You need to let go to find clarity.


Even when we intellectually understand the concept of letting go, it’s not always easy. Letting go in principle and letting go in practice can be very different things.

Over the years I have trained, coached, and counseled many people through their pivots, and at some point a critical conversation occurs. As we start to dig into their situation, we discover that the next steps for their pivot are clear. There are opportunities for them—in work, in business, in love, in health—that are right in front of them. There are connections, money, new relationships— there’s hope—staring them right in the face.

But they won’t take action.

At that point conversation either stops altogether or drifts into the story of why they’re not ready. “It’s not time yet because . . .” or “I’m not ready because … ” It’s a story of past troubles and future obstacles. Of regret and anger, fear and uncertainty. It is, fundamentally, a story of the inability to let go.

If you’ve found yourself saying those same things when faced with the idea of change, it’s important to realize that you’re telling yourself that story, too. And as long as you continue to tell yourself the story, you can’t let go.

But what’s really going on here? Why is it so hard to let go? The answer can be a difficult pill to swallow: If you can’t let go, it’s because you’re not done suffering yet.

When you’re anchored to the pain of the past, you’re anchored to the pain of punishing yourself, not others. After all, they don’t feel the pain of your reliving past transgressions. You do. And you’re not done suffering.

When you’re stuck in the present, waiting for the perfect moment, it’s not about the perfect plan. It’s about continuing to punish yourself by believing you don’t deserve something better. That you’re not good enough. It’s because you’re not done suffering.

Sure, you hide that suffering under a story: “Once such-and-such happens, then I’ll … ”

The real story is this: I’m not done punishing myself yet. Which is really a way of saying: I’m not ready to forgive myself yet. Our lives don’t change when we’re anchored to punishing ourselves. That anchoring disconnects us from the river of infinite potential around us. It keeps us separate from the miracles that are everywhere. From God. From the source. To pivot, you need to re- connect. To let go of the suffering. That’s how you reconnect to the unlimited resources and potential around you. All the money, connections, opportunities—they’re all flowing past you all the time, but you can’t dip in until you forgive yourself and forgive others.

PIVOT POINT: You can’t let go if you can’t forgive yourself.