“God can’t give you anything new until you let go of the old.”
Chances are you have experienced trying to move forward in your life, setting goals, beginning to take action, only to fall back to the old habits within weeks or even days of starting. Maybe you have wanted to lose weight, change jobs, deepen your relationships or change the trajectory of your life. We can easily get sucked back into the status quo and our life continues to manifest exactly how it has always manifested.
But, as we know: Nothing can change unless something changes.
We have to be able to stay the course in order to affect real change in our lives. I feel as if I have bungee cords that are tying me down in place. I may be able to walk a few steps, but they inevitably pull me back when I am tired and my defenses are down and I return to defeatest thinking and my old way of being.
In order to move on definitively, we need to be able to remove the bungee cords that are holding us in place. Removing the bungee cords means we need to let go of where we have been. But when someone says, “Let it go” what does that mean? Think about it. How do you “let go” of negativity? An old habit? An old belief? Just thinking about letting go simply puts our attention back on whatever it is. What action can you take? I have two suggestions…
Two Steps for Letting Go…
Step One: Stop Judging Yourself
So often when we have a habit, especially one that is so obviously holding us back from the growth we so desperately crave, we judge it. We are annoyed, frustrated, and irritated (maybe even disgusted) with ourselves for doing it. Here is what I know about judgment – it keeps us stuck. We get mired in the negativity and it keeps us from flowing with life.
It is our own judgment that is the bungee cords.
Stop judging yourself by realizing that whatever you were doing – while it doesn’t fit you anymore – was there for a reason. Really. Whatever “it” is, it served a purpose at one point, a protection of sorts, otherwise why would you have adapted it? You might know why and how it began and you might not, frankly that is immaterial.
Maybe it was teaching you a lesson or kept you from growing when you weren’t ready or something else. It protected you some way, somehow, and that is all that is important.
The point is, whatever you have been judging, it isn’t you being wrong. It is you learning.
So take a moment to appreciate what you have been doing, or at least understand it. What is important is that you trust it served its purpose and can feel gratitude for how it served you. As you cultivate gratitude or understanding, the bungee cords will release and you will have the ability to move forward.
Step Two: Realize “letting go” is simply saying, “yes” to something else
When you are ready to change something, to move on from an old place, we can often get stuck staring behind us. (You know, attached to those bungee cords!) We think about “not” being overweight, “not” in your current job, “not” unhappy in your relationship, “not” in debt. All those thoughts keep you thinking about where you are, stuck in place.
But realize you are saying, “yes” to something else. Think about it. You are letting go of one way of doing something so you can embrace another. Figure out what it is. Where is it you are going?
- Fit and vibrant?
- Financially free?
- In a loving relationship?
Where is it you are going? Put your attention there. Think about what your day will be like, how you will feel, how you will spend your day, whatever fits. Then think about what will get you there. Get excited about “there” and you will have much less energy (and time) to worry about where you were.