Letting go has been a game changer for me. Letting go of everything negative in my life that is no longer serving me. And at the same time, taking in all the positives that my life has to offer.
We all experience small and big moments in our lives, where we want to control a situation, where we cling to something beautiful in our life, we get annoyed about a person’s behaviour, we feel unfairly treated, we don’t feel recognised sufficiently etc.
It is important to know that it is a ‘normal’ reaction and behaviour to switch into survival and defence mode (e.g. by protection mechanisms like aggression, adaption, anger, control). However, ask yourself honestly whether you feel good with your reaction and behaviour in that specific situation and also afterwards, when regret often sneaks in.
Rewinding to 3 years ago, I was definitely a person who was trying to control situations, or at least let’s say I was struggling to accept certain situations as they were. I wasn’t really aware of my behaviour to be honest, otherwise I would have changed that earlier to make my life much easier. I am wiser now. And this is exactly the reason why I’m sharing my experiences with you, as I’m sure you will benefit positively. The first step to change our reactions and behaviours is always to make us aware of them. Move your behaviours from the unconscious to the conscious and you’ll experience a whole new you. As only then, you will recognise your behaviours, you will be able to observe them from a different perspective, you will be able to change your behaviours and finally, you can become a whole new you!
I’d like to give you a few simple examples that probably most of us can resonate with.
- I am on my bike and a car just pulls out from the right.
- I am in a crowded tube and the person next to me pushes his elbow into my stomach.
- I am in a supermarket queue and I am in a rush, but the people in front of me take like forever to pay and complete their shopping.
- My colleague is delegating tasks to me, although he/she is not superior to me.
- At work, my manager perceives an email differently to how I meant it.
- I feel like I’m doing more for the relationship than my partner does.
- My partner didn’t do something the way I wanted him to do it.
I could keep going, but I guess you have already found a few examples that are relevant to you.
Now, there are always 2 sides of a medal and hence 2 ways of reacting upon the above situations.
Let’s take the first simple example with the car. Three years ago (and all the years before), my reaction would have been very impulsive, a bit aggressive, I probably would have shouted at the driver telling him off for not seeing me, that he should do his license again, whether he won his driver’s license, etc.
Now, being calmer, I know that this doesn’t help at all. It doesn’t help the other person to become a better driver, especially if I’m shouting at him/her. But most importantly it doesn’t help me, it doesn’t serve me.
I had to understand that the above mentioned situations instantly cause negative vibes, and that my whole body is tensing up. I had to understand that I cannot change this person’s behaviour. I had to understand that we are all just human beings and that it is normal to make mistakes, like in my example not looking properly left and right before pulling out of the street. I had to understand that in most situations it is better, wiser and healthier to just let it go.
To be clear, that doesn’t mean that we should like incapable car drivers, but we can decide how to react in that situation. We can freak out, we can shout, we can run away, we can become aggressive or we can work on our resilience, the capability to react flexibly and stable in a difficult situation that drives us up the wall. Resilience allows us to feel competent and safe when dealing with difficult problems and obstacles that life throws at us. And we all know, life does that regularly.
Another point to remember is that whatever bad behaviour you are faced with, in 99% of all cases it is not intended, it is not a purposefully evil behaviour. We often believe that though and we wonder how other people can be so mean, why they say certain things, why they act the way they act. Well, they just do so based on their beliefs, values and education.
To make our lives easier, it is way more beautiful to believe in the good in every person. If somebody treats me badly, I often think to myself now, well that person must have had a tough day. And I put on an even bigger smile. I let it go.
Breathe in positivity. Breathe out negativity.