Following on from last week’s episode about how to know when it’s worth persevering or changing course, I thought it might be helpful to go through the art of actually letting go.
It’s one thing knowing it’s the right thing for you to do but it’s a whole other ball game actually doing it.
And it can be tricky…and it can also take its sweet time!
It can feel really frustrating but your body needs to catch up with your mind.
Whether you’ve decided it’s time to move on from something or been forced to for other reasons it’s absolutely a process!
Cognitively you might be ready to move on but your nervous system might still be scanning for whether it’s safe to or not! Which is where both the cognitive and somatic work comes in to help speed up the process.
Using your mind AND your body to heal.
It’s not a process you can judge by anyone else’s standards. It’s unique to you.
But holding on to pain never helped anybody.
There’s a phrase I love that’s ‘nobody ever drowned by falling into the ocean. They drowned by staying there.’
You have to let the inevitable grieving happen. However long that takes.
Even when it comes to something that other people might not think is a huge deal, it might be to us.
Even if someone thinks we should just ‘get over it’. It’s not up to them.
It takes as long as it takes to really let go.
From my own experience it’s a really gradual process and then one day you realise there’s no pain anymore.
The feelings are very neutral and calm.
Even if you might still be in the eye of the storm at times!
So what can we do to make sure we’re remaining conscious and helping the process along as best we can?
Firstly, acknowledge that it’s happened and the decision has been made. You may feel like you’re flip flopping at times just before you’re clear. This is when you lean on the people who know you best and who will be a willing sounding board for your thoughts and feelings.
It’s totally natural.
Next it’s very very helpful to consciously seek out the positive lessons that you’ve learned in the process.
Even if they may have been tough lessons. What’s changed in terms of what you will or won’t accept in the future. How will it mean things will be different next time you’re in a similar situation?
Always make sure you check in with the stories you’re telling yourself and if they’re actually true. What are you making it mean about yourself? Whether you’re leaving a relationship and will be single again, what are you making that mean?
Or if you’ve decided you don’t want to run a business anymore or stay in your career.
What are you making that mean? What story is there around what other people will make it mean?
A hugely important part is to recognise what your non-negotiables are now, and how the previous situation wasn’t meeting them or your needs. Always helpful to know that despite it potentially feeling painful, it’s not what you wanted anymore and you get to dream and visualise what you do want now!
On that…it’s really important to make sure you’re not looking at the past with rose tinted glasses. There may have been some amazing positives but what wasn’t right for you? How long were things hard, or you feeling unhappy
My favourite part is to start to get excited about your future and all the new opportunities ahead of you that simply wouldn’t have been there without needing to let go of this situation first. Things you can do now that you couldn’t before.
A HUGE one is to allow yourself to be supported. Don’t try and do it all on your own. Allow yourself the space you need but don’t shy away and isolate yourself.
Prioritise YOU. Your needs, your wants. This is YOU time and that won’t last forever. Embrace it and take full advantage.
Recognise any guilt, shame or blame you’re piling on top of the situation and challenge it as if you were a casual observer of the situation and not so personally invested in it.
Don’t get attached to a timeline of being on ‘the other side’ of it. These things take time and that’s ok.
Look for what you can be grateful for from the situation or by getting out of it.
Seek the stories from people who have been through similar and come out the other side, bigger, better and stronger for it. The people who are challenging the status quo and showing the positives of a situation that aren’t often talked about.
Remember these feelings are only temporary. Don’t judge yourself for having down days. Cry. Scream.
Take any responsibility that yours to take, and nothing more. Forgive yourself for whatever you need to forgive yourself for in the situation. You didn’t know better or couldn’t do better then, you do and you can now and moving forwards.
Practice emotional and nervous system regulation MORE now. This is the time to double down and help your nervous system catch up with your mind. EFT, hypnotherapy, Heartmath, making sure you’re moving your body are all my first port of call.
Recognise what was within your control and what wasn’t in the situation.
Do the healing work.
Keep yourself busy but not out of avoidance. Do it in a positive way. Fill your time with things you’re looking forward to. Go see new places, spend time with people, do new things, learn a new skill.
And finally, remember you never know what amazing things can come from a situation that might feel awful at the time. Hold on to that and allow yourself to be excited. Good things are coming if you let them.
And as i’ve recorded this i’m practicing exactly what I preach and i’ve put myself way out of my comfort zone on a long haul solo trip. I’ve done something I never would have before. I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone solidly towards post traumatic growth. And I couldn’t be happier and more content.
Even though I’m still in the eye of the storm in many ways. The focus is on the light at the end of the tunnel and I couldn’t be more excited.
Know that’s available for you too.
Fran Excell, Success Mindset Mentor at www.franexcell.com – Helping Business Owners & Executives Overcome Stress & Self Sabotage so they can get back their time, get off the emotional rollercoaster and feel more in control.
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