Why You Must Let Go and Trust
Photo courtesy of Bryan Bug.

Why You Must Let Go and Trust

Written by Emilie

Topics: Goals

I experienced a massive internal shift a few weeks ago. I’ve been aching to tell you guys about it, but it’s been hard to find the words.

Sometimes when an idea really shakes up your reality, you have trouble expressing it because you want to make sure to get across the extent of it’s how FREAKING AMAZING it is. You want to use the exact right words with the exact right emphasis, so that people really grasp its power. But striving for perfection is a recipe for inaction. So here’s my personal revelation, in whatever form I manage to express it.

I realized that I am incredible at manifesting my dreams in certain areas of my life and terrible at manifesting them in others.

Limiting beliefs are obviously the differentiator. Where I have no doubt that something is possible and that I am worthy, I always attain it. Where there is insecurity, I struggle.

But that’s just the thing. I struggle, actively.

When I really want to manifest something in one of these problematic areas, I try to control the outcome, I plan and over-plan, I take action, and when something looks like it might work out, I become attached to that possibility.

When I write about confidence, I say that confidence is having assurance in your character to carry you through uncomfortable situations. It’s the opposite of planning or hoping. It’s knowing.

Instead of going into a situation and thinking about the next thing you’re going to say or how you’re going to act, it’s having the courage to jump in without a plan and just vibe in the moment. You know that whatever’s thrown at you, you’re going to be ok.

When it comes to manifesting your dreams, the same kind of trust is required. But this time it isn’t just trust in your own abilities, it’s trust that the universe will provide for you. That the things that are meant to work out will happen.

When you try to control outcomes and you over-plan, you are telling the universe that you don’t trust it.

Manifestation is a collaborative process. If you want the universe to present you with opportunities, you need to show it respect and demonstrate your trust.

Visualize what you want, do your work/be of service, notice opportunities as they appear, and then have faith and stay detached. If it’s meant to be, it will happen.

Good stuff will flow into your life naturally, unless you put up barriers. Realizing this was huge for me. It allowed me to relax and stop thinking so hard.

Your Turn

Has letting go allowed you to realize more of your dreams?

27 Comments

  1. Jenny says:

    There is freedom in this concept. I had a similar shift three years ago. Certain things that I hoped for have not yet manifested, but many other wonderful things I wouldn’t have imagined have occurred. My satisfaction and enjoyment of life has increased and deepened.

  2. Joel says:

    Isn’t this how most religious folks use religion? Trust in a god vs. trust in the universe- kinda the same thing.

  3. Kylie says:

    Yes! I love that you shared this, because it’s something I’ve experience but haven’t necessarily articulated before. I found myself saying, “yes!” — when I over-plan and attach and worry, those are the times when I’m not having trust that things will work out okay. It takes a lot to shift from believing you have to swim upstream to believing you can float right to your dreams on the current. But. That shift is freakin’ beautiful.

  4. Diane says:

    What a timely article as usual! I have been going through a similar realization recently, one where I have focused on trying to let go of my past and what others may expect of (and from) me, and instead trust that the universe will help me on my ‘true’ path towards my passions. Best of luck on your journey, can’t wait to see what happens next :).

    • Emilie says:

      Awesome, Diane. I am a firm believer in using your heart as a compass, when it’s pushing you towards particular interests. As Steve Jobs said, “You must trust that the dots will connect.”

      Good luck on your journey as well!

  5. Kelly says:

    I have been trying to shift towards this mentality – however, I have the exact opposite experience with limiting beliefs. When I believe in myself, all hell breaks loose and everything that can go wrong does, and I invariably end up worse off than when I started. When I believe that I am not worthy or capable, that I am a complete failure and this is all going to fall apart and it’s all my fault – then, and only then, can I be sure that I’m going to succeed. Without fail. It works every time. But I HATE having to hit bottom every time I want to accomplish something. It’s ugly and dark and depressing and doesn’t seem healthy at all, even though it works like a charm. I wish I knew some way to get around this, where I could let go of these unhappy thoughts without ruining everything. Maybe that’s a self-fulfilling prophecy at some level, but it’s hard to let go when every piece of evidence you have points to this being the way the world works, you know? Sigh. I want so badly to be able to achieve what I want AND be happy at the same time. It is inspiring to see that this works for some people, and I want to keep trying to find ways to let go without losing everything that matters in the process.

