Let It Go.

  • January 10, 2012 by Corbett Barr
  • 24 Comments

Let it go.

These are the three most powerful words you can tell yourself.

As you go through your day, pay attention to your thoughts. Pay special attention to moments when you start feeling negative thoughts. When you’re stressed, depressed, worried, anxious, angry, etc.

How often do those emotions happen for you every day?

How long do you dwell on these things? Do they get you off track or sometimes ruin the rest of your day?

In our hyper-connected, always on, need-to-be-productive-every-moment world, there are hundreds of things we want to influence and change every day.

We burden ourselves with too much. We expect to change too many things every day. We try to be in control of everything around us.

That desire for control works against us.

Negative emotions come from wanting to change things we cannot.

The next time you feel bad about somthing, examine your feelings and the situation. Really shine some light on the emotion. Ask yourself why this thing has power over you. Why is it so important?

Then, ask yourself: “what would happen if I let this go?”

What if you gave up wanting to control this thing? Would the world end?

You probably have nothing to lose and everything to gain by letting go. The world won’t end. People won’t die. Your friends won’t abandon you.

You’ll simply feel better so you can move on.

Moving on is the important part. That’s how you let new doors open. You can only become your best self by letting go and moving on.

Letting go truly has magical powers. Give it a try.

A few quotes from people wiser than I am:

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”
-Chinese Proverb

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try, the world is beyond the winning.” -Lao Tzu

“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” -Alexander Graham Bell

Written by . Corbett is cofounder of Fizzle, a place for creative entrepreneurs, writers, makers, coders and artists, all working to support themselves doing what they love independently on the Internet. Follow Corbett on on Twitter.


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Annika January 10, 2012 at 7:38 am

Perfect timing for me. Things I cannot change need to be let go. Thanks, Corbett.

Kat Lessin January 10, 2012 at 8:27 am

Great reminder Corbett! This was exactly what I was asking myself going into the New Year, by letting go of some thoughts, things and behaviors i can do my best work if I simply let go.

kathy January 10, 2012 at 8:46 am

Thanks Corbett! Love your awesomeness!

Steve Marquez January 10, 2012 at 9:17 am

Awesome post Corbett – thanks for sharing this. ‘Letting go’ is my theme for 2012. I couldn’t agree more that these are powerful words. I’m enjoying and reaping the benefits of letting go already (2nd week of 2012) but know that this is a journey and that just as easily as I can let things go I can take them back. That’s why letting go is a theme for me: something to practice, an art.

Steve

Corbett January 10, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Hey Steve! I’m curious, how will you keep yourself dedicated to the theme of letting go throughout the year?

Sean Davis January 10, 2012 at 10:40 am

Great little write up. It’s definitely best to take a step back and really look at what’s bothering you to see if it’s even worth it. This came at the perfect time because I am currently buying my books for this semester and the numbers just aren’t working in my favor. I was almost ready to stress about it. But nah… it’s not the end of the world if I can’t buy them all right this second.

Dwayne January 10, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Those are the exact same feelings I had that kept me from following thru with my new blog. I was stressed because I had no idea what I was doing and worried people wouldn’t like what I wrote but I finally got over it and let go all the fears. Now I’m more motivated than ever. Thanks for the great post, Corbett.

Corbett January 10, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Awesome, go Dwayne!

Dave Doolin January 10, 2012 at 2:31 pm

I let go of a long running project last week. Far too much competition willing to offer way too much value for free. I’m tired of working for free. So that project is done.

In one sense, it’s a bummer. In another, feels good not to have to worry about it.

And…

Yesterday is *always* a sunk cost.

Celeste January 10, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Very nice. Needed that. Thank you!

