“Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life. What is it you would let go of today?” — Mary Manin Morrissey
I’m a big believer in letting go in order to move forward. My interpretation of Mary’s inspiring quote is that getting rid of your pain and perceived failures from the past can make space for new, better experiences. Of course, that doesn’t mean you do away with all the lessons you learned from your mistakes. You just don’t have to stay in that depressing place, mentally.
And you don’t have to keep repeating these same negative behaviors that are holding you back from living the life you really want.
Blaming Others for Your Circumstances
I spent so many years of my life being angry about things that other people had done to me. Not so long ago, I was the total opposite of a happy black woman. I was mad as hell. I was mad at my mom for not knowing how to be a mom. I was mad at my father for committing suicide. I felt that if I hadn’t been raised by a teen mom or if my biological father had been around to help, my life would have been better somehow. I carried around a lot of resentment about what “should have been” but wasn’t. Thankfully, I began to see how unhealthy it was for me to focus so much on the past, something I couldn’t change. What I realized was that blame doesn’t change anything. Blaming others just gives you a false sense of control over your life. But it doesn’t do anything to change it.
Telling Yourself You “Can’t”
It can be really scary to talk about possibility, even though you know you want to explore new options for your life. A friend, family member or even your coach might suggest something for you to pursue, maybe something that has worked for them or someone they know. Right away, your lizard brain wakes up and starts throwing out all these reasons why this path might work for someone else, but it’s just not possible for YOU. The lizard brain loves limiting words like “I can’t,” even though it stops possibility in its tracks. Constantly telling yourself that you “can’t” do something prevents you from coming up with ideas that will actually help you reach your goals. Instead of constantly focusing on all the reasons why you can’t, what if you just sat down and brainstormed how you can?
Sabotaging Your Own Success
Many ladies swear up and down that their ultimate goal is to quit that dead end job so they can finally run their own business. You might be one of them. Yet, every night, instead of working on your dream, you sit in front of the TV to watch Real Housewives of Atlanta or waste time on Twitter. The result: you end up perpetuating the lie that you don’t have any “extra time” to make progress on your business ideas. Then, when opportunities do come up, you don’t feel ready or prepared to take advantage of them. It becomes a vicious cycle and you never get anything accomplished. There is a spiritual saying, “pray until something happens” but I would modify that a bit to encourage you to take action on your dreams. Yes, by all means, pray. But then, DO SOMETHING. Do something until something happens. You have to take action FIRST. Then, the universe will respond and your blessings will begin to manifest themselves.
Questions for Reflection:
- How are some of your current behaviors preventing you from living your ideal life?
- What are you willing to let go of today so that you can have a better tomorrow?