    • Thea says:

      If something is happening that regularly in your life, in the very same manner, then it’s because of something that you believe about yourself. From what I read here, you believe that the only way you can be successful is if you first hit rock bottom, which means that you believe that you can’t be successful if you aren’t yet at rock bottom. That’s it. That’s the only thing in your way. :)

      • Kelly says:

        I wish it were that simple – I only reached this conclusion after decades of believing in myself, failing miserably, building myself back up again, and then failing again. It’s not just that believing in my failure invariably leads to success, it’s also that believing in my success invariably leads to failure. I actually agree with you, but am finding it a real challenge to change my mindset on this when not only is it invariably true, but the alternative has proven to be invariably false over and over again. At least for me – it is inspiring to see that it works for some people, which gives me some hope! I would very much like to be able to trust that I can let go and things will turn out to be okay again, even after all these experiences proving otherwise.

    • Emma says:

      Kelly,

      I personally think, when it comes to emotions, it is more important to be real than positive.

      You say the dark emotions “don’t seem healthy” – according to whom? You, or the people in your life? If you can come to accept how you are feeling in this moment (even if that means accepting the fact that you do NOT accept how you’re feeling, and really want it to be different….that’s where I started!) it tends not to last as long.

      If someone has been working with their emotions for a long time and actually comes to have some mastery over the process, it is OK to talk about staying on the positive side because….they actually are capable of doing so!

      Most of us, however, start out the process with a lot of denied emotions, times we couldn’t be heard or get our needs met so we “toughed it out” out of necessity. I know that sounds like therapy-speak but I would say this is true of just about everybody.

      Barbara Sher has a process in her book Wishcraft called “Hard Times” which is a refreshing take on this topic. She gives a succinct model for how to complain, the productive way!

      Emma

      • Kelly says:

        Thanks! I have read some of Barbara Sher’s work, but not Wishcraft yet. I will definitely check it out!

        I think a lot of this post resonated with me even though it is not my experience because it’s how I’ve always wished things would work for me. I’ve been working on this a long time and sometimes I feel like everyone else got the memo except me – it’s like the whole world is saying that grass is pink, but when I look around, all I can see is green, and I don’t know how to make myself believe otherwise. Maybe acceptance will help me let go of these thoughts I keep clinging to. They seem as real and undeniable to me as green vs. pink grass.

        • Emilie says:

          Hi Kelly,

          Emma and Thea had some good things to say. I would also suggest checking out some of Tony Robbins’ work. I thought of this video in particular:

          http://training.tonyrobbins.com/355/interview-with-frank-kern-and-john-reese-2/

          I like the four quadrants.

          The thing is, when we believe something to be true, we take the sort of actions that will make it true, and hence re-affirm that belief. The more we believe it, the more true it becomes, and the cycle perpetuates.

          It sounds like you’re committed to working on yourself though, which is great to hear.

  6. Michee says:

    Faith has enormous power! It’s what jesus talked about when the birds can go to sleep not worrying about tomorrow because they have faith everything they need will be provided.

    Or Napoleon Hill (the Think and Grow Rich author), early law of attraction writer said faith is super important in business.

    Letting go of the insecurities is one thing, but I find that the booster, or it’s integrating with letting go of insecurities, is finding a place to feel good inside. Like, more than just letting go, but climbing up with what what feels good. This brings the wishes to manifest at incredible speed. Whether it’s just by thinking things that make you feel good, or doing activities that make you feel good when you’re doing it.

    Feeling good for feeling goods sake is a wonderful thing :o)

    • Emilie says:

      Absolutely, I completely agree. A daily gratitude practice, and integrating your passions into your life on a daily basis does wonders in terms of feeling good.

