When you say goodbye, you say hello to the new.
As an entrepreneur in the healing profession and a woman looking to balance work, love and self-care, it becomes vitally important to your overall health to learn to say goodbye.
It’s a good time as 2018 wraps up to think about how you can become more DELIBERATE and more FOCUSED in the coming year about what’s ESSENTIAL to you. Give yourself your own permission to cut out all the non-essential things in your life! Saying goodbye to the unimportant things that steel your time and stress you out allow for work and relationships with yourself and others to flourish. Practicing Essentialism is radical self-care.
Many of you have told me how weighed down you feel. Your house is cluttered, and since what’s on the outside reflects what’s on the inside, your mind’s also cluttered. With clutter in your living space, and a million chattering thoughts running around in your mind, you get distracted from living the life you really want and focusing your energy and time on things that really matter to you. It’s easy to recognize this cluttered vibe with a little investigation.
You’ll usually feel a sense of heaviness, overwhelm, and confusion at certain points as you move through your day, your productivity won’t be at it’s best. But what if your experience of your days could be one of LIGHTNESS, EASE, CERTAINTY & LOVE? It’s possible. And if this sounds amazing, you can absolutely simplify your life by making time to say goodbye to all that’s not serving you. This is one of the most loving things you can do for yourself and those you love. Which is sometimes contrary to popular belief. But when your feeling light as a feather, that’s how you interact with your peeps and the world. Everything changes.
Start here. Somethings you may want to say goodbye to include:
Things you do
Thoughts you believe
List one under each of these heading that would serve you to say goodbye to.
It’s never to late to have the life you REALLY want.
Utilize these 3-questions to learn how to say goodbye:
Would you buy it today?
Would you start a relationship with this person today?
Would you adopt this way of thinking today?
I did this exercise with one of my new clients, Nancy, and here’s what she came up with:
During our mini sessions Nancy felt a lot of overwhelm about the year ending, unfinished business and a desire to start the 2019 simplified. After the mini session, she did the best thing she could do for herself in my opinion and signed up for my 12-week “Your Irresistible Life Program: From Busy to Brazen,” so I’m helping her get her life out of chaos, goals clearly defined and on track for an essentially irresistible life plan for 2019.
She’s a pediatrician, 35 years old, and still desires a family of her own, “or at least that’s what I think,” she told me, “but time is ticking and I need to make some adjustments to my work-life balance asap.”
“I understand,” I told her, as this is my area of speciality with women.
This is what Nancy choose to say goodbye to:
Physical items - “All the clothes I no longer love, do not fit, or are outdated, or that I simply don’t wear anymore, even the one’s with the tags on still. I want a closet full of my best stuff, so that each morning when I wake up I can get dressed for success and feel confident.”
Habits - “I want to say goodbye to my nighttime junk snacking. I have a goal weight that I cannot reach because I want a bowl of popcorn with butter every night when I get home form work.” “This is so common,” I told her, after a long day, it’s easier to deal with emotions from the day with a nighttime snack or glass of wine, instead of creating a nighttime relaxation and self-care routine that supports your essential goals and contributes to your dreams instead of taking away from them. Do you have a nighttime and morning routine?
Relationships - “Well, she started hesitantly, I have been dating a man, that I really care about but he’s not invested in the relationship in the same way. I find myself bending over backwards to please him as he just becomes more critical, demanding and angry. I know I need to let go, but it’s hard.”
Experiences - “This year I overspent in conferences and continuing education. Actually, I’m happy I did these things, but I often feel bad about having spent the money. I’d like to focus on what I learned instead of how it was irresponsible to spend the money. The funny thing is that even though I worry about it, I’d still make choose do those things again, so what’s the point in worrying. It really was some of the best money I spent.” I ask her to question this experience of overspending, and actively choose from an abundant place that this was exactly what she needed, and there was no need to worry, since we would be working on her money goals and that the money she’s spent is likely to come back 2 fold, as it usually does when we invest in ourself without negative emotion.
Things you do - “Say yes to family and friends. I find it hard to say no to their requests. I’m everybody’s go to person. I need to start putting my wants and desires first if I am going to have the career I want and a relationship too. They require my time and focus. It’s a habit too, this care-taking thing I do.”
