Ok, so let's be real. This is a tough one. Letting go of control, a relationship, safety and security to pursue your dream, and so much more. Letting go can be one of the toughest lessons we learn in life. Why? Because change and the unknown can be scary...but it doesn't have to be.
We hang onto all of this fear and anxiety over things we cannot control. As a recovering control freak, I have spent countless hours stressing over something that turned out just fine. For example, freaking out when I made the decision to leave Corporate to build my coaching business. I had no idea how I was going to pay my bills. What if I didn't make it? What if...
But what about when it's someone else and completely out of your control. My daughter's father is an addict. Even though we were not together, there were still years of worry and sleepless nights. With multiple suicide attempts, car accidents, arrests and all the other things that come with addiction, I was scared to death that one day I would receive that fateful call and have to sit my daughter down for a heartbreaking conversation. That call never came, and yet that fear and anxiety still consumed me. So why did I choose to let the fear of what might happen have such power over me?
I used to have severe anxiety when flying. I was convinced I was on the plane that was going down. Every sound and bump elevated my heart rate and raised my blood pressure. I had NO control! Or did I?
I realized I was the only one who did have control...the power to let go of the things I cannot control.
Making the decision to leave Corporate was a scary leap, but you know what, I am resourceful and a phenomenal problem solver, so of course I found a way. And these are things I know about myself, so there was no reason to allow the fear to consume me.
For my daughter's father, the CDC estimates that 72,287 people died from overdoses in 2017; that's nearly 200 people each day. A sad, yet true fact, which is why helping recovering addicts is so near and dear to my heart. What control did I have? I chose to be a positive force in his life and keep open lines of communication, but ultimately accept that it's his life and his decision.
If the plane is going down, the plane is going down. The only control I have in that scenario is to make sure my loved ones know how much they mean to me...before I get on the plane. Not to mention, statistically I am more likely to die in L.A. traffic on my way to the airport than I am on the plane lol.
The point I'm trying to make with these examples is whether we have little control or no control, we need to let go. What will be, will be. That's life. But when we allow ourselves to be consumed by this fear and anxiety, we are missing out on being present and enjoying everything life has to offer; both the ups and the downs. We're also missing out on opportunities cause we're so hell bent on things going the way we want. We are telling the Universe that we can do it all on our own, no support necessary, we're a one man show and everything is under control. Is that really the message you want to be sending? Is that the kind of energy you want to be carrying around? Wouldn't you like to free yourself of these chains?
This week I challenge you to complete this exercise:
You are not alone, reach out to your inner circle throughout this process. Open the door to an honest dialogue about the struggle of surrendering and letting go. I guarantee your friends can relate and you will all benefit from this exercise and the conversations that ensue.
Here's to another week of living your life by design, not by default!