Letting go of a goal isn’t a failure – it’s a smart choice

Feb 16, 2019Time management

I’m writing about achieving goals and motivation, and praise self-discipline. I believe that if you really want something, you shall just sit down and do the job till you get it.

But only if the goal is important to you.

Very often we keep doing things which we assume are expected by others, sound like a good idea or were important to us in the past but are not anymore.

We are taught we shall finish what we started, and no one wants to be a quitter.

It just doesn’t feel comfortable to say we don’t see any value anymore and we changed our minds, does it? Even to ourselves.

But let’s just look at it from a common sense perspective – is it really reasonable to push till the finish line on every goal just because you set in the past?

Letting go of what doesn’t serve you is a sign of courage, not a weak character.

So, let’s distinguish quitting and letting go.

Quitting, from my perspective means that you wanted to achieve something, but then after a few bumps on the road you got discouraged, felt it’s too much work and just told yourself – ‘OK, maybe next time.’ You gave up.

Letting go is a different story. It’s a conscious choice that this thing isn’t yours and you decide to stop it to do something of value instead.

It relates not only to goals but thoughts and dreams too.

Let’s say you portray yourself as a multi-lingual person. You think it would be great to go to Spain and have a chat over tapas after a salsa session, so you attend language classes.

After a year you just don’t feel any need to learn it anymore. But you keep a Spanish textbook on your shelf for the next 5 years because ‘you will get to it finally.’ And every evening you stare at it from your bed, feeling guilty. It’s about self-identity – serious stuff. So you keep staring.

Or you pursue a consultant career because you thought it’s prestigious and good for you, but actually, at the moment you see it’s far from what you want – expectations differ from reality, and your needs and priorities changed on the way. You don’t like the job duties and long hours on the road – it doesn’t fit you anymore, and you want a way out.

But self-expectations and pressure from others hold you in place.

We just don’t want to give ourselves permission to change our minds! And we are afraid to ‘miss out.’

But the reality is that if you already know deep down that it’s not gonna work – it’s not gonna work anyway. If you keep doing it, you’ll just spend additional months or years in stress and self-accusations.

It’s much wiser to let it go.

And again – I’m not talking about giving up on your dream because of difficulties, bad days, moments of self-doubt – they happen to everyone. I mean this stone on your chest which is there for a long time and you just know it’s staying there.

Just make a decision to stop doing this thing and – what is crucial – let it go in your head.

Not closing things will keep you on the fence – the worst place to be.

So think about it and then tell yourself – ‘It would be cool to speak Spanish, but I’m not gonna learn it now, and that’s it’ – and donate the book.

Or ‘I tried to be a consultant, but it’s really not my cup of tea. I’m finding something I care about and going out of it.’

And THAT is powerful.

Closures give us clarity – it’s over, so you finally have time to pull yourself together. You have the freedom to start doing what you really want and need.

And if someone tells you that you shall continue because ‘one more year and you will get there’ – remember that only you see the whole picture. Respect and value yourself and your choices. Be strong.

Is there something you shall let go of?

1 Comment

  1. Alda

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