Two things I had to let go of this year, bike racing and my dog, McKenzie. My poor dog had lived 17 years under my care and I am certain she was happy to move on.
The bike racing was actually way more complicated to let go of. If you have ever gotten into this or any competitive sport, then you know it can be all consuming. It comes with great rewards; you look great, you feel great, you lose two pants sizes and if you are lucky and having a good day, you can actually feed that competitive monster with a podium placing or two. Having spent most of the last 3 years training or racing or worrying about training, racing or what I was eating or not eating, that was a lot of focus and mind share.
Once I decided not to race anymore, I found that even through I had stopped racing, I hadn’t really let go in my head. I still checked results online, texted my team mates before and after races, and forced myself to maintain my fitness. Fitness – that’s not a bad thing to keep up, but the “not letting go part” really became just one more distraction.
One of my clients and their teams are preparing for an upcoming move to a new (and spectacular) building. Though they were initially resistant to talking about the change impacts, once they saw what the changes or enhancements actually were, they got that most of them required a mind set shift of one kind or another. They had to “let go” of something to make way for the new.
How do we help ourselves surf change with grace and ease? First, know what is changing and make a full commitment to making it happen. Second, and equally important, release the patterning you have been operating within. While your change might be as simple as altering the route you’ve been driving to work, by consciously taking the time to recognize and focus on the benefits from what will be different for you, you can actually shift more easily.
For example, weekends used to be about driving 2-3 hours each way for a 30-90 minute bike race. That didn’t include preparing for, or recovering from, the race itself. Today, Saturday would normally be a race day. I actually slept in and woke up a much nicer person. :-)
But what to do with those newly empty hours?
The danger in not replacing your old focus with something new, even if that new is relaxation, is your brain will try to track you back to the past, or what you used to have.
This week, take a look at your current patterns and see if there is anything you are currently or wanting to let go of. Why not take action on it now? Remember to find something new to focus on, to help pull you forward into the new experience so you can move more effortlessly into that fun and exciting place of adventure, gratitude and connection.