For example, a couple of weeks ago, my daughter was getting herself dressed for school. What she had picked out was, in my mind, a kaleidoscope of clashing colors. She chose a light turquoise-colored dress with brown polka dots, pink tights with multicolored polka dots and stripes, and because I had insisted she wear a long-sleeved shirt under the tank-style dress, a red shirt (plus the purple and orange shoes she'd be wearing).
I started to insist that we pick a different shirt and leggings that coordinated better, or maybe even a whole different dress? She resisted me at every turn. She knew what she wanted to wear and she was not going to budge. I kept pushing, trying to convince her to choose something different. Until I noticed a change in her demeanor and a look on her face that stopped me in my tracks. I was deflating her energy and an aura of sadness fell about her.
I was trying to control her and the choices that she was making, over something that at the end of the day just didn't matter. I checked in with myself; why am I pushing this so hard?
I realized in that moment that what was driving my behavior was that I was concerned about what other people would think of her. Or if I'm real honest, I was concerned about what people would think of me as her mother for allowing her to go to school dressed like that. I was *embarrassed* already and no one had even seen her yet. I backed off and let it go, allowing her to wear what she wanted to wear.
I am grateful that I noticed what was happening in the moment. Two years ago, I would have made her change her clothes. I would have pushed for the outcome I wanted. I would have forced her to wear what I wanted her to wear.
I am grateful that I didn't do that. I am grateful that I made the decision to support, no embrace, the fact that she likes a lot of colors, AND the fact that she exerted her freedom to make her own choice. I am grateful that I am on this journey and am learning to how to let go of these things that just don't matter. I'm grateful that this letting-go-of-control-thing, is truly a journey, and that I can continue to practice and focus my energy on what really matters.
Some of my most impactful areas of growth have come from letting go of something. I've let go of old beliefs. I've let go of old expectations that no longer serve me. I've let go of old ways of being. And I'm learning to let go of my masks, the pretend me that I've been so careful designing for most of my life. I'm letting go of fears. I'm letting go of the armor I wear to keep myself safe.
When we let go, we grow. What do you need to let go of? What is one small step in that direction that you can take today?
Read more about the Power of Letting go in one of my recent LinkedIn posts.