Right now you’re like Santa Claus. You have a big bag that you carry around with you every day of your life. But this bag is not full of presents; it’s packed with worries, concerns, past memories, regrets – all sorts of things that keep pulling you back.
All of these things don’t allow you to be the best that you can be.
Letting go of everything is actually what you need to do in order to succeed. “So how do I let go?”, you might ask.
Here are 7 ways of letting go and achieving immediate success
1. Letting Go of Memories
Many people feel that memories are the most important thing they have.
They place memories in a treasure chest and cherish them or regret them, depending on the memory, whenever they get a chance to.
As the years go by, this treasure chest is getting heavier and heavier.
It’s hard to carry it around – all the mistakes of the past, all the beautiful moments you’ve enjoyed. And although you might feel like all of these memories make you who you are today, they are also keeping you from becoming the person that you can become.
Don’t be afraid to let go of these memories.
You don’t need to forget them, but simply stop thinking about them so that you can create new ones.
2. Not Being Complacent
Letting go of that complacency and pushing yourself to grow is the key to success.
By being complacent, you’re just building a fence around yourself and stopping yourself from expanding. You must open your eyes and realize that everything you do, be it something big or small, is something great.
Think about it this way: what would have happened if you hadn’t woken up this morning? You wouldn’t have been reading this now and you would be one step further away from success.
What if you hadn’t learned to read when you were in school? You wouldn’t be able to understand this sequence of letters called words and you wouldn’t be able to comprehend this article.
Realise and understand that everything you do each and every day matters.
3. Letting Go of Fears
Fear is what holds you back from doing great things. Don’t be afraid to learn something new. Don’t be afraid to start over. Don’t be afraid of letting go of fears and allow yourself to be happy. Close your eyes and visualize all of your fears. Grab them and throw them in the trash can. And then pick up the trash can and take the garbage out.
You are fearless. You are capable of doing anything you want. You can move on with your life and you can achieve great things.
If you overcome your fears, you can be successful!
4. Letting Go of Pain and Anger
Let go of all of the pain and anger that you are keeping inside. These are negative emotions that just eat you up from the inside out. Free up space to let in new and better emotions.
Love and happiness don’t have room because of all those negative emotions you’re hanging on to. There’s nothing positive or fun about feeling all of these negative feelings. You’ve gone through some things that hurt you and made you feel angry, but these experiences only made you stronger. Because you’ve survived, because you are still here today – living, breathing, feeling.
You are strong and you can let go of anger and pain because these emotions don’t define you.
You are better off without them.
5. Embracing the Unknown
What lies ahead can be scary, we never know what tomorrow holds for us. But that is a part of life. Don’t hold back and embrace the unknown. Whether you’re having doubts about that new job, that new school or maybe that new relationship. If you don’t try, you cannot succeed.
By embracing the unknown you can achieve instant success in many parts of your life.
Believe in yourself and have faith in what you can do!
6. Letting Go of Stress
Stress is one of the major factors of failure, dissatisfaction and unhappiness. But nowadays, stress is part of our everyday life.
Did you know that people who are truly successful are almost never stressed out? This is actually why they have succeeded in life – because they haven’t permitted the small things in life to influence them or stress them out.
Keep calm and give yourself time to relax and regroup.
7. Not Overthinking Success
Thinking too much about succeeding is what might be holding you back. While visualizing that point where you achieve success is a good thing, over thinking it might do more harm than good.
Instead of imagining every day how it will be like when you will have made it, spend that time working towards your goal. This way you will get there a lot faster and youwill be able to enjoy success instead of just thinking about it.
Why Do We Have An Unconscious Bias and How Can We Manage It?
When I hear someone using my name once in a while throughout the conversation we are having, I cannot stop myself thinking “this person must have read Dale Carnegie’s books or must have been influenced by someone who read them…” Have you just recalled a similar moment and it felt nice?
As Dale Carnegie famously said, “Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and the most important sound in any language”. Why did Dale Carnegie highlight the importance of an individual’s name to that person in his “How to Win Friends and Influence People” book published in 1936?
Each and every one of us wants to feel special and unique. I guess he recommends using the person’s name in the conversation because that is one of the easiest ways to grab that person’s attention so that we can enhance the chances of getting our point across. However, I am more interested in this from the other side; hearing our names directly addresses our individuality, our need or desire to feel special and unique.
