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The Art Of Letting Go That Everyone Should Master

The Art Of Letting Go That Everyone Should Master

When negotiating life’s twists and turns, it’s easy to get bogged down by our past experiences and things that have gone wrong in our lives. Fear and worry can be the main drivers of our existence and, without us realizing it, they can slowly destroy our happiness and our health.

Learning the art of letting go is the answer to living a fulfilling and productive life. This doesn’t mean not acknowledging the trials and tribulations of our own reality. Quite the contrary. It means reflecting on them in a way that helps us to digest what has happened, extract the life lessons, and then put them behind us.

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Risk is your friend

When you’ve been burned before, whether in a relationship, a friendship, or a job, it’s easy to shun similar situations to avoid getting hurt again. Fear stops us from living a full life. It prevents us from reaching our full potential because we miss opportunities in order to remain safe. We worry that whatever we have suffered will repeat itself and so we avoid taking chances. Risk is necessary if we hope to push our own boundaries and discover what life has to offer beyond the mundane. Wisdom comes from experience and taking into consideration our past helps us to make calculated risks. The art of letting go turns fear into intention. It gets us out of our own head. Often, our fears and worries are just in our mind and letting these go by facing our anxiety head on makes us feel accomplished and courageous. It leads us to greater achievements.

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Learning from failure

Failing means you have tried. Although failure can sometimes have a huge impact on our confidence, security, safety, and even our finances, that doesn’t mean that failure is necessarily a bad thing. Our failures are where our life lessons lie. If we reflect on what went wrong, we are less likely to repeat the same pattern. If we do, or a situation is out of our control and we must, we are better prepared to handle the outcome. We needn’t dwell on our failures to take away the most valuable information that can inform our future decisions. We just need to properly acknowledge them and understand the reality. Then, commit to letting go.

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Living in the moment

Obsessing about the past or anticipating the future too much distracts us from what is right in front of us. It is important to analyze what we have been through so that it can contribute to what we do next and it is always necessary to have some sort of forward planning to guide our life’s trajectory. However, the here and now is the most important, and really the only, thing that we have. Letting go requires us to be mindful about the present; to enjoy each day and each moment as it happens by quieting the noise in our minds long enough to open our intuition. If you have adequately recounted what has been and have suitably deliberated about what will come, then it is time to just be and to surrender and accept life’s inevitabilities.

Trust is key

Letting go is all about trust — trusting your own decisions and instincts about what is best for you. When you have done all the ground work and developed your perceptiveness about how to strive for your goals and build your achievements, letting go becomes second nature. The hardest thing to do is to surrender control in life. We all want to hold onto the reins of our lives tightly and to be able to steer our destiny in the direction we desire. We like to think that we determine what happens to us and that the outcome of our life’s challenges are our responsibility alone. Letting go feels like losing control, but it isn’t. It is actually assuming complete control, not of what happens to us, but how we survive it. And that is the key to a happy and healthy life.

Featured photo credit: sunsetevansville.com via sunsetevansville.com

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Diane Koopman

Writer, Author, Novelist, Self-Publisher

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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