I had to let go of a project this week. That sounds easier than it was. It took some time for me to reach the conclusion that it simply wasn’t going to work out the way I’d planned it. For some of us, letting go is viewed as a last resort – we cling to the outcome or goal we seek at all costs, until the outcome feels all-important. Letting go of that desired outcome or goal feels like “giving up” or worse yet, “abject failure”!
I’m coming to learn, however, that letting go can actually reconnect us to the very results we so dearly wished for when we were clinging so hard. This project, for example. I put a lot of stake in it succeeding. I had the expectation that it would make money – not only for me, but for the person I partnered with. I had the expectation that it would bring me more clients and increase my reputation. I had expectations of it being wildly successful.
That’s a lot of expectations. Looking at it now, I envision those expectations as if they were “sticky grenades” (to borrow an expression). I stuck them on this project and they were just about ready to explode in my face! All of those expectations caused me to feel pressured, panicked and anxious. And those feelings were creeping up on me little by little as the deadline approached…I almost didn’t notice them until it was too late.
I had to face the facts: I had given up on myself in the process of attaching to these expectations and outcomes. I confronted my feelings and realized I had disconnected from the initial idea – what I loved about it. So, I decided to let it go. The whole thing.
And once I did, I felt lighter, clearer.
Suddenly, there was possibility again. In my feeling of lightness, I could clearly envision my next steps:
I set an intention to stay mindful of the process and the love of what I’m choosing rather than attaching to specific outcomes. I let go of any particular expectations. I stay curious, stay open and let what happens, happen.
I’ll let you know how it goes.