As a mother of adult sons, one of the greatest lessons I have learned was the art of letting go. Having coached many women in the same situation, I also know I am not alone. And on reflection this is very much the same as birthing and growing a business.
When we have children, we are there for them consistently. We guide them and help them grow into people who are ready to live a fulfilled and happy life. I believe that’s our true purpose as a parent.
During those early years our own life revolves around our children. They become the centre focus. For women we often find it very difficult to even see a life for ourselves after children leave home.
Letting go of children begins at quite a young age
From the first time they crawl. Right up to the time they pack their bags and close their bedroom door for the last time, we are letting go.
I distinctly remember when the time came for my boys to fly the nest and how tough that was. I found it difficult to even walk past their rooms without feeling the loss.
Interestingly, this was nowhere near as challenging as time moved forward and they both found beautiful partners. Then the practice of letting go really needed to be mastered.
Letting go of the need to talk to them everyday. Or to run to their assistance whenever they had a situation they were finding difficult. Stopping myself from jumping in whenever they had an important decision to make.
When I later reflected on this, I realized that this was really about letting go of the need to control things. It was about my need to keep them and myself safe from experiencing loss or disappointment.
What eventually came to my attention is this. If I didn’t learn to let my boys be men, it would interfere with their growth. In addition to this our relationship would suffer too.
Like most parents, I want total happiness for my children. And if I truly wanted that, then I needed to learn how to fully release them.
It meant letting go of what I realised were my own needs to control
If you are in business, then you might very well be resonating with this even if you don’t have children. Because it’s very much the same. A business is like a child, from start up all the way through to where you are today.
I remember as a student coach being told to always be outcomes focused and at the same time to let go of the outcome. This confused me at the time, I saw it as a paradox. How on earth can I be outcomes focused and let go of the outcome?
And what did that even mean?
It wasn’t long before I found out. But even then I struggled with this concept, the same as I did as a parent of adult children.
As I started up my business and set goals, I noticed that I wasn’t achieving some of them. No matter what I did, whether I pushed or pulled, I didn’t reach that particular outcome.
I became frustrated. Which made the situation even worse. The more frustrated I became the more it impacted my mindset negatively. This made it even more challenging to achieve what I wanted.
When I actually learned how to let go of those outcomes, I achieved something even better. And this has allowed my business to grow into a vehicle that serves where I am in life right now.
By trying to control outcomes we can stifle our business. The same as a controlling parent can stifle the growth of a child. But feeling the need to control is all about our protection and survival mechanism. This serves our base needs. So how do we let go of the need to do that?
Setting goals is paramount to driving our business forward
You might think from what I’ve shared that we need to stop setting goals, but they are still important. Because it’s our goals that help us see what needs to be done. As we take action on those goals we change and grow as a person.
Continue to set goals and map out a plan, because this gives you direction. But allow for flexibility and change to occur naturally.
Accept that your business is just part of your life it’s not your whole life
Allow your business to grow so it serves your whole life, not just your professional success. By trying to control outcomes, we can inadvertently create a monster that gets in the way of living. When we let go of outcomes, we make room for our business to grow in a direction that serves our life.
This can be far more abundant than you originally envisaged. Just like our veggie garden at the moment. If we let the tomatoes seed themselves instead of moving them to where we’d prefer them to be we harvest a huge crop.
Have goals for your whole life, not just your business. Get really clear on how you want that to look. This may even change the goals for your professional life too.
Remind yourself that there is more than one way to reach a destination
This is something I learned as a child by watching my dad find all those creative B roads when we went on holiday. They made the journey interesting, because we discovered new exciting places. We still got to our destination but it was much more enjoyable getting there. Plus it gave us places to go for day trips too so made the holiday even better.
When we remind ourself that there is more than one way to get there, it helps us let go. Who knows what we might discover on this latest detour and how that can have a beneficial effect on our final destination. The positive growth of the business and possibly an expanded version of our life in general.
Each time you get a curve ball, ask yourself this. What if there really is more than one way to reach a destination? And what if this is the detour that allows me to see something beneficial that I hadn’t even considered?
Letting go makes anything become possible
My children have built lives for themselves and their families that I never even imagined. They have grown into independent, strong and grounded men, partners and fathers that I am so very proud of.
And my business well, I’m doing things now that I never dreamed of eleven years ago. This serves my values, my heart and my life in general. It’s all because I let go and followed my intuitive guidance instead of holding onto an original outcome. Can you imagine what might have happened if I’d tried to control?
Letting go can be one of the hardest things to master. This is because our survival needs, belief systems and sometimes even our values get in the way. Working with a good coach can help you move through these obstacles sustainably. If you would like to see how coaching can help you create what you want for your business, career or life, Book A Quick 15 Minute Connect Call HERE