Letting go and softening into change has not come easily for me. 

Although I would like to think that letting go of tension in my body, relationships, and stress looks like a graceful butterfly taking flight. In reality, letting go often looked more like prying a lollipop away from a toddler: I would fight, struggle, and oftentimes only then would I give in.

Letting go once we’ve reached our limit and we’re out of energy feels far more painful than letting go once we get the inkling it’s time.

Letting go once we’ve reached our limit and we’re out of energy feels far more painful than letting go once we get the inkling it’s time.

For example, the healthy, “letting go” version sounds like, “Ugh, another day of work. I don’t think this is the best job for me if I’m this unmotivated. I think it’s time to change something so I can feel excited again. I may need to learn a new skill if I want to change careers or perhaps look into working for a new company with a different mission and culture.”
Flash forward 1, 2, 5 years later to the “reaching our limit” version: “I can’t take it any longer: I quit!”

Letting go before the breaking point, feels like really good self-care, however, when we wait to hit our breaking point, letting go feels bittersweet. We feel relieved that we finally let go, and confused as to why we hung on so long.

So when we realize that letting go feels better, how do we help ourselves out of this conundrum?

FEAR.

Change can often feel frightening because we have less experience in the unknown and we’re hardwired to view new situations as harder to predict and control.

So, how do we help ourselves out of this conundrum? We learn to trust our wings, not the branch on which we are perched. By focusing on developing our authentic self, we build real courage to handle change and challenge.

Here are a few ways to start building trust in your wings:

  1. Choose one thing that you’re not enjoying in your life.
  2. Ask yourself, “what do I need to know, learn, or do to feel comfortable making a change?”
  3. Take the first step on that list and see if you feel GREAT after. If you feel good about the direction you’re moving, you’re on the right track!
  4. Set some goals around it (read this post for how to set authentic goals) and keep going!

The time is going to pass, either way, you might as well be moving towards creating more happiness, right?