In the continuing series of “what I heard in spin class this morning,” is this brilliant phrase:

Let something go.

In my leadership and coach trainings we used to say, “you cannot get to second base if you are holding on to first base.”

I had a potential client come to me and ask me for coaching. He was someone I really wanted to work with and I set a time for him to have a sample call with me. He canceled the day before. I emailed to set another time and he did not get back to me. Then I called him and he said he was very busy but “yes, I really want to do this.” And so we scheduled another time. And again he canceled. This went on for months.

Then one day last week I thought to myself, “I am letting go.” And I crossed him off my list.

You might not believe this next part, but that afternoon, he called me and he set a time for his first coaching call and he followed through.

When we let go, space opens up.

When we throw away old clothes, it makes space for new clothes. Maybe it just makes room in your closet so you can go out and buy what you like, what you most want, what is most appropriate to you at this phase in your life. But also, I have heard people say that when they throw away old clothes, they will often have someone actually give them new clothes.  closet

I don’t know why it works.  Whether it is psychological, mental, emotional or some kind of universal law, it works.

Why do we hold on?

1. Often it is because we had a peak experience and we are afraid it will never happen again so we hold on to it long past the time that it is valuable for us in our lives. For example, sometimes we get into a relationship that makes us happy at first; but we don’t leave after it is no longer good for us, just hoping the peak experience will return.

2. Often it is the known vs. the unknown. We might stay in a job we don’t love out of fear the next job could be worse.let go 2

3. Sometimes it’s inertia – it’s just easier to stay here than to let go and see what’s next. Some small business owners become stagnant doing the same thing day after day, but never ask themselves, “Where do I want to go and what do I need to let go of to get there?”

4. Sometimes we are afraid of what will happen. Sometimes I need to let go control of my teenage children a little but I am afraid what they will do if I don’t hold on. let go 1

So many reasons to hold on. And yet, so much opens up when you let go. I have a piece of paper on my desk. It says, “what did I let go of today?” This is my new practice. I started this week.

What will you let go of today?

About the Author

Picture of Cami McLaren

Cami McLaren

is the owner of McLaren Coaching. She has been coaching professionals and leaders since early 2008. She runs Transformative Coaching Essentials, a coach training program that produces first rate Professional Coaches and "Coach-Style Leaders." She coaches individually and works with organizations to improve communication, time management, productivity and ultimately bring greater results.

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