The Chalk Blog

This blog was originally published by our partners at iteach on November 24th, 2020. It has been republished with permission.

What or Who is Holding You Back?

Have you ever been in a place where you said, “If only…”? I know I have. If only (blank) hadn’t happened to me. If only I was in better shape, if only my knee was better, if only I had more money… the list of “If only’s” could go on forever. The problem with living with this mentality is that there really are few things that are holding us back from having the life that we want – or at least moving in the direction of our dreams, and most of the time it is the person staring back at us in the mirror.

I saw this image and I loved it because it is so correct.

Taking Responsibility

For most of my life, I felt both unstoppable and limited. In certain areas of my life I was a huge success, but in others, I just couldn’t seem to move past a barrier. When it came to my diet, I always failed. When it came to saving money, I failed. When it came to getting married. I failed. The problem with so many of the reasons why I failed was that I was holding on to things that I needed to just let go of.

Let it Go

I know that by now everyone has probably heard the song “Let it Go” from Disney’s Frozen more times than they care to count. However, have you really listened to the lyrics? I’m sure some of you have, but I never really listened to anything other than the chorus until recently. It’s a powerful song that has some real oomph that can be taken to heart even if it is sung by a cartoon Disney character:

It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all
It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me…”

“My power flurries through the air into the ground
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I’m never going back, the past is in the past”

In the past three years I have had some very challenging things happen to me in my relationships and friendships. I have been betrayed by people I trusted. Gaslit by someone I thought loved me. And ripped off to the tune of thousands of dollars. In each of those instances there were warning signs and red flags, but I ignored them and made my own choices. And there are times now that I sometimes want to look back at the past and say, “If only…” but instead, I press on, I keep moving forward. Letting go of the past challenges creates space for new opportunities – and because I’ve learned from my past mistakes, the new opportunities have proven to be MUCH better.

In the video below, Jill Sherer Murray gives us five ways to let go that will change your life.

The Unstoppable Power of Letting Go

“Letting go can make you unstoppable.”

Jill recounts her story of love, loss and new life. Through the challenges of an uncommitted boyfriend, her fear of letting go, and becoming comfortable with the ramifications of letting go. Jill shares the 5 Steps she took to change what didn’t work and make welcome what she desired in her life and relationships.

Here are Jill’s 5 Ways of Letting Go

  1. Let go of taking things personally
  2. Let go of what other people think
  3. Let go of trying to be something you’re not
  4. Let go of the need to be perfect
  5. Let go of “Not Yet”- if there is something you want to do, make a plan and act, but don’t wait.

Of this list of things, I think for me one of my favorites is number five. I have lived so much of my life waiting for things to happen, that I have put my dreams on hold. “I’ll do that when I reach my goal weight!” Used to be my favorite refrain. I thought that by waiting until I reached certain milestones that I would be incentivizing myself to make something happen. But years passed and life kept moving on and I wasn’t really living at my full capacity. Plus, I rarely created a plan of action and actually stuck to it long enough to see any real results.

My second favorite in this list of ways to let go is “Let go of what other people think.” I still worry about what other people think all the time, I just choose to acknowledge it, and then continue to be my full authentic self. In Jill’s talk, she says something that I think is very profound and a good reminder when it comes to living our lives, “Whenever you are putting something out there, 10% of people will hate it, 80% will be indifferent, and 10% will be raving fans.” I find that I only need 10% of the world to love me for me in order for me to be a huge success.

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