The root of a lot of stress is ones inability to just let things go. I’m a coach and there are lots of colleagues that just stew on a certain game that was lost or a missed opportunity. What if I called a time out with 30 seconds left, would we have won the game? If I did this I would loose my mind! This happens in life when we reflect, and don’t like where our lives have taken us. What if I moved up North after college, what if didn’t take out that loan, what I was never in that car accident? The reflecting is fine to do, if you know how to healthily do it, but stewing is never good, and you should after some time let it go.
I learn a lot from my children and my 2-year-old niece. They get into these “my world is ending” tantrums and fights with one another, and then a minute later they let it go, and off on another adventure they ride. They don’t even remember enough to talk about it a few minutes later. It is so gone that it doesn’t even register as a memory of any kind. How can a child be so good at letting things go so quickly and so completely? How can I be more childlike in this sense, and is it healthy as an adult? We may never know these answers.
I always give students and colleagues clean slates for each new day. We may have yelled, butted heads, or fought the day before, but today is a new day with a new beginning. I have mastered that part of the conversation at least. The problem is that it is hard to not remember the yelling and not getting along. I do hold some resentment over time and a possible grudge. I loose trust in that person, and this is a cause of stress at work for me at times. I can forgive and start a new day with that person, but I can’t always let it go.
An example of this was in my last job, it was the night of my birthday, and my young children had been trying to secretly plan a surprise party for me after work. My boss told me that morning as I walked in, that I had to work that night scouting. I explained the situation to him, and told him I couldn’t let down my three young ones at home. They were too young to understand the situation, and I couldn’t work that night. My boss was pissed and threatened my job. I told him I was all right with loosing my job, and that my loyalty goes in the order of God, Family, then Work. He was a great boss, and we never had a problem until that moment, but that moment caused friction, and as I tried to forget the blow out, it caused work place stress that never went away. At the end of the year we both sat in the principal’s office, as my boss presented a case against me for every little thing I did from that birthday incident onward. I presented my case that I did no wrong for five years until that point, and this whole thing was a witch-hunt. I had my contract renewed anyways for one more year, but I left that job for another because even as I was trying to let it go, it would never be let go by the other person. The witch hunt would continue, and I did a great job the whole year except that one day.
I’m sure my boss’s inability to not let things go caused him unnecessary stress, and stress for other employees we worked with. I tried my best to let things go, even going and trying to smooth things over a few times. But I often think, what if he just let it go and we moved on. I have moved on to better opportunities and a better working environment, and those I worked with have reported I was lucky to get out when I did. One quit coaching forever and got out of education, one quit coaching and only teaches at a new school, and I get to still coach against my old boss. He has never beaten me in six years now.
Get rid of your stress and Let It Go! Whether it was debt, moving, job change, or whatever. Today, is a great day to start over and get your life on track. Cut the stressing and move yourself forward creating a renewed situation for yourself.
… Ok now you can sing the song from Frozen. Thanks for waiting until the end.