habits that we typically tell ourselves. We simply become available to our circumstances in that present moment.
Letting go is vital in life
“Letting go” might sound to some like some kind of hyped spacing out.
We are all busy people striving to be our best. We have ever increasing “to do” lists. Letting go may seem counter intuitive in a fast paced world.
However, in reality letting go in the work place is much more than just taking time out to smell the roses.
There are professions where letting go of preconceptions and being fully present to what is happening is vital.
Consider air traffic controllers or fire-fighters or emergency medical responders.
Cultivating our ability to let go is essential to whatever kind of work we do if we want to reach our full potential.
All of us have the ability to say or do the right thing in the given moment.
How can we cultivate the ability to let go?
Mindfulness offers a great easy way how to learn to let go.
This ability to “let go” is cultivated through the art of meditation.
We attempt to get somewhere by letting go of our constant verbal rehearsals and being fully with our situation as it unfolds.
We learn we can ride the present moment without the support wheels of story lines and preconceptions.
In meditation we simply let go of our internal chatter over and over again.
Over time we discover a balance to our efforts that is lively yet effortless, simple yet demanding.
As we begin to practice regularly, we see that letting go happens quite simply in our lives.
We may be rushing to work on the train or bus preoccupied with thinking about the day ahead. You may be thinking about reports, meetings or presentations then suddenly you become aware of the people around you.
In that moment we let go of the internal dialogue and find ourselves fully present to the here and now.
Over time we begin to make friends with this simple ability to let go.
When we let go and become available in life we are engaging in a wider perspective.
Irritations in life become a reminder to be more present and pay attention.
In letting go we are simply balancing the effort to get somewhere with that of being where we are completely.
All we have to do is notice.
Do you find it easy in life to let go or is it a challenge?
Share your thoughts or contact me if you need help.