When something changes or ends, or things aren’t the way you want them to be, do you stay stuck and hold on to what you hoped for or to what happened, or do you choose to take control, learn the lessons, let it go and move ahead? In today’s episode of Your Personal Power Pod, we look at what happens when you hold on, and the power of letting go.
We want to hear from you, whether it’s your stories about how self-esteem and personal power affect your life, or topics you’d like us to address in future episodes. We’d love for you to review our podcast. Do this on your streaming service or visit www.yourpersonalpowerpod.com , click Contact and drop us an email. You can also find us on Instagram at Your Personal Power Pod.
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Thank you for listening to Your Personal Power Pod. We look forward to hearing from you.
And, until next time, find your power and change your life!
[00:00:00] Shannon: Welcome to Your Personal Power Pod, a podcast about aligning yourself with the life you want. And here are your hosts, Sandy Abel and Shannon Young
[00:00:20] Sandy: Shannon. It's so fun to talk to you. How are you today?
[00:00:23] Shannon: Hi Sandy. I am great. How are you?
[00:00:26] Sandy: I'm doing well, and I'm looking forward to what we're talking about today because I had an interesting encounter with a woman. We're talking about holding on or letting go. Mm. She didn't seem very happy, but she just wanted to chat and so that's what I do is listen to people when they chat.
[00:00:43] Sandy: She told me that her husband died and that was why she was wearing black, and she said she wears black every day. She goes to the cemetery every day and just honors him that way. And I said, oh, I'm so sorry. When did he pass? And she said, five [00:01:00] years ago. Ouch. It stopped me for a minute. I really appreciate how much she loved and is honoring her husband, but I doubt that he would want her to have stopped her life.
[00:01:11] Sandy: Probably not. So I got. To thinking about holding on and letting go and what that does to people.
[00:01:19] Shannon: Interesting. It doesn't sound like the holding on was doing her any favors. Like some people hold onto stuff and it makes them happy.
[00:01:29] Sandy: When you hold onto good stuff, that's fabulous. You learn from it, you grow from it, and it brings you joy and makes you smile, and that's a great thing.
[00:01:36] Sandy: But the memory of her husband was not making her happy. I think she thought she was just honoring him and that it would be disrespectful for her to move on with her life. I doubt that he would want her to do that. We're going to talk about that today.
[00:01:53] Shannon: It sounds like it was keeping her in a sad, dark place.
[00:01:57] Sandy: Yes, and when they were together, she wasn't [00:02:00] sad and dark. She loved him and he was her life and it was great. But once he was gone, I don't think she gave herself permission to let him go because he needed to go and find out who she is and live her life. I hope that our listeners are not doing that, but a lot of people probably are.
[00:02:19] Sandy: So today we're going to look at what you do when something changes or ends, or if things aren't the way you want them to be. Do you choose to stay stuck and hold on to what you hoped for or replay over and over in your head? What happened? Or do you choose to take control, learn the lessons, and let it go, and move ahead?
[00:02:39] Sandy: So what does it mean to hold on? Basically, it's like what this woman was doing. She was obsessing about the past. She was so fixated on it. She couldn't see the present or the future, and she kept replaying in her head about things that happened. Or if you have regrets, you might be beating yourself up for things you've done or didn't do.
[00:02:58] Sandy: If only I done that, or if [00:03:00] only I hadn't said that, you could be experiencing anger. When you have to deal with frustrating situations in the present because you're still too focused on the past that you can't deal with current things.
[00:03:12] Shannon: So I know for me, and we've talked about this a lot, being married and getting married later in life, I was in my mid forties, was really a challenge because that gave me a really long time to set up expectations about what it would mean to be married and.
[00:03:28] Shannon: I know that over those first few years, and even now periodically, I talk with you about it and say, I just sort of feel like a chicken breast that's been tenderized. Because you have to give up those expectations, and if you don't give them up, they get beaten out of you because most of the time what you expect is not necessarily what's gonna happen.
[00:03:48] Shannon: I know for me, one of the things that I held onto a lot was expectations. What I expected, old ways of thinking about myself. And one of the things marriage will do to you is hold a mirror up to all of [00:04:00] your flaws and you learn a lot about you. And so I actually turned out not to be the person that I thought I was, but that's really scary.
[00:04:07] Shannon: And so I held onto a lot of those beliefs too, and that created tension and drama. And so, you know, what else do we hold onto?
