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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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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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