Have you ever really wanted something?
Have you gone on a job interview and really, really wanted them to approve of you and hire you? Or maybe you’ve met someone at a party and before going on a date with them, you’re really, really hoping they’ll like you and want to be with you.
Now, you may ask, what’s wrong with wanting things? I go after what I want, isn’t that a good thing?
The short answer is yes, it’s incredibly important to know what you most desire and to pursue it with passion and intensity. However…
When we’re fixated and attached on a particular outcome, our energy often has a grasping, frantic, or desperate quality to it.
Where have you noticed this in your own life?
Have you ever really, really wanted someone to like you? Maybe you thought they were attractive or successful and you were really attached to them seeing you positively.
What happened? How did it go? Were you nervous, stilted, or awkward? Did you not have anything to say, or find that you just talked non-stop about inane things because you were so nervous? Maybe you had a big grin plastered on your face and just smiled and nodded enthusiastically at whatever they said.
When we’re very attached to one particular outcome, we can become physically tight and contracted and mentally obsess about getting what we want.
We may also start feeling tense, anxious, stressed or frustrated.
The Paradox Of Letting Go
When you notice this in yourself, the most liberating thing you can do is temporarily let go of getting your outcome.
That’s right, to actually say to yourself: What if I let go of wanting to get this job? What if I let go of trying to make this other person like me?
Let go of wanting that job, of wanting that person to like me? That’s ridiculous, I need that job. It’s incredibly important to me. I’ve dreamed about having it for years. That’s the man of my dreams, if he doesn’t like me, it will be terrible.
Yes, you very much want these things to happen, so you’re going to do everything in your power to make sure reality goes the way you want it to.
Letting go can actually help you be more likely to achieve your outcome (and feel better along the way).
Here Are 5 Reasons Why Letting Go Will Help You:
1. When you let go you’re more likely to actually achieve your outcome. Being fixated on and attached to only one outcome often causes us to do the very things that prevent us from getting what we want.
“One often meets his destiny on the road he avoids to take it.” – Master Oogway
2. When you let go, you make better decisions. When you’re less fixated on things going the one “right way” you’re much more flexible and creative. You see there are many ways to meet everyone’s needs and solve problems.
3. When you let go, you feel better instantly. Much of our suffering comes from resisting what’s happening or fearing what might happen. When you let go, you allow yourself to relax into the moment and emotions such as peace and happiness are more accessible.
4. When you let go, your body relaxes and becomes healthier. Being very mentally and emotionally fixated on something creates a strong physical tightening in your body. Your shoulders, neck, chest, or stomach may become chronically tense or tight. When you breathe deep and let go, your body can soften and relax.
5. When you let go, you can actually enjoy your outcome when you get there. The worst part about being fixated and attached to one outcome is we often can’t experience pleasure or joy even if we achieve our goal. If you’re attached to someone approving of you, then during the conversation you’re constantly checking whether they like you or not. You may miss the fact they smiled at you, and laughed when you made a joke. Being attached actually causes you to miss out on the joy of getting what you want.
To learn more about the skill of letting go, please check out our free meditations (coming soon!). You can also learn from a master teacher, Candace Verlee, who teaches the practice of Solsara in Portland, Oregon.