[00:04:14] Sandy: We hold onto regrets. We regret things we did or didn't do, and we hold onto old memories, which is good. Yes, if they're positive, but holding onto negative memories just drags you down.
[00:04:26] Sandy: Guilt, oh my goodness. So many people hold onto guilt about things they either did or didn't do. Yes. Guilt is just, A destructive emotion that does not accomplish anything, and it's important to let guilt go. It serves a purpose.
[00:04:42] Shannon: Learn the lesson and then
[00:04:43] Sandy: let the guilt go. Exactly. It's one of those, what I call red flag emotions.
[00:04:47] Sandy: The flag pops up if you feel guilty and says, oh, you violated a value. Now you're feeling bad about it. And you go, oh, okay, look, I'll look at that. And then put the flag down, which means thank the guilt and look at the value you think you [00:05:00] violated and see if you really did or not. Mm-hmm. We hold on to always about thinking about yourself.
[00:05:05] Sandy: Like you said, sometimes you're holding onto negative ways of thinking about yourself. Even if circumstances show you that you are not the negative person you thought you were, you may choose to ignore the reality that you're pretty spectacular and hold onto your negative self-image because you do negative self-talk.
[00:05:24] Shannon: I know a lot of people, and I've been one of them, who've hung onto people and relationships that don't continue to
[00:05:30] Sandy: serve them. Yes, it's very hard to let those go, especially if you have an image of what you think it is or you want it to be, even if it's not that anymore. If it used to be wonderful and then it shifted because as we've discussed in other episodes, relationship shift.
[00:05:47] Sandy: Mm-hmm. People change what you had may not be what you currently have. Those
[00:05:51] Shannon: are hard to go. The ones that were good once and now
[00:05:54] Sandy: aren't very hard. Holding onto those can be very destructive. It's [00:06:00] important to be able to just look at the reality. A lot of people who get divorced have to do that. They look at what was and who they were when they fell in love and got married and the first few years were wonderful and then things changed and they have to appreciate what was.
[00:06:17] Sandy: Learn the lessons from that, but also let go of what is and move on. Mm-hmm. And a lot of people hold on to fears about the future. Yes. They're just always obsessing about, oh my goodness, what is gonna happen if this happens? It's the what if thing, and they don't do it in a positive way. If you do what if in a positive way?
[00:06:37] Sandy: It's great if you hold onto your dreams or your ideals. Oh, what if I win the lottery? Cool. All right, that'll be fun. What will I do with the money? That's fun. But if you hold onto, what if I don't get that job? Or what if I get fired or what if things don't ever work out? I never meet the love of my life.
[00:06:54] Sandy: Those kinds of things are just destructive to hold onto.
[00:06:58] Shannon: That's just [00:07:00] more of a holding onto a belief that things won't work out for you.
[00:07:04] Sandy: Mm-hmm. A lot of people have that mindset, which makes their life really hard, and it makes it so they don't even wanna try and becomes a reality. Yes it does. If you believe things are gonna fail, they will fail.
[00:07:17] Sandy: You get to be right and if you believe things are gonna work out, it's amazing how often they work out. Yes. So holding onto negative beliefs is self-destructive. Holding onto positive beliefs makes your life wonderful. What are the
[00:07:33] Shannon: consequences of holding onto things that don't serve us? Beliefs and thoughts and people and relationships.
[00:07:40] Sandy: Well, first of all, there's physical reactions if you hold onto negative things, increased stress, like the woman I was talking to who wore black and went to the cemetery every day, she was not a happy person. She had really sad energy all around her, and she didn't smile and there was no light in her eyes.
[00:07:57] Sandy: She was just not enjoying her life [00:08:00] at all. She wouldn't give herself permission to enjoy her life. It lowers your immune level, so you probably will get sick more often. You become short-tempered and anxious. You feel frustrated and angry because you wanna control something that is actually uncontrollable because it's past.
[00:08:17] Sandy: You can't change the past. You just can't do that. And then, because if you're doing all that, your relationships suffer. You might be depressed, wanna give up on everything. And along with that, of course, there's the fuzzy, foggy brain and you have difficulty concentrating. And then you get stuck in that pattern.
[00:08:34] Sandy: Like this woman was, it became her comfort zone, even though it wasn't a happy comfort zone. She became fearful about getting out of it and finding some joy because she'd been doing it for five years and it's what she thought she was supposed to be doing. It was familiar. It was familiar, and she just chose to stay stuck and repeat negative patterns.
