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Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

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« What Inspires You to Let Go of Your Clutter? | Experiencing Life, Loss and Pain of Letting Go »

Unusual Letting Go Lesson For You

Letting go lessons can be found in the most unusual places.

This past weekend my husband and I traveled to South Carolina to watch our daughter, Cassie and her teammates (Go QC Boston!) play in the Quidditch World Cup tournament. There were 80 teams from around the country (and Canada too) vying for the number one spot. In two days the teams played anywhere from 5 to 10 highly energetic and physically taxing games.

All teams had spent many months preparing, practicing, and participating in other Quidditch tournaments. They arrived at World Cup ready for the ultimate challenge to play the best of the best.

This was the lesson. I don’t know if it was like this for all the teams, but for QCB, it was about letting go of the outcome. They approached each game with the best they had. They enjoyed working as a team, supporting one another, staying focused and in the moment. While they played to win, as each game ended, they let go of the outcome and focused on learning more from their wins or losses. It was quite extraordinary to witness.

How often do we invest so heavily in an outcome, that we miss the joy that’s part of the process? Maybe we’re so concerned with the outcome that we prevent ourselves from potential learning and growth.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. How does letting go of the outcome change your perspective?




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Reader Comments (11)

I think letting go of the outcome is the path to freedom. We don't control nearly as much as we think we do, so focusing on the input is more rewarding. If things don't work out well, but we know we invested wisely in the process, we can walk away satisfied. It just means there is a different journey ahead:)

April 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

Like the song goes "Life's a journey not a destination". I think we all need to remember the journey even its a hard one, the outcome will be what it is, an ending. We all need to spend more time "in the moment". Thank you for the reminder.

April 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJill Robson

Wonderful to hear both of your voices!

@Seana- Love that idea…"letting go of the outcome is the path to freedom." The doors open much wider when we give ourselves the gift of letting go.

@Jill- Oh, yes! The journey is the thing, isn't it? Allowing ourselves to experience that journey by staying present focused helps us to let go of the twists and turns that happen along the way.

April 14, 2015 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Professionally and personally, letting go of the outcome is the magic! Working with my aging parents, when I "knew" what was the "best outcome," I didn't fare well. When I switched to coaching and asking questions, I focused on the process and not the outcome. I was able to step back, keep perspective, lessen the stress and emotional impact on my life, AND they chose their own solutions (outcomes). And we all know that when you lean in, get engaged, and own your choices, it's far better for you (my parents in this case). Professionally, as a coach, I cannot own the outcome. My "expert" resides in the questions I choose to ask, allowing the person I'm working with to realize their own wisdom, choices, and insights. You're amazing where you find these fascinating questions to pose to us!!

April 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSue West

Sue- How you've described the ways in which you let go are so profound. It's in the true spirit of coaching…asking, staying curious, focusing on the discoveries and process - and then separating yourself from the outcome. How beautifully you've identified that your "expert" shows up with the questions…and has learned to let go of the outcome (personally and professionally.)

April 14, 2015 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

One of the saddest days I remember as a parent was when one of my boys made it to "Super Saturday" but lost the game. The kids were no longer excited about what they'd achieved all season; it was all about the win. That still bothers me 20 years later.

April 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

Janet- Thank you for being open with sharing your experience and your son's experience about the game. I'm sorry that the way things played out still remains a source of sadness for you. Maybe there's a letting go opportunity?

April 16, 2015 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Love this post about letting go. I love letting go of my "agenda" with clients. I know that they know what is most important for them. Our work together is most valuable when they set the pace and the tone of our work together.

April 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

Ellen- It was so great seeing you in Los Angeles for the NAPO conference. I'm sorry we didn't have more time to hang out in person. Hope you got back safely and easily. What a bonus that I get to "hang out" with you here.

I love what you've said here about letting go of your agenda with clients. That's so important. They are in the driver's seat. We are there to help facilitate their goals.Thank you for this reminder.

April 20, 2015 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I'm not still sad about the day, I just remember how sad those kids were. I see the same thing happen on America's Got Talent, with both kids and adults who aren't allowed to move on in the competition. Yet others are just thrilled to have had the opportunity, so I guess there's still hope for the world. ;)

August 15, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

Janet- It's all about the hope…and the learning/growth potential. This reminds me of Dr. Carol Dweck's book, "Mindset." She talks about the fixed vs. growth mindset. The person with the fixed mindset wants to make sure they succeed because "smart people should always succeed." For those with a growth mindset, success is about "stretching themselves. It's about becoming smarter." Dweck attributes how people handle their successes and failures based on the type of mindset they operate from. And I'm guessing that's what you witnessed while watching America's Got Talent.

August 15, 2015 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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