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Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

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« How to Recognize Clutter That's Keeping You Stuck | Learn One Amazing Secret That Helps You Let Go »

How to Benefit from Letting Go Practice Runs

When we let go, what happens? We remove resistance. We free ourselves from angst and stress. We allow our minds and days to flow more smoothly. We give ourselves a break from holding on so tightly. We exhale.

I don’t know about you, but lately for me, I’ve had a multitude of opportunities to practice my letting go skills, or as I like to say, “letting go muscles.”

My letting go practice has tested me with tech, cooking, entertaining, family, business, attitude, and stuff. Each situation presented differently and with varying challenges. Yet they all had one thing in common. They provided me with a choice. I could either dig in and resist, or let go enough to move forward.

What’s interesting is that when we can’t let go, we definitely stay stuck. That “stuck” can manifest itself in physical and emotional ways.

In some cases, letting go meant shifting my attitude. By doing so, I could see that a belief I thought was true wasn’t. Letting go allowed me to open my mind to a different way of thinking and appreciating.

In other instances, I had to ask questions about why I was keeping something that was just taking up real estate and wasn’t being used. Just like many of my organizing clients, I struggled with letting go of some belongings such as books, clothes, and DVDs. I coached myself through the process, and ultimately was able to let go of some “stuff.” And you know what? I don’t miss any of the things that exited. In fact, I feel a little bit lighter.

In the process of my practice runs, I came across a short YouTube video by Knowable about letting go. The timely message resonated with me and I hope it does for you too. Here’s the link:  A psychologist walked around a room . . .

Have you had practice runs with letting go? What has your experience been? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come join the conversation!




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Reader Comments (10)

I have a different spin on letting go, mine is letting go of fear. Fear of public speaking, fear of being in a room of people I don't know. Letting go in this way has allowed me to grow not just in myself but in what I can offer to others.

April 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJill Robson

@Jill- Bravo to you for facing your fears head on. We are the richer ones for it as you allow yourself to be seen and heard.

April 26, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

My biggest struggling is relinquishing control. The funny thing about this is that I'm actually never truly in control, so I guess it is the illusion of control I cling so fiercely to. I keep trying, however, because I know others can't blossom if I demand they do things my way. Letting go means we make space for everyone to offer their best!

April 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

I'm reading 2 books that relate to letting go: Emotional Clutter; and Embracing Conscious Simplicity (by our colleague Barbara Bougher with Teresa Worthington). Whatever we are resisting is a clue to where we need to lean in and examine. The more we resist, the more stuck we get. That stuck place is where the negative energy is, which colors not only that one thing we are stuck on.... but our entire outlook, until we figure it out.

One of the great suggestions in the Simplicity book is to examine the feelings. How else could you create that feeling? And what message is in holding on vs. letting go, whether it is an object or an issue we are wrestling with.

April 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSue west

This is a timely post, Linda. There is so much going on in my life right now that I feel pulled in many different directions. I'm finding that by letting go (or postponing) of some tasks has enabled me to focus on and finish those tasks that have a real due date. Sometimes everything appears to be important but by letting go of that false impression it's easier to focus and complete tasks in a less stressed manner for me.

April 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDiane Quintana

Wow! What a wealth of sharing. Thank you for all of your insights and personal experiences with letting go.

@Seana- Two things you said that resonate with me..."the illusion of control" and letting go to "make space" so that others can blossom. We think we can control things, but that control is only in a small part of our lives. And it's so true that when we "relinquish" control, we allow others to step up and give their best.

@Sue- Both books are of great interest to me. I just bought Barbara's new book and it's next up on the "to read" pile. I love the suggestion of leaning into those things we're resisting and taking a closer look at what's really going on. In that process of letting go, we become more open to possibilities or even acceptance and move past the frustration and being stuck.

@Diane- It's challenging when we feel pulled in so many directions. I know you've got a lot on your plate. It sounds like you're figuring out how to work with that pull by letting go of certain things to make way for others. I understand about negotiating with ourselves those self-imposed deadlines.

April 27, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

When it's hard to let go of "stuff" I find it helps to put it in a box and tuck it away. Then I know it's still there if I need it (though that rarely happens). The trick is to put a time limit on how long I will keep the box before I let it go for real!

April 30, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

@Janet- What a great strategy for easing us into letting go...or deciding that in fact we don't want to let go. Putting a time parameter around decision-making can be so useful. Many of my clients do this with papers and especially financial records. They store their files with a "shred" date on it. Then annually they pull the boxes of papers that can be shred. I can see how this is also useful for items that might be more of a sentimental nature or ones that we're ambivalent about. We give ourselves time to postpone the decision and then revisit it with a new perspective.

April 30, 2016 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

The part of this post where you talk about shifting your attitude about letting go reminds me of a quote from the movie Pirates of the Caribbean where Captain Jack Sparrow says, "The problem is not the problem; the problem is your attitude about the problem." So often if we just change our viewpoint of a situation it opens our minds to a more positive perspective and gets us unstuck.

April 30, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Soboleski

@Sarah- I love the Jack Sparrow quote! And how true it is. Our attitude IS the thing that had the biggest affect on everything from decisions to actions to outcomes.

April 30, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

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