[00:08:57] Sandy: Has there
[00:08:57] Shannon: been something in your life that you have [00:09:00] struggled to let go of? I don't think
[00:09:02] Sandy: so. I'm pretty realistic, and I'm also basically a happy person who finds the joy. Yes, I choose to learn the lesson and move ahead instead of obsessing, because I realized long, long, long ago that going over and over and over what happened.
[00:09:19] Sandy: And, and what I might have done differently or should have done doesn't do any good. I can't change it. Yes. The past is a place of reference, not of residence. Nice. A lot of people choose to make their past their residence. It's just a place to look back at and go. Oh, there's the lesson. Oh, that's what I got out of that, or that was such a joyful time.
[00:09:42] Sandy: It brings me such happiness to just think about it, but then take all that and move ahead because by letting go of negatives, you set yourself free.
[00:09:50] Shannon: Yeah. I was shopping yesterday. I was looking for clothes, and anybody who knows me knows that's not. New. That's a thing I do. I love clothes.[00:10:00]
[00:10:02] Shannon: It's different now. I'm not 25 years old anymore, and the image that I have in my head of my style doesn't work. Anymore. If I wanna be taken seriously as a human being, I can't be wearing the tiny little frilly dresses as the 50 year old woman that I am. That's really a struggle for me. And so I've been looking for clothes that appeal to me in a different way that bring me the same kind of joy, but that's send the message I wanna send, and that involves letting go.
[00:10:35] Shannon: Mm-hmm. Of a couple of things. First of all, my image of what I think I'm supposed to look like and a whole lot of wow letting go of what society says women are supposed to look like. Just trying to tap into, okay, what makes me happy and makes me feel like the best, happiest, most expressive me, [00:11:00] and that is definitely a conscious.
[00:11:02] Shannon: Choice That's taking some getting used to.
[00:11:05] Sandy: Yeah. I don't know about your self-image. My self-image is I'm 37. Uh, yes. That was a really long time ago. You know, I feel 37 and I can't dress 37. That would not work for a variety of reasons. And I'm aware of that, but I know completely where you're coming from because who you think you are or want to be might be different than the reality.
[00:11:30] Sandy: And letting go of that other thing and getting comfortable with what is is tricky sometimes. It is, there's a
[00:11:38] Shannon: whole lot wrapped up in it. There's exhilaration for the newness and the being able to allow myself to just be who I am. But there's also a lot of fear in that and a lot of grief. I miss my perky 25 year old bod.
[00:11:52] Shannon: Yes, right. You know? Yeah.
[00:11:57] Shannon: So the, it's a very [00:12:00] complicated. Loss slash gain situation that requires a whole lot of conscious letting go.
[00:12:07] Sandy: Yeah. The most important thing is to be aware of that and give yourself permission to do it. Understand that grieving a big change or. A loss and self-image is a loss is normal and you might have to do the grief process for a little bit.
[00:12:22] Sandy: Mm-hmm. But the key word there is a little bit, not for the next five years, understand that you can work through it if you want to.
[00:12:30] Shannon: And I'm recognizing that my control in this situation is not in changing it or fixing it. I don't wanna go have plastic surgery. I could work out a whole lot more, but I don't know how much I wanna do that.
[00:12:42] Shannon: But I can control my thoughts. And what I think about myself and my body exactly, and exactly the way I dress and who I am and how I move through the world. That is all
[00:12:52] Sandy: within my control, always. So you stop focusing on how you want things to be and start accepting the reality of what [00:13:00] is, and find the joy in that.
[00:13:01] Sandy: Mm-hmm.
[00:13:02] Shannon: Identify those fears that are mm-hmm. Keeping me stuck and then finding ways to let them go and stop fighting it. Right. We're all gonna age. Yeah,
[00:13:10] Sandy: it's outta your control. You cannot go be 25 anymore. I can't be 37, and it beats the alternative. So you know, it's a good thing. Absolutely. It
[00:13:20] Shannon: is a privilege.
[00:13:21] Shannon: Yes. And I can't control what other people think about me. That I think is the biggest. Putting on a facade, whether it's makeup or hair or clothes, that presents the very narrow image to the world that you want the world to see. You can never really fully affect how the world views you. But that's become even clearer to me the older I've gotten.
[00:13:41] Shannon: Yeah. And so stopping trying to control the perception is really liberating.
[00:13:46] Sandy: Exactly. If there are other things that you are having trouble letting go of because other people have expectations of you, or if they're doing things that you want them to stop, you can't control them either. Correct? You cannot ever [00:14:00] control another person.
