So often the start of the new year brings thoughts of resolutions, intentions, and goals. While the desire to change is motivating, I’ve also learned that it’s important to consider what I want to let go of to allow for space to change. Some of my behaviors no longer serve me (and perhaps never did), and when I can let go of them, I gain greater clarity to truly embrace new behaviors.
This year for me, I realized that I want to show up more accountable and engaged in my life, both at work and at home. In order for me to do this, I am letting go of three specific behaviors that don’t serve me:
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” – Nelson Mandela
It’s very easy for me to harbor small resentments when a teammate or family member doesn’t acknowledge, assist, or appreciate me, especially when I’m giving extra effort. As in the quote, I notice that when I sit in resentment, it takes up so much of my mental and emotional energy (poison) and really doesn’t do anything to the person against whom I hold resent. Plus, it gives me an excuse to wallow in anger and self-pity versus taking action to address my real emotional needs, which typically is around self-care and self-appreciation. When I can let go of resentment by forgiving the other person for not seeing my needs, then I can act more accountably by either deciding to approach them about my needs or deciding to accept the situation as it is.
2. Judgment –
“Judging is preventing us from understanding a new truth. Free yourself from the rules of old judgements and create the space for new understanding.” – Steve Maraboli
I recognize that my habit of judging other people’s actions as good or bad is based on my values, beliefs and lived experiences. When I judge, I create a wall that separates them from me. When I can let go of judgement and be curious and compassionate about why people are behaving in certain ways, then it opens the door for real connection. The same goes for self-judgement. It’s easy for me to judge myself as not worthy or not good enough, which makes me feel disconnected and unmotivated. When I can let go of judgement, and see myself with curiosity and compassion, then I feel more connected and engaged in my experience as it is.
3. Perfection –
“Where perfectionism exists, shame is always lurking” – Brene Brown
I see my perfectionism tendencies show up in my risk aversion, whether that’s waiting for ideal conditions to emerge before pursuing my dreams or being afraid to dream even bigger. Shame is always lurking in the negative tapes that play in my head trying to convince me that “when I mess up, people will see me as the fraud that I am.” Letting go of perfectionism means letting go of those negative tapes, and being open (and vulnerable) to making mistakes in order to create opportunity for my dreams to manifest.
These are three behaviors that I am committing to letting go of in the new year.
I am curious to know what you are letting go of that no longer serves you. Use the comments below to let us know.
If you want to learn more about the process of letting go, stay tuned for our upcoming series called “Real Change Begins with Letting Go.”