Why I’ve been “letting go” instead of setting goals
Happy Lunar New Year (aka Chinese new year)!
Traditionally this is a time of “cleansing” to sweep away any evil spirits lurking from the previous year so this is a really great week for letting go of anything that no longer serves you so you can flourish in 2017.
And this is exactly what I’ve been doing.
Instead of my usual process at the turn of a year of creating a vision for my life and business in 2017, and setting goals to achieve that vision, I’ve found myself in a very different energy – one of letting go.
I didn’t even know I was doing it at first, but I soon noticed a theme:
First I said goodbye to my biggest programme
The letting go process started in November when decided to stop running Business from the Heart, the 12 month mentoring programme that I’ve spent 4 putting my heart and soul into. My vision was to create a group business mentoring programme that delivered value and results – something that I saw was lacking in a lot of “high ticket” programmes I’d experienced. And I’d worked hard to do just that, and then to make it “leveragable” – so that instead of 20 members I could have 40, or 70 – or 100 – without compromising the value. And last year, with the introduction of accountability coaches, and some tweaks to the structure, I felt I’d achieved that. Yay!
Just in time to decide not to run it 2017!! I don’t know about you, but that sounds crazy even to me!
After all for the last 4 years that programme has represented 2/3 of my overall business revenue, not to mention all the work that’s gone in to getting it this far. But it was also clear to me that I needed to let it go in order to make space for other areas of the business that I want to develop, and for new things to come into my life.
Then I decluttered – big time
Next I felt pulled to declutter my office – and I was pretty ruthless about it. Out went 4 years of paperwork, filled-to-the-brim notebooks, manuals from events I’d attended , and all sorts of items I’d accumulated. The recycle man probably ended up with a sprained back, and I gained an almost paper free, zen-like workspace. I’ve always loved my office overlooking the garden, but it now has a totally different sense of lightness and space.
I let go of “being busy”
This one wasn’t easy, believe me. But for a good 5 weeks I let go of the need to be constantly “doing stuff” in my business. I stopped writing emails and blog articles, I stayed away from social media including my own Facebook groups (boy did I feel guilty about that!). I nag my clients so much about the importance of staying connected with their community that I’m like a broken record. So my logical brain was screaming at me that it was too risky, while another part of me knew I needed to let go of the need to be “doing” for a while.
And so I replaced “being busy” with a luxuriously long break at Christmas and then went off to Goa for a few weeks to do – well, absolutely nothing!
I released old friendships
As the letting go process unfolded I started to become aware of friendships that have run their course, that no longer feel supportive or aligned with my values. And I’m starting to gently release some of these (while at the same time feeling even more appreciative of the many beautiful souls who I am lucky enough to have in my life).
I’m letting go of the need for “certainty”
I’ve always had a strong need to know what is coming next. At the very least a clear vision and a plan for how I’m going to get there. And I’m working on letting go of that too.
But of course I haven’t thrown the baby out with the bathwater. I still have my programmes and solid foundations to my business, and I did launch a brand new 3 month online mentoring programme and took on a small number of clients for private mentoring. So I’m still supporting my clients – it just looks and feels very different to last year.
Creating Space for our Dreams
Experts in Manifesting teach that there is a clear relationship between letting go and decluttering and manifesting the abundance or life we desire. That when we are blocked by too much “stuff” – whether that is physical, mental or emotional– we can lose our sense of direction, not be open to new opportunities and guidance, and don’t allow a space for the very things we say we want to come in.
So it turns out that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.
Rather than the familiar feeling of setting goals and then “working towards them” I feel like I’m creating space to “allow things to come in”. It’s a very different feeling, and it requires a lot of trust.
And of course this is all great in theory – but it does take courage.
Letting go is very unsettling. As humans we tend to like stability and resist change, and even if your Higher Self is hearing the messages that it’s time to let things go, your Ego that likes to keep you safe will be screaming at you that it’s not safe.
But I see the results of letting go all the time in my friends and my clients.
Women who go through the pain of their children flying the nest only to flourish with a new lease of life. Women who leave unhappy relationships only to find new love that is stronger and better than ever – sometimes with the very person they left! Clients who let go of programmes (sometimes whole businesses!) to find that opportunities flow to them that they could never have imagined before.
What do you need to let go of?
What about you? What is there in your life or business that you need to let go of if you are going to shine even brighter than ever this year (even if there is a transition period of sadness or uncertainty)?
Here are some ideas of things you might let go of for this year:
– Clients that drain you and take the joy out of your work
– Relationships or friendships that no longer support you and make you feel good
– Clutter in your home or office
– Unhealthy habits or addictions (this includes social media or binge-watching box sets)
– A programme or other venture that is taking a lot of energy but not giving you results
– A team member who isn’t contributing or adding value
– Clothes you haven’t worn in 2 years
– Uncompleted projects (either finish them or draw a line under them)
– Old hurts or resentments
– “Distraction” activities that keep you from the important work
I’m not saying it’s easy to make these kind of changes. But I’d encourage you start at least turning over the possibility in your mind. My decision to stop running the Business from the Heart mentoring programme was a really big deal, and so it wasn’t an overnight thing. It was an insistent voice but it took me quite a few months to really get comfortable with the reality of that decision before I took action on it.
Start by asking yourself “What if I did let this thing go, what could happen as a result?” and “What if I don’t let it go, how long am I happy to continue the way I am?”
Let me know in the comments what you are going to let go of to create the space for new magic this coming year.
Happy letting go!