Holding On Vs Letting Go

Letting go is difficult. Part of you may feel like you are losing something but unless you let go, you may be shielding yourself from new and better possibilities.

Letting go of something sometimes seems like quitting and has negative connotations - 'Don't be a quitter!', 'You can't quit now!' or 'Never quit!'

Yes, I am sure we all know someone who starts something and as soon as it displays any sign of challenge quits without using perseverance. A classic one - going to the gym on the 1st of January and quitting by the end of the month. Maybe in such circumstances, a moment to evaluate whether holding on and overcoming the difficulty will bring better outcomes in the future is important. Here, perhaps a better quote would be 'You can't quit, YET!'

However, holding on is not always the right approach. Perhaps you are holding on to a great job with a great title, but one which prevents you from pursuing your passion. Perhaps you are holding on to a relationship which is comfortable but isn't feeding you, inspiring you or bringing you happiness.

Can you think of a situation in your life where letting go felt like a liberating, and almost, a spiritual act?  One that freed you, made you feel lighter and happier and as a result opportunities presented themselves which perhaps would not have found you otherwise.

For me, that was letting go of my full-time career in Finance, which enabled me to become a better yoga teacher. I went from having just 1 regular class to suddenly having an abundance of opportunities flooding my way, which I otherwise would have missed.

When I am unsure about a situation or an opportunity, I evaluate whether it is important to hold on or to let go. Try going through this journalling process:

1. What is it you are holding on? (Be clear about it!)
2. What impact does it have on your life right now? List positives and negatives.
3. If you let go of it right now, how do you see your life developing?
4. If you hold on to it, how do you see your life developing?
5. If the answer is not clear, can you impose a deadline to revaluate the situation?

The last test I do is the Rocking Chair Test:

I imagine myself, as a 90 year old, just finished teaching a busy Forrest class, and then settling into a rocking chair for some tea.

I imagine asking myself how would I feel if I held onto that Finance job? (My body cringes in response).

Then, I imagine asking myself how I would feel if I left to pursue Yoga as a career? (My body brightens and a smile lights my face).

Often, these two tests, and using two separate skills of writing and visualising, can help you come up with the right response. 


The Yoke Wellness Ambassador,

Sabina Ahmadov


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