Tell the average hard-driving success-oriented person to “let go” and you’re likely to hear something along the lines of: “Are you crazy? It’s a jungle out there!”
Life in the fast lane can make many sales managers feel they must be aggressive, competitive, and forceful. Letting go at any point is viewed as weakness and losing. However, there are several benefits to letting go that can actually help you go farther than if you cling tightly to defense mechanisms. How does one accept oneself and simultaneously let go of the worry of not being good enough? Try these four tips to get started.
Stop listening to naysayers. We are led to believe that there are experts and that they know better than we do, People watch the weather forecast instead of looking outside; they trust psychological tests rather than their own perceptions. They let the movie reviewers tell them what movies to watch. And the longer they place ultimate trust in the mass expert, the less there seems to be inside to trust.
Stop beating yourself up for not achieving your goals. Accepting yourself is really a matter of perspective. You might think you’re not where you want to be. Focus instead on the fact that where you are is good enough for now, and you’re continuing to develop and grow. When you erroneously link self-acceptance to the fulfillment of goals, ask yourself this question: Is there some action I can take right now about this goal? If yes, do it. If so, when is the earliest time I could act? Plan it.
Let go of unproductive defense systems. The power in self-acceptance means letting go of a counterproductive defense system that exhausts your own energies and alienates others. Try this martial art experiment of nonresistance: Stand in front of a friend, tense your body, and let him push you. Because of your resistance, he can control you. Now, as he pushes you, take a smooth, controlled step backward. Let your body flow backward so that you experience no resistance. You are now in control and could, in theory, “allow” your friend to continue his combative gesture so that he falls to the floor. This demonstrates the spirit of blending and using nature’s forces to maintain flow, not block it.
Get to know failure well. Make friends with failure, not merely as a passing acquaintance. Let go of the debilitating idea that others do not fail. This is particularly crucial when you are learning a new skill. To really let go of the fear of failure and to blend with the natural balance of winning and losing, try this psychologically tough test: Fail on purpose. Blow your next sales attempt. Just have fun and stop judging your performance. Double your golf score. Make mistakes you’d normally fear making. Have fun with failure and see if the sky falls in. (It won’t.) Soon, you’ll improve organically.
Practice the skills of letting go daily, in every situation where your prior conditioning propels you in the opposite direction – when a co-worker berates you, when you criticize yourself, when you are tense with worry. Let go and be powerful.