When something new is happening in your life, sometimes the struggle you encounter is the very act of letting go of the old thing. The feeling of familiarity and comfort can keep you from taking the steps you need to take to be effective in your next season of your life or career.
Sometimes people get stuck because they are holding on too tightly to a person or thing that is keeping them from moving forward. You will never be able to move forward until you are willing to identify those things that are keeping you stuck in the past. You must face the risk of letting go of what is familiar and step into the unknown, which can be a very scary place to be in. Whatever you do, don’t stay stuck in yesterday or what was.
There’s nothing worse than the feeling of being stuck. One of the worst feelings in the world is being stuck in traffic when you are trying to get somewhere. It’s frustrating, aggravating, and irritating, even to the mildest-tempered person. To be perfectly honest, I can’t think of anyone who enjoys sitting in traffic. It’s usually a time that brings out the worst in humanity, especially in our language and behavior!
Apply that scenario to other parts of life where you are holding onto something in your past, and the results are eerily similar.
People are on their way somewhere every day. Some are repeating the same actions every day; some are trying to reach a dream they have been aiming at for quite some time. Then it happens. They hit a moment of standstill, sitting idle on the road, and they feel as if they aren’t going anywhere or making any progress.
They are no longer gaining any traction. Momentum has slowed or stopped altogether. Anger begins to set in. The panic button is triggered by the thought of missing their moment of opportunity. Then it happens—road rage!
It happens to everyone at one time or another. The keys to moving forward are to acknowledge it, assess the situation, and then work on a new path to becoming unstuck! There is no greater feeling than seeing the traffic jam ahead clear and the cars slowly beginning to move.
The same can happen for you when you make a choice to let go of whatever it is that is holding you back and keeping you from moving forward.
- old mind-sets that are enslaving you
- old routines that are boring you
- old ways of thinking that will not work in this season
- old expectations that are disappointing you
- old associations that are draining you
- old habits that are hindering you.
Let go of what didn’t happen.We’ve all had those times in our lives when we were expecting something to happen and it didn’t, only to leave us disappointed.
You thought the relationship would work out and it didn’t.
You thought you were next in line for the promotion, and to your surprise, it went to someone else.
You put your trust in someone and they let you down. You thought a door of opportunity was opening for you, and then all of a sudden, for reasons out of your control, it closed.
Your reaction to a closed door of opportunity can either propel you into your future or enslave you in your present. But if you stand there trying to figure out the why, you will never see your "next."
When a door closes, quit standing there looking at it. This is not the end of the world, no matter how you feel about it. How you respond is the key to overcoming this moment. If a door suddenly closes, you’re now in a good position to turn around and start looking for the next opportunity coming your way. Keep your head up and your emotions in check. Don’t start blaming others for the closed opportunity. Blame shifting will keep you stuck. And quit trying to figure out all the reasons why it didn’t happen. Relax! You are right where you are supposed to be. A closed door can lead to a great opportunity. Keep moving. Keep dreaming. Keep reaching. Whatever you do, don’t stop.
The answer to your why will come, maybe even around the time you walk through the next open door of opportunity. Then you will be able to see why the other door closed. It had to close. It needed to close. It was supposed to close so you could enjoy the rewards of the next opportunity. So the next time you encounter a closed door, quickly move on and expect that something greater is about to happen for you.
Let go of the past hurts.
It’s time for you to forgive and move on. We have all been wronged, betrayed, or taken advantage of at least a time or two. We may have memories of a painful experience or event with another person that still bother us today. Whether you’ve been hurt by a family member, friend, coworker, or a spouse, it’s time to forgive and let it go.
Unforgiveness has the power to keep us from moving forward while the person we are angry with has moved on with his or her life. While they are free, we are held captive by memories and emotions that continue to drain us of energy and ambition.
Unforgiveness is like holding a hot coal in your hand and being mad at the person who started the fire. Forgive, drop it, and let it go.
In the end, letting go can be one of the most freeing and rewarding things you do in your life. Imagine letting go of a fifty-pound weight that you’ve been carrying around on your shoulders while you were trying to make progress in reaching a goal or dream in life. Once you drop that weight, you will be free of the burden of what was and you will be able to enjoy what can be. Let it go!