August 17, 2011

Letting Go



While I'm moving this week, I've invited some of my favorite public speaking and communications bloggers to guest post here on Speak Schmeak. Please enjoy this post by Barbara Wayman, PR and marketing communications expert (and my cousin), from her blog, The Standout Blog. Follow her on Twitter: @barbarawayman.

Here’s a mind-expanding question for you. When you begin something new, do you think you begin at the beginning? I always used to think so, but then I realized usually things often begin with an ending.

Think of each big new beginning in your life – chances are that new thing originated with you ending or closing the chapter on something else. You graduate from high school and then you go to college. You decide to stop eating junk food in the evening and then you lose 30 pounds. You get fed up with dating guys who don’t show you the respect you deserve and then your prince appears. In our reality, things just usually begin with an ending of some kind. The ending is where the seeds of the beginning are planted.

That’s why letting go is so powerful. Letting go is simply releasing that which no longer serves us.

Most of us were never taught to do this. In our culture we have a big emphasis on going out and getting things in the world. Rarely are we counseled to look around at what no longer serves us and consciously release it. But whenever you want something new in your life, like a new relationship, more business, better more committed customers, a bigger reputation in your business community, the first step doesn’t have to be to go out there and grab it. It can be more impactful to first make space for it, which is by letting go of things that are already there that you no longer need.

I have been using this tool for three years and I have found it one of the most powerful things I do in helping to direct my life and business. With this tool I experience more peace, more ease and I manifest things with lightning speed.

The way it works is you pay attention to when you feel irritable or cranky. As I looked more closely, I discovered one thing that made me upset was always being the one to plan get-togethers with friends. I love seeing my friends, I just realized I had some relationships where I tended to be the one to figure out when we would get together, where we would meet, what we would do and then set it up and communicate the details, which often included answering multiple questions and reminding people about the plans. Some people enjoy this type of thing, so for them it might be fine, but I really didn’t enjoy it. So I made a decision to let go of doing all the work.

After this decision, some people drifted away without me to keep our contact steady. But I was okay with that. In most cases, my friends began to step up and it was wonderful being invited to things and having the ease of just saying yes and showing up at an appointed place and time. It freed up my schedule to accomplish and enjoy more, and it made me feel more appreciated and valued. Letting go of doing all the planning definitely made a big impact in my life, and the only one I had to change was me.

There are so many things you might want to let go of when you look around at your physical things, your habits, your thoughts, your interpersonal relationships, your beliefs, the way you usually spend your time, the things that make you feel a certain way. Each of these places would be great places to look for where you could let go. Sometimes I use the analogy of barnacles on a ship. Once they’re scraped away the ship can go much faster, the way it was meant to.

TIP: When you have some quiet time, make a Letting Go list of all the habits, behaviors, beliefs, relationships, environments and activities you’d like to release in your life. Set the list aside and re-read it every once in a while, noticing the results you’re experiencing.

© 2011 Barbara Wayman, APR, BlueTree Media, all rights reserved

Barbara Wayman, APR, president of BlueTree Media, LLC, publishes The Stand Out Newsletter, an award-winning monthly ezine for people who want to know how to leverage the power of marketing and public relations. Get your free subscription today at http://BlueTreeMedia.com

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