Let’s revisit this quote.
“Knowledge is learning something new every day. Wisdom is letting go of something every day.” –Zen Proverb
Last week we looked at the quote and discussed learning something new each day. This week let’s focus on the wisdom of letting something go.
Some of you drag so much mental and emotional stuff with you that it is no wonder that you feel tired. You must have the strength of 1,000 elephants. (Not that I have tested 1,000 elephants, but it seems like they would be really, really strong.) Hanging on to past experiences (with an emphasis on the negative experiences) is bad for your career.
Wouldn't it be amazing if you could harness that strength for something more productive? You can!
First you want to start using some of that strength to let go. Let go of
upsetting situations from your past and let go of negative influences right
now. For example:
- You still remember that bad boss and how he took credit for your
- You remember that poor performance appraisal.
- That difficult co-worker is still on your mind.
Take your experiences and assess them for whatever lessons learned you can. Then work to toss the rest of the memory away or at least do not carry it with you all of the time. When you consistently call up the memory of how you received a below average performance appraisal, you damage your self-esteem. In turn you may second guess yourself or buy-in to the belief that you are a below average performer. Then instead of acting with confidence you hesitate which might actually lead you to act like a below average performer. Use that performance appraisal as a learning experience and then move forward.
You know what? Whatever happened is in the past. Find a way to let it go and get on with your life because, again, you cannot go back. You cannot change it. Your best bet is to just keep moving forward. Make peace with past mistakes and upsets. I know I am a broken record here, but use the past for lessons learned. The only good it presents to you is the benefit of experience. You can learn what to do, what not to do and how to support yourself in a more positive environment.
If you've made peace with whatever happened and you assessed the situation, you devised the actions to do the best repair work that you can do, you took those actions and you understand what you're going to do differently in the future, then guess what? You're done. It's time to let it go and move on. What do you gain by carrying around trauma and drama?
And really, come on, you deserve to be set free from whatever this thing is,
whatever this shackle is. Set yourself free.
Questions about the human side of the workplace? You can find me at email@example.com.