Thoughts you believe - “That I should always be doing more, that there is no time for fun and self-care in the ways that would truly bring me joy.” I suggested she try on the thought that “there’s always plenty of time.”
Your turn. What’s something that you need to say goodbye to?
Imagine how it would feel if the everything in your life you loved. What a feather-weight existence, that would make everyday a pleasure. And that’s available to you. Most of you don’t realize that you are carrying around so much that weighs you down and keeps you from the joy of life, the ease of life, the freedom of life. Or maybe you do realize this but don’t know how to do it. I’ll teach you how in this writing.
We have a limited amount of energy and you can be deliberate about how you want to use yours.
It takes immense time and energy to carry around things we actually need to say goodbye to. Many of us don’t even think about pruning the rose gardens of our lives. We don’t tend to our metaphorical rose gardens. One day we look and the rose garden has turned into a chaotic, wilted, scary, jungle and we don’t know where to start.
Do you have time for greatness in your life? If not you can choose to make time for it.
Have you seen a lovely cared for rose garden lately? They cut off beautiful blooming roses in order for the rose bushes to be great. In order for your life to be GREAT, not just good, you have to prune. You can get in the habit of pruning to allow for greatness.
When your rose garden get overgrown, it just keeps you from wanting to prune. Because it all seems too overwhelming, to confusing, “where do I start first?”
But you can do this, you can take one baby step at a time. More than anything I wish for you a more deliberate 2019, with more time to spread out in your rose garden, looking up at the clouds passing in the sky and dream about living each day with love and lightness knowing that you love everything in your life.
WHY IT’S HARD TO SAY GOODBYE:
Understand that saying goodbye is hard for several reasons.
If this process were so easy we’d all already be doing it right? It’s actually easy once you start and it becomes an important part of your life and routine. It helps you develop self-appreciation to be able to say goodbye.
Myths that lead to the idea that saying goodbye is so hard. These just simply aren’t true:
First is the concept that something has to have gone terribly wrong before we can say goodbye. If we're terribly upset about it, if it's broken, if it’s a disaster. And this will hold you back more than anything in life.
Second, we’re afraid that if we say goodbye, we’ll feel overwhelming regret. Especially if it is something that we have held on to for too long. I see this a lot in relationships and careers. “But I’ve invested so much time.” But are you losing that time?
Third, saying goodbye is hard because of our brain's desire to avoid pain, seek pleasure, and be efficient. The brain likes the familiar even if it’s not good for us, it’s known, it’s comfortable. The unknown uncomfortable. It’s new and requires the brain to effort. Familiar is more efficient for the brain, so it wants to keep doing what it’s always done, keep all your stuff, not have to say goodbye, not have to make changes. Rise and Repeat.
Fourth, we don't know how to constrain and simplify our lives by letting go. I believe that constraint is what enables progression. Constraint, which is being deliberately focused on your top priorities without distraction requires that you give your attention to just a few important things. You gotta be willing to say goodbye to all the other things.
Finally, we have a hard time with goodbyes because we want to avoid negative emotion. What are you not willing to say goodbye to just because you are avoiding negative emotion? It can be especially hard for our tribe, who are too busy to feel a negative emotion. You get really good at avoiding because you think “I don’t have time to feel down,” but you use up all that time carry around all the clutter of your life anyway, so it doesn’t really make sense, you are feeling the negative emotion anyway. Our brain like to think of avoiding negative emotion as a life hack, but it’s a time sucker.
What can you do about this? First, when was the last time you took a real inventory of what’s going on in your life?
I always say that the first step to anything is awareness.
Take an inventory of what you currently have, become aware. I want you guys to do this with things in your life, things in your kitchen cupboards, your closet, your bathroom drawers, your friendships, your relationships, the people you otherwise spend your time, with everything. The habits in your life, take an inventory and become aware of it. Make a list. Pick a category and make a list. All the things you have in your office, in your car, in your purse, and go through and decide on purpose if you want to say goodbye.
Here are the 3 questions to ask yourself again for all of it:
Would I buy it today?
Would I start a relationship with this person today?
Would I adopt this way of thinking today?
And if the answer is no, you want to consider a goodbye.
