4 Ways To Let Go For Success
I had it all wrong. I mistakenly equated high-level achievement with stress and jaw-clenching intensity. I thought to be on the edge of an explosion and approaching that point with fire hot intensity was some sort of indicator of a high-level business experience. There are some short-term wins that intensity can garner for you, but it is a fleeting source of energy for achievement and there are diminishing returns on the effectiveness of being hard-wired and wound tight.
When a true business disaster strikes or a client relationship suffers a crisis, what other level of emotion is even available to you if you are constantly revved on high? Rather than overreacting and becoming unhinged, these types of dire situations actually deserve the attention of a centered and creative presence. Moving beyond embroiled states of highly charged angst and settling into a place of stillness is the true path towards problem-solving and ultimately success. You will find much more joy and fulfillment through the journey as well, regardless of outcomes.
Let Go for Success
My greatest accomplishments in life have all arisen when I truly began to let go and allowed the space for success to happen. Please do not conflate the concept of letting go with a lack of care, a lack of hard work, or any sort of neglect of responsibilities. When I decided to let go and embrace my work and career with a lighthearted approach I actually began to care on a much more thoughtful, creative, and impactful level. I began having my greatest success ever in my 20-year career. My interactions with colleagues and clients became more enjoyable. I became less reactive to bad news and more measured in response to stressors.
How do we let go at the workplace when our ability to perform at our jobs can literally have an impact on putting food on the table for our families? I have felt and at times continue to feel pressure from the results of my work being tied to the quality of life my family gets to enjoy. While some of this pressure is admittedly self-imposed and overblown in my own mind, there is a legitimate practicality of my earnings being tied to my family’s well being. In the face of this, how do we let go for success?
1) Make it a Game
No matter what your job is or what your responsibilities entail, you can approach them with a playful spirit. The compensation from my primary job is tied heavily to sales metrics. The activities of our entire sales department are tracked and emblazoned upon a big screen television in the middle of our office. It can be overwhelming if not set into a lighter context.
My quotas and goals at my primary job are really just a bunch of numbers; numbers that can be approached with a lighthearted and playful approach. When our goals get changed I literally say to myself “this is all just a game”. My job is to stay light and cheerful and figure out a way to make it all work. When we were kids and at play, our minds ran wild with creativity. We could dream up the most entertaining and playful fantasies possible. There was zero stress felt as a kid at play and it was reflected in the joy we experienced in doing so.
There is no reason we can not tap into that same boundless source of creativity. No matter how hard driving or demanding the pressure may be flowing from the top down to you, ultimately you decide the spirit in which you bring to your job each day. Consciously chose to make a game out of the most demanding aspects of your job.
2) Set Goals And Affirm Daily
Nothing can deter or throw you off course permanently when you have rock solid written goals which you affirm to yourself on a daily basis. When you have written and committed goals, the end is already in place. Everything else that unfolds in your daily life is just the journey and details that bring you to that final destination of your goals.
For the majority of my working career, I never thought about goals. Thankfully, I experienced some success and achievement at different periods of the early goings in my career, but it was scattered success without direction or ultimate aim. It was not until around the age of 34 in 2008, when I took a commission-only sales job after being laid off from the banking industry, that goal writing became a core component of my life. There is lots of talk about goal setting in the self-empowerment and business coaching world because goal setting can have a positive impact on several levels of your life. It gives you a big picture direction to plan your daily activities. It gives you focus on what tasks are truly important in your day. It opens up your awareness and perception to filter incoming data that is aligned with your ultimate purpose in life.
When you have committed goals, people and opportunities arrive in your life to help you with them, because your “antennas” are up and signaling for them. To me, most importantly, goals allow you to let go for success. The end-game is already known. You committed to your goals and you will get there, no matter what. The timing and path to get there may not be exactly how you envisioned it, but those are just details and details can change over time. Your end-game, the committed goals, are locked and set in stone with the universe.
3) Tackle the Dreadful things First
Most jobs come with some tasks that are dreadful. It is inescapable no matter what our job may be. For you, it may be making cold calls to sales prospects. For someone else, it may be tackling the administrative paperwork that always piles up. No matter what your uncomfortable task may be, try to knock it out as the very first thing you do each day. You will build muscle memory and grow more at ease with doing these tasks and at the very least get it off your plate early in your day. Taking on our toughest and least favorite tasks first thing in our workday can be challenging, but it sets a great tone for the remainder of our day. It is important to note, prior to starting my work day at my primary job, I have typically already read a little bit for inspiration, done some brief exercising, written creatively, and meditated as well.
So by the time my primary job starts, I have accomplished a morning routine that is established to try and prime myself for the best possible emotional state imaginable.
My meditation practice has become sacred to me over time. I have been meditating for over four years now and it has made positive impacts on every single facet of my life. Meditation is key for me to be able to remain present in the face of disruptive or stressful news in the workplace. Meditation provides me with a calmed mind to carry into client interactions so I am able to actively listen, seeking to understand, and working with creativity and thoughtfulness to try and solve business problems or cultivate business relationships. While I still carry insecurities and anxieties from my past, meditation has allowed them to subside somewhere in the background of my life as opposed to being domineering and detracting forces.
I am able to recognize when my internal talk track becomes too critical or derisive and can quickly interrupt those harmful thought patterns in favor of expressing gratitude in order to change up my mental state. All of this awareness is possible because of meditation.
A Deeper Purpose
Letting go is not about caring less or foregoing ownership of your responsibilities. When you let go of ego-driven motivations, you actually begin to care with a much deeper and more connected purpose to your work. Letting go allows you to take full ownership and accountability of everything that unfolds on the journey of your career. Having that kind of mentality, where you are responsible for it all, becomes a great source of relief and comfort. No matter what is taking shape in your career right now, you ultimately have the final say in crafting the outcome. Even if bad news or a blown opportunity comes your way, you have the power and choice to react with grace in the face of difficulties. Let go and allow true success to unfold.
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