Jason Fonceca January 10, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Testify! :)

Let it go, flow, relax, allow, breathe… all fantastic suggestions in a world of complex, constant, connected stimulation :)

Andy January 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Our thinking process is critical to a fulfilled life. I try to practice what the bible says. “…take every thought captive…”. Negative thoughts keep us from moving forward in life. But even good thoughts, if not tempered, could lead us in the opposite direction of our goal, plan or calling. Sometimes it an absolute battle to keep our thoughts in check but it’s always worth it. Keeping our thoughts in check takes us to next level thinking. Thanks for the post.

Betsey January 10, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Yes! This is a good reminder that my choice to leave a prestigious teaching job – to let it go – was the right one. Thanks.

Chris Grefe January 10, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Good read and certainly something we need to remember and implement more often. I am a new reader of your site (found you through Pat Flynn) and looking forward to reading more. Your story resonates with me and we even have some common work history with a certain Seattle based consulting firm. Thanks again for the post.

Corbett January 10, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Hey Chris! Thanks for stopping by. Send me an email sometime, I’d love to swap stories about consulting :)

Linda January 11, 2012 at 3:05 am

hello Corbett,

Thanks for this timely post.

I’ve been battling in my mind between what I want to do and what I feel I should/ought to do. I had a writing project that I couldn’t get to grips with. I battled and battled until, finally, I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t right for me at the moment. One day? Perhaps. But not right now.

What was strange was, once I’d decided to ‘Let it go’ I felt huge relief. In other words, if I’d listened to my instincts earlier I would have saved myself all that
fretting.

Now I’m wondering what else I can Let Go….

Sergio Felix January 11, 2012 at 8:22 am

Hey Corbett,

I have been reading a lot of people’s blogs who are location independent and others who are getting interested into becoming digital nomads (myself included).

(I may be wrong on this, I don’t know…) but I think that “Let it go” is the absolute first step for a real state of mind change AND actually doing something at the same time.

It is so simplistic sounding yet it conveys insane amounts of efforts on ourselves, I think that making a change of this size, is equal to breaking a habit.

Anyway, just wanted to share that here mate and thanks for your article.

Definitely a nice read like always. ;-)

Sergio

Caz Makepeace January 11, 2012 at 11:39 am

Great post. I have just been meditating on this this morning. I know that I have to let go on some important issues as it is preventing me from moving forward.

Letting go is so hard as it involves you handing over your control and trusting etiher in someone else or in some unseen entity.

But only until we let go can we truly be free

Danny Miller January 11, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Hello Corbett,
I’m glad I found your blog. I write extensively about the harms of excessive control (and how to let it go and enjoy the rewards that follow) in vital life arenas such as parenting, love, family, friendships and work, and your insightful post touches upon the major catalyst of controlling conduct: FEAR! We need to face and process our fears if we wish to truly let go, and as you suggest, most of the time our fears are illusory.

Jeff @ Digital Nomad Journey January 12, 2012 at 10:26 am

Letting go of the things we cannot immediately change is very powerful. There are just too many things in one day to stay on top of.

Personally, reminding myself that my time on this earth is limited, gives me focus to not sweat the small stuff, and focus on what matters.

Of course this is easier said than done, but it puts things into perspective.

Especially with decision making. Sometimes it’s better to just decide and take action and correct course along the way vs. deliberating internally for too long.

Tony January 17, 2012 at 9:00 am

Letting go frees up time to be who you are and to do what’s most important. When I studied Buddhism, a main theme I found was to let thoughts flow through you. To not hold on to any of them. It’s a great meditation exercise.

That’s why I decided to call my blog Qwitr.

We often hold on to many thoughts and beliefs we’d be better off quitting, or letting go of. Society as a whole has many of these types of beliefs. I look forward to a day when we let go of outdated thinking so we can move on to a better world for all.

Anu May 30, 2012 at 3:56 am

Came across this just when I needed to. It’s a little complicated for me though. I have always been afraid of letting go.. fearing that I may move on and lose this life (this familiarity) forever. It’s very strange that I fear letting things go. But it takes a toll on me.

Chris January 22, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Will do Corbett!

Cheers

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