If I can't change it, can I let it go?

What’s bringing your energy down today?

I swear the objective here isn’t to bum you out! Keep reading for a practical tip that will save you a tremendous amount of draining energy.

Maybe there’s something obvious that has you in a grumpy mood… or maybe, just faintly, deeper in your mind or heart, there is something below the surface, tugging, like the pulse of a dull pain that’s easy to ignore.  

I’m not asking you to go and look for trouble (if you’re having a great day and everything is awesome, that’s fantastic!). But if you pause. Get still. Get silent. You may find something that’s slowly sucking your energy, like a leaky faucet. You haven't called the plumber yet because you haven’t really noticed it, or if you have, maybe it seems too small to give any attention to.

Just because you haven’t recognized or acknowledge it yet, doesn’t mean it’s not causing some damage by sucking up your energy and your conscious (or subconscious) mental and emotional capacity.

No thank you! Let’s put that energy to good use instead.

Whatever the energy leech may be (co-worker taking credit for your efforts at work, spouse not pulling their weight at home, a small rift with a friend), it’s worth taking a look at so you can plug up the hole that’s leaking your energy and move on feeling lighter and happier.

Give this simple process a try.

  1. Identify the thing bothering you, big or small. Be specific. Name it.

    1. What’s the situation?

    2. What’s it causing you to think?

    3. What’s it causing you to feel?

  2. Ask yourself:  

    1. Is this something I can change (either physically or my attitude towards it)?

    2. Is this something worth the effort to change?

    3. If you can’t change it, or it’s not worth the emotional expenditure to change it, consider this your invitation to Let. That. Shit. Go.

OK. “But how do I actually do that?”

Let me give you an example.

Last week I met a friend for a drink and one of his friends basically said a business idea of mine was ridiculous and that I was wasting my time on it. I didn’t even know the guy, but I got somewhat defensive then eventually shrugged it off and went on with my night.

But then, over the last few days, I caught myself thinking “can I really do this?” “This idea seems silly… I must be crazy.” “Maybe I just shouldn't do this, people will think it’s ridiculous.”

When I stopped to think about why I felt this way or where this self-doubt came from, I recognized that this stranger’s negativity basically put me into a total mental spiral of doubting myself, my skills, and my passion.

Why on earth would I let a person I don’t even know have that kind of impact on a dream of mine?!

It’s human nature. It’s how the brain works. When people poke at those internal gremlins you have, those limiting beliefs, (“I’m not good enough, I’m not worthy, I don’t have what it takes”), it triggers you to start believing those things, or at least has the power to put your mind in that negative space.

But it doesn't have to. For long, anyway.

Recognize that it’s happening then ask yourself the questions above.

When I noticed this doubt coming up and stopped for a second, realizing that it stemmed from this conversation with a person who didn’t know me or understand my idea, I realized I had a choice to make.

I can let this (likely unintentional) snide comment put a halt to my goal. Or, I can let it go. I can recognize that I probably could change this guy’s mind if I tried, but that’s not even worth it. He can have his opinion. I can let him be “right”. And I can remember that the most important thing is following my dreams and trusting my intuition.  

The key here is recognition. You don’t want to just ignore the thing and let it fester under the surface. Bring the thought or emotion to the forefront of your attention. Look at it. Examine how it made you feel (I’m talking about for 2 minutes, not for an entire day). After your “research”, you get to make the decision if you’re going to let it impact you or remove it from your thought patterns.

Sounds super simple, but I think this is something we all need to be reminded of. It’s so easy to get thrown off course by what someone else says or does. By a situation out of our control. By comparing ourselves to someone else and their seeming success, or perfect relationship, or amazing job.

Just remember, you have a choice. Every time. YOU get to control what you do with your energy and your attitude.

So, what are you letting go of today to make space for more of the good stuff in your life?

I want to know! Shoot me a note or comment on the post.


Elizabeth St. John2 Comments