Learning How to Let Go

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I get stuck a lot.

Recently I’ve been working on some additional offerings for my readers. Right now I have two primary ways that I help people find and clarify their work, calling, and passions: blog posts and one-on-one work. Those are two ends of a spectrum, with blog posts reaching many people in a small way and one-on-one sessions reaching a few people in a deep way. I’m working on a few projects to fill out the in-between.

While working on these new offerings, my energy fluctuates from excited and hopeful to discouraged and despairing. I get caught up and excited thinking about how much I can help someone, the impact I can have, and the potential for life change, and then I get really scared. Scared that what I make won’t deliver. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to be as helpful as I want to be. I’m scared of someone reading the book that I write and feeling let down or even led-on by faulty promises— promises I genuinely intend.

The intermingling of these hopes and fears is paralyzing and the swings from hopeful to hopeless are exhausting — as I try to temper my hope and rally out of my despair.

In my more sober moments, I have come to realize that both my hopes and fears will likely come true. Some people will be deeply moved and impacted by what I create. Others will be disappointed.

So I’m learning to let go.

I’m letting go of what the things I create may not become in order to discover what they actually will be. I’m learning to let go of the fear of disappointing some because I know, one way or another, that what I create will not connect with everyone.

If I don’t learn how to let go, I won’t ever finish.

I can’t release your work to the world until I let go of what the world will think of it. I can’t control that. Some people will get it and others won’t, no matter how hard I try.

So here’s to letting go. Here’s to finding kindness for yourself, your story, and your process. Here’s to making the things you need to make, regardless of how they will be received.

Photo by Lotus Carroll//CC

Dan Cumberland is on a mission to push you into the places meaning, life, & work intersect. He is the author of The Meaning Manifesto. Read more about him here, and connect with him on facebook and twitter.

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