Jessica Soroky continues her series Leadership is a Choice.
In the not so distant past, despite all my effort, I could not wrap my mind around this one concept. I was aware that the only thing between myself, peace, power, and choice was this concept but instead I was overwhelmed. I was left feeling lost and frustrated by three one syllable words.
Let it go.
I entered into The Leadership Gift™ Program determined to master personal responsibility. Quite quickly, I became aware that diving into this rabbit hole was much like a methodology I love. Just like Agile, The Responsibility Process and the Three Keys aren’t going to solve all your problems, instead they are exploitive (if you allow it and really look at yourself). Once the problems are uncovered it acts as a tool to break through them and move forward. The model and practice won’t solve problems for you, only you can do the work to get to the breakthrough.
After only a few weeks in the program I was hit with a solution to all my problems. At the time I had no idea the weight of those three words or that I alone held the answers to all my issues.
Let it go.
It felt so simple – too simple. Over-analyzing those words led to many blog posts on the subject, many of which showing how frustrating it was to hear Christopher or Scotty ask me if I could let it go. Could I? I’m sure I could, I am sure I can do whatever I put my mind to.
The question I couldn’t get past was – how? How do I let something go?
For months I was stuck on trying to understand why I do something. I thought this was the key to letting it go. If I could find out what caused the issue then I would know what to not do or what to stay away from so that the problem wouldn’t reoccur. If I knew it wouldn’t reoccur then I could let it go, I could even let go of the anxiety around it reoccurring.
Wow – talk about Control Cycle.
In essence what I just said is that I would evaluate myself, justifying it with a belief that I was looking for the cause of the problem. Only once I evaluated myself adequately could I create a false sense of relief, believing I was letting it go. But I wasn’t actually letting it go; I was distracting myself long enough to not worry about it anymore or have anxiety about it.
It typically didn’t take long for the problem to resurface and the cycle would start over again. I was stuck.
If everything is our own creation then I was creating, choosing, and attracting this stuck feeling. I was choosing to not let go, instead I was holding onto the personal evaluation.
There wasn’t a singular moment in time where I had a breakthrough. It has been through my journey into choice that I have learned how to let go. I used to envision my problem as a pencil I was holding in my hand. When I wanted to let it go I would visualize opening my hand and releasing the pencil. In some instances where the problem was really bad, I would even go as far as to envision the pencil breaking into a million pieces as it crashed into the ground.
Though this worked sometimes it wasn’t the breakthrough I wanted. I didn’t feel free.
I have trouble truly describing the freedom that has come from the realization that everything in my world is my creation or my choice. When I look at my problems now I can completely skip blame and shame, there is no point in those mindsets.
I created this situation, this problem. I get something out of it or I wouldn’t have created it. I can choose for it to no longer exist.
I can choose.
A real, “Well S**t” moment for me was taking the idea of choice to what some may consider an extreme level, and applying it to every aspect of my life. I became intolerant of blaming others or justifying the why behind the problem.
Let me be clear, I became intolerant in my personal practice only. I didn’t morph into a Responsibility Policeman trying to wipe below-the-line mindsets from everyone I encountered.
Allow me be even more clear, I am human. Even in my new found ruthless (thank you Bill for the awesome word) practice I still slip up constantly. I am not perfect. What has improved though is my own awareness that if I want to let something go, I can. It really is that simple.
I let go of the frustration and confusion around being told to “let it go” and just embraced the principal behind it.
Will you choose to let go today?
Jessica Soroky, CSM
Jessica is a Certified Scrum Master with over three years of practice in agile delivery and seven years of team leadership. She is also the youngest participant in The Leadership Gift™ Program and its growing worldwide community of leaders and coaches. After five years of non-profit development through Nellie’s Catwalk for Kids, Jessica continues her leadership journey in state government, not-for-profit, and private sector leadership studies.
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