November 2016

Let Go!

In this season of giving thanks for what we cherish, it’s equally important to understand what and how to “let go”.  And letting go covers a lot of ground – whether it’s ego, work stress, being perfect, a past mistake, solving all problems, a miss-guided sense of responsibility, duty, or need to control.  It's not easy to actually recognize and then act on those areas that we need to “let go” of.

As we learn to let go, we create space for more.   It’s at the heart of my work with leaders.  In order to become more effective, it's important to learn to let go of habits, ideas or behaviors that are limiting.  Sometimes it happens almost naturally, and other times it’s a direct focus around the overall coaching goal.

Clearing a Path

Most importantly, learning to let go is not about giving in or giving up, or defeat.  Rather, it’s creating an open mind with confidence for the future.  It’s about learning, experiencing and growing.  It’s certainly about being thankful for the experiences of the past, but it is also about having the courage to accept change, and to clear the path to allow for continued growth.  Letting go doesn’t imply a lack of care, but rather a new wisdom in flexibility and expansion.

I’ve been working recently with two executives, each with different goals in very different work environments.  Both of them are committed to achieving their professional goals.  And both have discovered what they need to let go of in order to succeed.  It was a surprise to one, because she thought the coaching goals we were working on were an “add-on” to what she was already doing.  What I love about this work are the moments when I see leaders start to relax with the realization that what they were holding on to may be exactly what they need to let go of and it’s often a big relief.  That’s when the real exciting work begins.

The other leader desperately wants to become an inspiring executive, promoting important change and building a high performing, motivated team.  Yet he spends most of his time controlling, problem solving and inserting himself in meetings and activities at every level.   Releasing over-responsibility and the need to control has become a central coaching theme with this leader. 

If you’re wondering what may be important to “let go” of… see if any of these statements sound familiar:

  • I just got promoted, so I'll do even more of what I'm currently doing.
  • I have the best experience to solve many problems, and it will save time for my team if I just do it myself.
  • If I don't solve these problems, I may not be valued as highly.
  • My people don't always know what to do and they need me to tell them.
  • I need to keep a close check on everything with my team. If they fail, it will reflect badly on me.
  • If I stop trying to fix and change things, I may no longer be needed.
  • I have to feel that I'm in control of my area and my team.

If some of those statements sound like you, try this simple exercise.  Ask yourself “What do I need to let go of?”   Simply list those habits, and behaviors that slow you down and get in the way of you being the best you can be.  Then ask “How do I benefit from continuing to hold on?”  If you’re struggling with identifying a benefit ask yourself, “What do I gain by keeping hold of this?” If there is no benefit or gain, you have your answer.

Just listing what you need to let go of will raise your level of awareness and you’ll naturally begin to loosen your grip.

It's a great time of year to think about what you might like to leave behind in 2016 to make 2017 the best year ever!

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. -LaoTzu

Are you achieving the results you want?
The best leaders make simple shifts or practical changes for big results.  I work closely with leaders to create practical solutions to achieve real success. Let me help you discover what's possible. Visit my website for details.

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