Whether positioned as an ability to deal with flux or operate within the theoretical, an essential element independent people share is the ability to suspend their need to control things when necessary and to trust in the process.
Almost every time I think of the phrase, “let it go,” I think of the scene from Finding Nemo where Dory the fish exhorts the worry-wart clownfish Marlin to let go as he is desperately clinging to the whale’s taste buds on his tongue, staring down the Gaping Maw of Death. …and that’s just considering what he knows to be certain.
The unknown lies beyond the mouth of the great beast. He is caught between a rock and a hard place, so to speak. Sure death or possible death? Gee golly; what a decision. Whale translator Dory implores Marlin to let go. When pressed to tell him if she knows what’s going to happen to them she pauses a bit, thinking, then honestly replies, “I don’t know!”
This is a decision we as entrepreneurs and business owners encounter daily when faced with choices of all kinds, from the mundane (what brand of envelopes do we buy for billing?) to the weighty (should I invest in a new location?). When to let go. When to trust the process. When to leave the Known and take a chance on the Unknown.
Why? Why do people cling to the familiar even in the face of poor response or results? Why do they resist making decisions? There are many reasons, and quite frankly, each of them is valid for each individual involved.
Everyone is on his or her own path. Comfort levels change based on personal evolution, for businesses are run by and populated with (you guessed it) people.
We talk about “moving the needle” or “getting off the dime,” but when push comes to shove, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him sign a 12 month social media contract. Or start a fitness program or attend a career-changing conference. You get the idea.
People relinquish control when they are damn good and ready. Learning how to accept your ability and choice to control your decisions and release the control of others is an essential skill to learn. Ditto learning how to do what you can to control the input of your efforts and release the output.
However, that being said, stasis is no place to be if you wish to grow. As a person; as a business. Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus said, “The only constant is change,” somewhere around 500 B.C., which, if you’re playing along at home, was about 2510 years ago. It’s still true today.
Growth can be painful, but remaining stagnant carries its own risks and pain.
My advice? Take stock of your situation, measure the risks and let go.