By Pink Sherbet Photography--D. Sharon Pruitt
The other day while talking a friend, we got into a conversation about a project she embarked on a few years ago. This project was based on her passion, expertise, experience, and represented what she stood for. She worked with a coach for two years, spent tons of money to produce it in a professional manner, and had her heart and soul invested in the thing.
Once it was finally finished and she got it out there, the silence was deafening. No one was interested, nobody bought. Not only was she not going to make money, she wasn’t even going to recoup her investment. I’d say the experience was soul crushing for her. After a lot of disappointment, she decided to move on to something else. Recently she started to see some renewed interest in this project which made her very happy.
When she told me about it I said that letting go of needing the thing to sell might be what opened the space for something to actually happen. When you hold too tightly to things, you cut off their oxygen and they can’t breathe, so how can they survive?
She said that she had let it go, she wasn’t pursuing it, or even thinking about it anymore.
“You didn’t let it go, you gave up on it, which is a whole different thing,” I said.
She paused for a moment– “you’re right, I never thought about it that way.”
Giving Up and letting go are two totally different things.
One reeks of failure, the other requires trust.
One is a type of abandonment, the other is achieved through detachment.
Letting go is bringing 100% of yourself to whatever it is you want to achieve/have and doing everything possible to make the thing successful while at the same time trusting that whatever the outcome is, it’s the one that’s supposed to happen. And if the outcome you get isn’t the outcome you wanted, go back, regroup and see if there’s something worth fixing, or if it’s time to give up, move on and take the lesson.
Oh, and just for the record, the lesson is usually NOT you suck or your thing sucks.
It’s just that being disappointed sucks.
When we’re disappointed we want to have someplace to discharge the uncomfortable feelings so we find a place to blame which often means turning inward and blaming ourselves. This is heart-breaking because there are millions of reasons why opportunities, ideas, jobs, projects, situations, and relationships don’t come to pass.
It’s before it’s time, the timing is off, it’s not the right thing, it’s not the right thing for you, it’s not the right thing right now, there’s something better coming, you need to tweak it, YOU NEED THE LEARNING THAT NOT GETTING THIS THING WILL GIVE YOU.
That last one is the tough one. I’ve been through that one a lot and I can tell you there’s nothing like it to build the spiritual /emotional muscles.
Sometimes giving up is what’s called for.
But most times, it’s actually letting go.