[00:14:01] Sandy: The only person you have control over is yourself, and you can reframe your perspective and find the positives in the change instead of focusing on the losses. Which you're probably doing about your clothing. Mm-hmm. I wish that woman will be able to do about the loss of her husband, is to reframe her perspective and realize that he would not want her to suffer and she's not honoring him by stopping her life and find the
[00:14:28] Shannon: positives.
[00:14:29] Shannon: Yeah. She needs to start looking forward.
[00:14:31] Sandy: Right. She needs to understand and internalize that she needs to let go in order to end her suffering. And she was obviously suffering. Hopefully, she will stop looking back and start moving forward. And that
[00:14:43] Shannon: doesn't mean let go of her husband, it just means letting go of No, no.
[00:14:49] Shannon: The life that they lived together, she can still move forward in her life with him. With her, she doesn't have to cut that loose.
[00:14:58] Sandy: Exactly. She's got beautiful [00:15:00] memories and learned a lot, and grew a lot. Those will always be part of her, but she has to let go of her grieving and start finding the joy in her present and future.
[00:15:10] Sandy: I think that a lot of
[00:15:11] Shannon: times when we're grieving like that, it's because we're focusing on the lack instead of focusing on the gratitude for what was. Yes. And if you can switch that mentality Yes. From, I can't believe I don't have this anymore to, I'm so grateful I had that, then you start making motion in a
[00:15:31] Sandy: forward direction.
[00:15:33] Sandy: Absolutely. That is the bottom line of everything. Beautifully put. Nice job Jan. Learn the lesson, appreciate what was. Remember that letting go does not mean forgetting. It means that you have grown and changed from whatever happened. It's time to move on,
[00:15:51] Shannon: which means looking at now realistically and accepting that things are what they are now instead of what they used to be or what you'd like them to be.
[00:15:58] Shannon: And you may ultimately find [00:16:00] that they're great now, but they might not be great now. But that's okay. Mm-hmm. Because if you're willing to get out of your comfort zone and embrace the new and unfamiliar, fully understanding the whole time that you are in control of your emotions. And your thoughts, then you'll eventually move back into another good time.
[00:16:20] Shannon: I don't mean like party good time, although that's possible, but just meaning you'll move back into a place where maybe that too, you're a different kind of happy.
[00:16:27] Sandy: Exactly. And it might even be a better happy, you never know. Mm-hmm. But at least you will be finding the joy and claiming your power and making your life what you want it to be.
[00:16:37] Sandy: So in order to let go, you acknowledge and learn the lessons and use them to move forward, change your limiting beliefs and give yourself permission to do that.
[00:16:46] Shannon: That's a biggie. And when you do that, your sense of wellbeing, yeah, your confidence, your self-esteem, all of that will improve.
[00:16:52] Sandy: Yeah. And your stress level will decrease.
[00:16:55] Sandy: Your health and sense of joy and happiness will increase. [00:17:00] People will wanna be around you more. Mm-hmm. And you'll recognize and believe that you'll be okay and that everything will turn out fine.
[00:17:07] Shannon: That sentence to me kind of sums up everything we just talked about, that when we're grieving something and we can't let go of something, I feel like in my world at least, there's an underlying belief that I won't be fine without it learning.
[00:17:24] Shannon: Mm-hmm. That. I can be fine no matter what, because that's up to me makes all of the rest of
[00:17:31] Sandy: this easier. Yes, absolutely. As long as you give yourself permission to be fine, which some people don't. That's
[00:17:38] Shannon: true. And there are a lot of reasons for that, not the least of which is if things are never fine in your life, you don't have to take responsibility for anything.
[00:17:47] Sandy: Yeah, if you're just struggling and suffering, it also is a way for people to get attention. Yes, there are people who just thrive on being miserable because then everybody wants to help them and make them happy. That only lasts so long. [00:18:00] Exactly, yes. You burn people out and then your relationships struggle.
[00:18:04] Sandy: So to wrap it up, I want our listeners to remember that you always have the power to let go of things that are dragging you down. When you do that, you will set yourself free. So when something changes and isn't what you want it to be, you can choose to hold on and stay stuck, or you can move ahead and let go.
[00:18:23] Sandy: There are many things you might hold onto, including negative memories, regrets, failures, things you didn't do or did do losses, changes, and endings. When you hold on to negative things, you give away your personal power and become a victim to your thoughts. You can make yourself physically and emotionally sick, depressed, stressed, and unhappy, and destroy relationships.