  7. Allison says:

    The “selective manifestation” phenomenon definitely applies to me. I have experienced complete support by the universe in certain areas of my life over the years (e.g. easily manifesting great places to live when I want to travel, relocate, and explore new territories) and not-so-much in other areas of life (e.g. finding jobs to pay the bills).
    What I think it comes down to is that I trust that my home will be provided for as I feel called to move and explore. The resistance comes when I put too much energy into seeking out things that I truly don’t want.
    I’ve been taking action to create my own abundance and easing up on myself for not finding “the meaningless job.”

    • Emilie says:

      Sounds like you’re on a good path, Allison. We never get what we want when we come at it from a place of lack. I’ve been working on determining what I’m looking for (be it love, acceptance, etc.) and then giving that thing to others. That helps me me feel like I already have whatever it is inside.

      • Joshua says:

        “determining what I’m looking for and then giving that thing to others…”

        that’s great advice, Emilie, totally something that doesn’t occur to me all the time..

        I’ve recently been focusing so much on “What do I have of value to offer others?” and “What is it I need?” that I ridiculously haven’t linked them up!

        haha, so simple and yet such a good idea!

  8. Angela says:

    I agree not obsessing but taking action after enough preparation and deciding to go for it, accepting to learn from the experience whether the outcome is good or bad, is a great thing. I have been practicing at not trying to achieve perfection and avoiding inaction. The results have been rewarding.

    However when we stop using logic and start relying more and more on the ‘universe’ to take care of us and keep us from harm, well that concerns me. This blind faith approach leads people to not have any preparation or logic at all before action. You may end up finding yourself jumping off a cliff without a parachute thinking the ‘universe’ is going to catch you. Odds are you’re going to go splat and be no more.

    Take action, but with preparation, logic, and faith in yourself.

    • Emilie says:

      There’s a middle ground. I’m not talking about (or to, for that matter) religious fanatics. I’m not talking about blind faith either. I’m talking to the self-aware, proactive multipotentialite who wants to actualize their dreams. In my experience, having faith that things will work out, leads to pro-activity. To taking action, doing the work, and meeting the universe half way. It’s when you don’t believe, that you don’t even bother trying.

  9. Candace says:

    I would say yes, absolutely. As an artist, I struggled for a long time to try to find “my style”. I tried to fit into every box out there, and in the process, sucked all the joy out of something that I loved. Since I decided to just let it go and paint intuitively, it’s SO much better. I love paint, the process of painting, and I’m not caught up in my preconceived notions of what I think the end result should be. I just let it happen. It takes off alot of pressure at the beginning, makes it okay to play and make marks that make no sense, and allows me the freedom to let my style morph abit here and there as it needs to.

    I also find myself letting other things in my life come about more organically, rather than trying to force it or be something I think someone else needs me to be.

    • Joshua says:

      Candace

      Not sure if this is on the same vein of what you experienced, but I totally feel like I know what you mean. ‘Making marks that make no sense’ and embracing chaos / accidents / ‘mistakes’ and using those as jumping points for new creation is an awesome way to work!

      Back when I started painting, I also totally struggled trying to find “my style” as well as finding / choosing “my theme” (with the added pressure of a professor who labeled me a “dilettante”) only to never discover either one!

      However, what I eventually discovered was “my process” which has become an invaluable nugget of knowledge. Process helped me do what I set out to do.

      Themes & styles in a given interest are good, but for multipods are nowhere near as important as setting out what we aim to accomplish, like Emilie has said, and for me that was finding the importance of a “process” to help me create fearlessly and freely.

      The same goes for me with music, except with me it’s ‘genre’ that was always a big barrier, placing too much importance on music as my “ONE thing” and other external, specialist-bred notions such as sticking to a genre.

  10. Manal says:

    Finally did just this. Had no idea what the hell I was getting into and started an fb group for religious entrepreneurs and it exploded! People are loving it, sharing it and talking about it, even on a huge webinar last night a couple of the speakers threw in a shout out. Wow!

    And just when I thought nothing was going right, I decided to relaunch my postpartum and birth trauma coaching business. And doors are opening all over the place!