Let’s park this one for now and we will come back.
Categorization is essential to our survival
There is countless scientific research telling us about how our brains recognize similarities and put things into categories, which has been crucial to our survival in evolution and still helps us with a lot of things from learning new things to coping with the continuous influx of massive amounts of information through our senses.
The continuous influx of information is mostly handled by our subconscious mind rather than conscious. It is estimated that our brains receive about 11 million bits of information every second through our senses, of which only 40-50 bits can be processed by our conscious mind. We process more information than we are aware of. The magic here is the subconscious mind.
An example is when you are at a very loud party where you hear a lot of words flying around without you recognizing each one of them, then suddenly, you immediately catch it when you hear your name. Your subconscious had been processing all of those words, without your awareness, but informed your conscious mind when your name was out there because it was relevant to you.
In order to most effectively process this much information and inform the conscious mind with only the relevant ones, our subconscious employs categorization as one of its strategies.
When our ancestors encountered some deadly predators in the African savanna, their subconscious prompted their conscious mind to immediately fight or flight by categorizing the information gathered through their senses into “predator / life threat / take action”. Most probably we are not descendants of the ones that were frozen rather than fighting or flighting!
Although it is a completely different situation, the same strategy applied in remembering lists. Let’s look at the below two lists.
- lion, eagle, shark, leopard, hawk, whale, panther, falcon and dolphin
- lion, leopard, panther, eagle, hawk, falcon, shark, whale and dolphin
The second list is easy to remember because it is reordered into relevant groups even though the content of the both lists are identical.
Subconsciousness is the magic and categorization is one of its key strategies. It is essential to our survival, learning new skills and processing information as well as bringing back the information we had processed and stored.
This amazing skill has its drawbacks
As a result of our brains’ categorization strategy, we also categorize people, especially if we don’t know them as well as our closest ones.
Imagine I am sitting at the table next to yours while you are having your favorite coffee and working on your computer or reading your novel at your neighborhood coffee shop. I stand up, very calmly grab your bag, and start walking away. Your reaction might be quite different depending on my outfit. It could be much more vocal and harsh if I have a dirty T-Shirt and a pair of torn jeans on. However, if I have some navy colored, 3-piece suit and well-pressed white button up shirt on, you might even say something like “Excuse me, you might have picked up my bag by mistake”. (There is an experiment done by social psychologists which reported similar results)
Similarly, I would not be surprised to hear that my co-worker’s spouse is very skilled and knowledgeable in English grammar and literature because he is an English teacher. However, I would not expect it from my co-worker herself because she is an outstanding chemical engineer.
This is defined as unconscious bias or stereotyping, as a result of our subconscious brain’s categorization strategy. The outfit I have at the coffee shop impacts your response to my action, because it puts me into a different category in your mind depending on my outfit. My co-worker’s and her spouse’s backgrounds make me put them into different categories, which might mislead me sometimes.
Just like we categorize things, it is very natural that we categorize people.
The key question here for me is; how do we truly treat people as individuals so that they feel unique, just like as they would want, while we know that our brains categorize people?
We can overcome unconscious bias
Leonard Mlodinow, in his enlightening book “Subliminal”, suggests that “if we are aware of our bias and motivated to overcome it, we can.” That doesn’t mean that we need to fight our brain’s categorization strategy. We just need to employ our conscious mind more when we are working or dealing with individuals.
Our unconscious bias might tell us scientists are bunch of technical nerds who cannot understand abstract concepts that marketers are talking about or it might say that marketers are some daydreamers who need to be grounded by scientists to the real world all the time. I am an engineer and I love thinking in abstract terms and I worked with quite a lot of marketers who thought primarily in factual and concrete terms.
Spending some effort to learn more about individuals will help overcome unconscious bias. Gathering more information and qualities about them will make it easier for us to treat them as individuals rather than a member of the category we put them in our minds.
The moral of the story here is to recognize the fact that our brains do categorize, and it is essential; but also, to recognize that every individual wants to feel unique. When we appreciate these two and keep reminding them to ourselves, we are one step closer to figuring out our own way to overcome unconscious bias and treat people more like individuals.
What was the most interesting part of this article for you? Share your thoughts below!
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