Let it Go

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Summer Skill Series: Release Control

What is Releasing Control?

If our thoughts are exclusively devoted to things that we have to take care of, whether they be work issues or other errands that always seem to require our attention—and only our attention—then when’s our downtime? When can we pause to enjoy life?

We simply can’t do everything ourselves, regardless if we feel a desperate need to. By learning to let go, we not only force ourselves to trust the people around us, but we encourage them to trust us as well.

Why is it Important?

By letting go and trusting others, we help them believe in themselves. The ability to step back allows us moments of tranquility and appreciation for life’s wonders.

Releasing control helps everyone get a bit closer to happier, balanced lives.

How to Practice Releasing Control:

  • Face the fear. Identify what about releasing control frightens us. Why not let our teammate handle the presentation or our partner choose our weekend plans? If we’re consumed by fear of them neglecting something important, our reluctance to let go—to trust—defeats both them and ourselves, a point illustrated in this video on the philosophical paradox of control. By communicating our ideas and concerns—and then stepping back—we allow others to thrive and ourselves to breathe.
  • One step at a time. Try letting go gradually. Start by delegating small tasks that we’d normally do ourselves. If the task is accomplished without incident, delegate a bit more. If an issue arises, starting small keeps the risk minimalized and teaches us to better communicate expectations.
  • Give the benefit of the doubt. Practice healthy skepticism while also trying to assume the best of intentions and capabilities in people. Others may not do things the exact same way we do, but that doesn’t mean that their way is the wrong way. There’s more than one right answer to a variety of life’s challenges and trust must be a mutually exchanged currency for teams to be successful, discussed further in this podcast with business advisor Deb Mashek, PhD.

By learning to let go and release control, we allow others to shine and ourselves to relax and enjoy life every now and then.

Do you have an idea you want to share with an empowered community of self-aware professionals? If you’d like to contribute an idea or article to ‘In The Flow of Work’ on the Evolve blog, just send us a message or submit a post to our Head of Content, Adam Schneider

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