I would classify myself as a risk taker who is always ready for the next adventure but I have a secret. I am not comfortable with change. Oh sure, eventually get into the spirit of change, spend time creating a plan and then launch myself into action but sometimes it takes a while to get with the program. The time it takes me to let go and adjust is in direct proportion to how big it is and how comfortable I was with the way things were.
I am getting better at it but it usually goes something like this: Things are going “good enough” and I have no complaints. I am pretty happy with the way things are going. I am in my groove, my comfortable routine of life. Then something changes. Something that I didn’t ask for. Something that I didn’t expect.
My first reaction is usually panic and shock. “This can’t possibly be happening.” I was watching my best laid plans for my future flying out the window. I spend some time being pouty or a brat or challenging those who brought this on me damnit! Finally, I must come to terms with the fact that things aren’t changing back and they won’t be the same.
The meaning of the word transformation is explained as “The process or result of changing from one appearance, state, or phase to another.” For this transformation to occur you need to make space for a new version of yourself to grow, and that can only be done by having the courage to release what no longer reflects who you truly are.
This is not to say that grieving the old shouldn’t be done and you should never look back. Grieving is an important part of the process and looking back on memories allows you to remember how far you have come, your old life and remember the lessons you learned.
Letting go and moving on is different than not processing your feelings or not letting yourself feel. It is human nature to get sad about the past. If you don’t let yourself really feel what you are feeling and acknowledge your feelings you won’t be able to let them go and then move on.
Here are 5 steps to successfully letting go and moving on.
1. Identify the things that are keeping you stuck in one place or limiting you. Chances are there are things that you keep holding onto and that make you sad because they don’t fit in your new life. You can use journaling, talking, drawing or whatever lets you tap into your thoughts and feelings to pinpoint these things.
2. Let go of the things holding you back. This can be difficult because you are leaving comfort and what you knew, even if what you knew was not working. Predictably broken is better than the unknown. Letting go of your past means honoring your memories but choosing something new for yourself. When you are ready to let go but are overwhelmed with fear and resistance, understand that its human nature to feel this way and all a necessary part of the process.
3. Enjoy the newly created space and have a non-wavering faith that something new and better will come to you. Be open minded to new opportunities that may come your way. Recognize that things may not arrive the way you expect them to so actively look for the hidden opportunities. This is a time to explore new things – to explore your new world. Take a new course at the community college or start a new hobby. Start looking in new directions!
4. Create an action plan. Where do you want to go now and how do you plan to get there? You may not have the answers but merely thinking about the options forces your mind to go in a new direction and you automatically let go of unwanted feelings and emotions.
5. Be grateful for what you have attracted and what you have created for yourself. Let it inspire you to continuously have the courage to live in a way that is closer and closer to who you really are and your unique life purpose.
If you follow these steps you will be able to move on to a more rewarding life. If this is the first time you have consciously tried it, the process may take a while. With practice it will become like second nature.
Do you feel like something is holding you back from living your best life? Do you know what that thing is?