[00:18:46] Sandy: Yes, if you continue to hold on to negativity, there are many things you can do to let go of negative thoughts, including understanding. You can't control or fix everything. You can't change the past. Reframing your [00:19:00] perspective, changing your limiting beliefs and finding the positive. And when you let go, you'll be physically and emotionally healthier.
[00:19:08] Sandy: Your relationships will improve, and you will be able to claim your personal power, move ahead and start creating the life you want. Thank you for setting
[00:19:16] Shannon: such a great example for my brother and me. You never held grudges. Well, thank you. You didn't live in the past when things were tough. You handled them, you dealt with them, you let them go.
[00:19:30] Shannon: You don't have a heavy presence. I have people in my life who do have a heavy presence because they bring everything with them.
[00:19:38] Sandy: Yes, and that gets heavy. That's baggage. A wonderful thing. Somebody told me the other day, we were talking about her childhood and a lot of trauma that happened in her childhood, and she said, yeah, I have a lot of baggage from my childhood that I need to unpack.
[00:19:53] Sandy: Yes. I thought that is so beautiful because she's absolutely right. She needs to unpack the baggage and she [00:20:00] will do that because she's aware of that. That was her way of saying that she needs to come to terms with and let go. Of a lot of things that mm-hmm. Could be weighing her down. So, thank you Shannon.
[00:20:11] Sandy: I'm glad that I was a good example for you and Brian. Yes,
[00:20:15] Shannon: it was great. It still is great. It still is great. You talk about some friendships that went weirdly south, you know, and it's sad for you, but you're not gonna agonize over it. You say, yes, I am sorry this happened. I've done my best to mend whatever fences.
[00:20:33] Shannon: Things change and people change, and relationships change. And maybe we'll be friends again someday, but maybe we won't. And it was great when it was great, and I'm thankful for that. And let's just move on to the next good stuff and that is such an amazing lesson in this time when everybody is hanging on to.
[00:20:53] Shannon: Everything they can possibly
[00:20:54] Sandy: get upset about. Yes. Why? Why? Hold on to negativity. Hold onto [00:21:00] the positivity. Hold on to the joy. Hold onto the wonderful lessons and the beautiful memories. Those are the things to hold onto. Let go of the other stuff. The thing I like
[00:21:09] Shannon: about the baggage analogy is that even if you need to unpack it, yeah, and you haven't gotten to that point yet where everything's been unpacked and sorted, it's baggage.
[00:21:20] Shannon: You can put it right down. You don't have to carry it all the time. Exactly. I'm forever telling my husband when he's going to sleep and he can't go to sleep because his thoughts are pinging all over the place. Write 'em down, right, and then let 'em go because they're still gonna be here tomorrow. Yes.
[00:21:37] Shannon: You can pick them back up again the second you wake up. Yes. But you don't have to take them with you while you sleep.
[00:21:42] Sandy: They don't need to go. Yes. You don't have to hold them. They'll be there. Yeah. That's great advice. Sometimes it helps to write 'em down and then rip up the paper, throw 'em away. Mm-hmm. If it's not something you need to remember to do the next day, old memories, old things that are holding you down, write 'em [00:22:00] down and then burn 'em.
[00:22:01] Sandy: Get rid of 'em. I used
[00:22:02] Shannon: to write letters to old boyfriends. Telling them all the things that I wanted to say to them. Huh? That I was never actually going to say to them, but that just helped me process and then burn 'em.
[00:22:13] Sandy: And it's cathartic. Right? Exactly. It is cathartic. So if you have things you want to let go of that you're holding onto that are negative, maybe write 'em down and let 'em go.
[00:22:23] Sandy: But give yourself permission to move on. Yeah. Bottom line, move on. Find the joy. Move on,
[00:22:29] Shannon: find the joy, and then talk to us because we wanna hear from you. We wanna hear your stories about how self-esteem and personal power affect your life. Or if you have any suggestions for topics you'd like us to address in future episodes, let us know.
[00:22:42] Shannon: And if you'd like to please review our podcast, and you can do that wherever you stream. Or you can visit your personal power pod.com. Click contact and drop us an email if you'd rather talk to us directly. You can also chat with us on Instagram where you can find us at your personal power pod. And if you wanna learn about.
[00:22:57] Shannon: Coaching and how it can change your life. [00:23:00] Contact Sandy at Sandy inside jobs coach.com and then tune in again next week. Thank you so much for listening. We look forward to hearing from you, and until next time, find your power and change your life.