    Meanwhile when I spent the past several months in stuck land I was too immersed in my stuckness and missing out on the adventure and blessings of throwing something out there and trusting.

    Lesson learned. Xoxo

  11. Julie says:

    Hi Emilie,

    I love reading your blogs – they offer the creative perspective needed for this left brain-dominant thinker.

    I learnt about the power of letting go a few years back when I used the experience of having dated a controlling person as a mirror for myself. I realised how my own controlling nature (like attracts like) and need to control my environment was getting in the way of having the life I wanted. So I started learning about the art of letting go. It has served me well! I recently gave up the security of having my own home (rented) in favour of housesitting to realise some financial goals. Risky, but also exciting.
    Julie

  12. Jonathan says:

    Prophetic dreams, now this is an area that also makes me RIDICULOUSLY passionate! Most of mine come true over time… some how… in some light & not that they’re bad but it’s like a foreshadow that you know is coming but aren’t exactly quite ready for. I actually had a small job change this year & at first I felt SO overwhelmed by the move. I’m usually a fairly flexible person but also committed to something. Like this, instantly won me over after Amy at http://savvysexysocial.com threw your name out. I get this on so many levels it’s overloading me… “break the walls down”. Drat I’m rambling as I type… not good, back on topic. Flexible where I’ve been in a new area at my day job, technically night, that I interviewed for nearly five years ago this October but didn’t take because I didn’t feel I’d do it right. Now, I’m in that area & have eased into it. I’m still not good at what I do but I am at that point where I go.. “it’s a job”, “it’s income”, all those justifiable phrases.

    You’re probably going, what is the job. Cleaning. I clean a school… not where I want to be but as mentioned above it provides the means to my passions where I’d like to go. I guess currently it’s a long term transition. By the way, sign up on http://spreadshirt.com & make a simple text shirt! They have a basic free account. I’d buy one that says on the front “PuttyLike.com” & on the back multipotentiality.

  13. Belinda says:

    There’s an element of being conscious of what is going on in your mind as well. I was in the midst of one of those cool existential spells last week (where time slows down and things feel like they are flowing in a good way- but you still feel like you are on the tip of a big life-discovery and you know you need to do something to get at it, but can’t figure out what that something is, but keep moving forward with what you are in the middle of as long as that good existential feeling continues- because that is a sign that you are working out what you need to work out to get there). It seemed to kick in when I decided to write about something that bothered me – something about the world but something that was also in myself that I wasn’t proud of, and trying to work out a solution or a mindset that I could start actively trying to embody and by doing that, start changing the world by getting others to see the need to embody that mindset as well. “I can’t change the world, but I can change myself.” But what we don’t realize is that upon making those changes in ourselves, we DO change the world. Not just by sitting in silence with our new mindsets and conscious awareness, but our ACTIVE and ENGAGED mindsets that interact with other people and the certain things we may say to someone (or the way we may say it) that triggers a mind-shift for them (a lightbulb moment, a new awareness that they then begin to focus on and process and have to address).

    Sometimes you have to step in a pile of crap (or step in it, sit in it, then roll around in it over and over) to realize “Hey, wait a minute, that’s a pile of crap I’m stepping in. Crap is not good for me. I better move away from it and go clean off my shoe.” So if it feels like you always have to fail in order to succeed, change your rhetoric a bit and use different words to describe what just happened, and you may be surprised to find that you weren’t actually at “rock bottom,” you were actually trying to experience what a worst-case scenario would be like so you could see your direction more clearly. Sometimes we have to experience the things we don’t want in order to more clearly define what it is we do want. Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it, and then you won’t want it! If you’ve never had it before, how can you really be sure that the experience of having it will provide you with what your soul is seeking? So when you get that thing you worked to manifest and felt the disappointment when it didn’t meet your expectations, it’s probably human nature to see that as a failure. Don’t look at it as a failure, look at it as a discovery. Sometimes you can only realize what IS by realizing what IS NOT.

