How to Let Go and Hang On

“When you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” Maybe not!

What if it’s time to let go?

It takes more wisdom to let go than hang on.

against the wall

Desperation makes you hang on.

Distress persists.

Despair sets in.

Let go:

During distress you often hang on to what you should let go.

  1. Hope. You hoped to earn the VP slot. But, they brought in an outsider. The longer you hope for that position the more time you’ll waste. I know the COO of a hospital who was passed over twice. She stopped hoping for the position and resolved to do a great job where she was. Eventually, they asked her to become COO.
  2. Hostility. Lashing out at those who let you down is living in the past.
  3. Bitterness. You received less than you deserved. Leaders dedicated to giving more than they take always receive less than they deserve.

When your mind’s set on one thing it can’t consider another. Let go.

Hang on:

  1. Reflection. You reflect too much on others, during distress, and too little on yourself. Reflect on who you are and, more important, who you want to be. Rise to your noble self.
  2. Connection. Connect over the future not the past. Learn from those who have already reached what you’re reaching for. Bitter winds invite you to build barriers.  You may need to rehash disappointments for a while, but don’t stir that pot too long. We all know people who destroyed their future by circling the past.
  3. Action. Any reasonable action is better than crying in your soup. Take a small step toward your future every day. Your future is built by taking action not thinking thoughts.

When you’re up against the wall, stop doing things that got you there.

What can leaders do when they’re at the end of the rope?