Letting go is not a straight linear process. I was speaking to a friend about how difficult it has been for her to transition from a professional career of 20 plus years. She expressed what many of us feel as we go through big changes, such as, why isn’t change easier? Why don’t people talk about how hard it really is? I could really relate, as I have gone through something similar.
We often hear from others, why don’t you just quit, let go or move on? These are linear statements that don’t give voice to the reality that this is a complex process.
Change is not linear because we carry both sure and unsure moments within us. Instead, change is a wandering path of self-discovery connecting the new venture to the new you. So, saying you need to quit does not make it so because it assumes we should blindly trust, without thinking, no matter the fallout. It doesn’t allow us to consider or feel the fullness of the journey we’re experiencing.
So, place your trust in the dialog between the sure and the unsure moments. Can you hear what they may be telling you? They travel together so neatly, and are inextricably paired, giving us the perspective, we need.
My friend also shared how challenging it is to consider all the facets or nuances a big change can bring. This is why change is not linear, it is much more complex than meets the eye. It is filled with influences such as our distinctions, distractions, and frames, that often make us lose focus and momentum if we are not consciously aware.
Let’s me explain how these fit in the context of a big change.
We hold frames or mental images about our experiences. And if you hold your perceptions too tightly, you can limit moving forward. Sometimes you must let go of one thing, to make room for another. So, as you move forward through change, you can ask yourself…
What are the frames that I tightly hold?
What new frames must I hold now?
The answers will help you loosen the perceptions that don’t serve you anymore.
As we experience change, we can get distracted along the way. But distractions are not all bad. They may be telling us something, like…where we are stuck or should we slow down or speed up?
So, identify, what is distracting you?
Are these distractions getting in your way or are they useful?
And lastly, when we travel through change, we need to consciously make quality distinctions. Distinctions are a contrast or differences between similar things. They help us clear up confusion and give us a pathway that is more aligned to what we want.
As an example, my friend was stuck, thinking she needed to sell one business to make room for the other. After asking more robust questions, she was able to make distinctions she did not see before. So, instead of choosing one or the other, she was able to see how to divide responsibilities and time differently. She found solutions in the distinctions.
As we consider the impact of our frames, distractions, and distinctions, we need to pause to understand what they reveal and accept that change is not linear.
So, when you hear people say, just quit or leave, remember, they are not carrying the baggage of angst and complexity to unravel it all. Only you can understand how to peacefully and thoughtfully unhook all these connections and find your way through. And as you do, lo and behold, your breakthrough appears.