    I have a hard time “naming” what my dreams or aspirations are and can get stuck in a pattern of berating myself because “I can’t figure out what I want!” At some point (and there will always be a point) I become consciously aware that this berating isn’t working. That’s when I tell myself to turn it around and see what happens. How can I turn that into a “can” statement? Can I rephrase it to be a sort of opposite and see if that leads me to a more positive/productive/self-affirming statement? “I CAN figure out what I DON’T want.”

    Just having a simple moment like that can flip everything around like you wouldn’t believe! Where there was a miserable dead end, there is now the exhilaration of endless possibilities. When you have the realization that you just walked into a dead end- and you don’t like the looks of that dead end and don’t want to be stuck there- TURN AROUND. Now there is no dead end!

    If you have trouble “naming” things so you can make the plans to get to the “thing,” start consciously focusing on your physical feelings and work through those. What triggered your stomach churning? Is it worth letting your stomach churn over? Turn it around. What words would you use to describe how your current physical space makes you feel? Anxious? Bored? Calm? Energized? Can you pinpoint specific things in your immediate space that are amplifying that feeling? Why might those be “amplifiers”? Are those things people?

    Sometimes before you can even get to the point of figuring out what your calling is, you have to figure out what kind of environment and people you need to be surrounded with (or NOT surrounded with). Once you have done that much, you can brush aside the paths that you are presented with that go against the environment that you know you need. Through experience you will become aware of the things you like to do, and then you will start to realize that there are things that define you and that you cannot NOT do. Are you a creator/maker? Are you a knowledge seeker? Are you a problem solver?

    I used to think I was a writer, until I realized I was actually a researcher. That helped me figure out why I hated so much of my writing- it sucked and fell flat when it didn’t have any “digging” done to support it. Now I can be a researcher AND a writer because I made that connection and can better see WHY something isn’t working. No wonder I felt like a fraud when I was trying to push for a writing job! No wonder my guts churned at the thought of “what if” I was actually hired as a writer and then they regretted hiring me because of my crappy writing- or what if they actually wanted me to WRITE ALL THE TIME ABOUT STUPID THINGS? Gasp! How miserable! That’s why i wasn’t hired as a writer- the same reason I wouldn’t be hired as a brain surgeon- because that’s not my “thing.” Researching implies that some writing will be done, but the weight of the world no longer rests on it. Phew! That sure makes it a whole lot easier to write!

    Give it a try- flip it around. If you realize the creases are deepening in your forehead or maybe you are grinding your teeth or are cracking your knuckles WAY TOO MUCH, then what are you thinking about? Are you dwelling on something? Not sure? Then what is your body feeling? Change your physical space and see if your physical feelings change. Then turn around and look back at where you just were- what is it about that space that triggered you to feel the other way?

    Let yourself realize when you are engaged in what you are doing- when you are experiencing “flow” or coming close to it. Even if you are playing a video game. “Oh, I must be good at videogames and I like them, therefore I must find my calling in videogames.” Um, no. That’s not what I mean. Dig deeper. What are you doing in the game? Are you exploring? Discovering? Strategizing? Getting pulled into a story? Is there a genre you prefer? Why? Now use the answers to those questions and apply them to other things that are not video games. They will apply to other things. That’s how you learn to sort things out and find what you want and rise above what you don’t want.

    Want to find love, to find your life partner? Do you keep going on dates and just can’t find the right one? Flip it around. STOP DATING. It’s not working. Do you sit at home alone and wish you could find your love, but the thought of going to bars or clubs to meet people makes you want to barf? “Hey, so maybe I should join this dating site.” So they can ask you out and take you to bars or to clubs. Um, hello? TURN IT AROUND. Finding your love doesn’t mean going on dates. Ever. Did you go on dates to find your friends? No. You know that you may need to “get out” and “meet people” but if you find yourself following some kind of dating rule book to meet “the one” then you will probably be disappointed. Focusing on “dating” may even be preventing you from meeting/encountering “the one.” Find your environment- the surroundings and the kinds of people that feed your soul- that nurture your potential. That’s where you will find love. Because a crappy environment may only bring you piles of crap to be stepped in.

    Leap, and the net will appear. But not until you can see what is and is not your precipice.

    ;)

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