The act of re-deciding rocks
A super powerful thing to do is to RE-DECIDE on relationships, possessions, thoughts, etc. Saying goodbye does not invalidate the experience. You can still honor an experience if you choose to say goodbye.
Use the 3 questions above to help you re-deicide.
Allow for things and relationships to be complete
When it’s complete, it’s complete. You can survive it. It’s just a feeling, and maybe a little extra time that will save you time and emotional sanity in the long run.
Often our relationships with things and with people are complete, and we're now just dragging them along, like heavy baggage with a broken handle because we don't want to say goodbye. Sound familiar?
This will slow and wear you down like nobody’s business. It won’t ultimately allow for your essential deliberate life to take shape and form. One way to know that you’re doing this if you have had dreams and goals for a while that aren’t coming to fruition? If you look, I’m sure you’ll see that it’s partly because you are unwilling to say goodbye. To what? Can you identify it?
How to know if you need to say goodbye to some of what’s on your inventory
One of the best ways for you to know if you need to say goodbye after you’ve taken your inventory is to ask yourself these kinds of questions for each thing on your list.
Would I buy this again?
Would I invite this into my life right now?
Would I choose to have this friend in my life right now?
Would I go to this yoga studio?
Would I buy this car, apartment or house?
Would I be part of this training or professional organization?
Would I live in this city?
Would I date this person again? Would I marry this person again?
Would I invite all of these things that are currently in my life now, again?
How to regret proof your decisions. There is no such thing as a right or wrong decision.
My brain wants to argue this too. I’m a constant work in progress regarding getting on board with my decisions. As a recovering perfectionist, which I know most of you high-achieving entrepreneurial women are out there, we pride ourselves on making the best, right and smartest decisions possible. We look at all the angles, control for all the variables. This works for what’s in your immediate control… sort of. But not much ever really is in your control. It’s good to be diligent, think it through once. Meditate on it even, but then let it go.
It’s a gift to allow yourself not to re-think, over-think, and get caught in distracting from what it is you truly want in your life with confusion.
As with all decisions, you need to commit to the goodbye and not look back. Make the decision clearly and definitively. Allow an ending to be what it is. Choose not to regret it. That’s a decision you get to make. You may need to keep choosing the choice you made over and over, when your brain wants to tell you, “ummm, you should regret that.” And be prepared for this, especially when it comes to relationships.
Decision-fatigue-and-decision-regret comes at a high costs to your mental health.
There’s the agony that goes on before we make the decision, sometimes for years. The agony and fear that goes on while we make the decision, and the agony after we’ve made the decision, “should I really’ve made that decision?”
Don’t waste your time and energy with this— being future focused helps. There’s no such thing as a right or wrong decision. So get good at making the decisions you make— right, by committing to them being the perfect choice for you. Anything else’s insanity.
Regret sucks, and it’s never true anyway. I like to think of how many years we could waste in regret or thinking about a decision to motivate me to stop this bad habit. How many years would you get back, if you never indulged in the feelings of regret, worry, and confusion?
When one of your basic priorities is to grow and evolve, to move towards a deliberate and essential life filled with only what you truly want in the world, you’re going to be practicing consistently letting go of the past and you’ll get good at this skill when you practice it. Feels like freedom because it is.
When we’re consciously looking at what’s working and what’s not working in our lives so we can evolve, it’s impossible to have room for both what you do want and drag along with you what you don’t want. Imagine again that feeling of lightness and ease. That can be yours. That can be you in 2019. That can be the most loving thing you do for others. Your integrity, your wishes, your honesty with yourself and others matter.
Are you willing to give up parts of your current self-identity, ways of thinking and relationships to usher in a life in alignment with your true SELF? If not let’s jump on a mini session and get you sorted. Goodbye is a skill you can learn and a muscle you need to strengthen to live irresistibly. You cannot control other people and all the circumstances of your life, but you can design your own destiny.
What do you want to say goodbye to, so that you can say hello to what it is you truly want? To what it is that’s your truthful calling, without all the distractions and busyness? To a new year of getting skilled at saying goodbye, and saying hello to all that you love that’s in everyone’s highest good? Let’s do it! Empowerment woman is the key, and you’ve got access to it when you’re able and willing to say goodbye and hello!