Written by: Tanja Bogataj, M.Sc., Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
How often do you find yourself in a situation when you hear friendly advice, yours or from people around you, “Let it go,” “Let them,” and “Let it happen.” Or you might find yourself in a state where you are sort of waiting and maybe hoping that someone or something from the outside will take ‘it’ away, change ‘it,’ or solve ‘it’? What are you waiting for? Permission that you can, or that it’s time? Maybe confirmation that you’re right or that you’re the right one to do it? An assurance that all will be at least O.K. if not better than before? Or maybe just an inspiration to start and persevere through?
Let’s dive into and find the answers on what’s your “it” that you can now choose to let go, how you can support yourself to let “you” grow, and how to win those choices and actions in between.
1. Letting Go and Reinvention
Letting “something” go has an embedded idea that “something else” can now emerge and/or be created instead of that something that we let go. It brings a certain lightness and release of what was and makes some room for the hope and dream of what could be there now instead.
Behind this 'let it,' there is the allowance, the release of control, to transform the fears with trust, courage and action. When we start letting “it” go, we start allowing the change to happen. We’ll focus in this article on reinvention, which means when things change by action or process so much that they appear as a new thing. There are some synonyms for reinvention that might help as an inspiration for you to address the situation that you’d like to consciously change, like recreation, rebirth, regeneration, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection, revitalization, revival, or recovery.
2. (Re)Invention: Path is made by walking
I personally and professionally went through a bigger transformational and reinvention process in the past few months, and I thought about how I can use this experience as an inspiration and support for other leaders. One of the things I did was I invited three expert guests to co-create a Mind-stretching be powerful and free® Session with me on the topic (Re)Invention: Vision ‒ Creativity ‒ Action. The recordings of the session are available for you in the link here (duration 1:01,39). I invite you to take 1 idea, 1 tool, or 1 share as an inspiration and test it out for yourself, what and how it works, and how you can integrate it into your life.
Go within, stay with yourself, and explore what’s there. What are your passions and talents?
What brings you smiles and joy? What would be amazing to create in your life right now? What would be even more amazing to experience in your life right now? How it would feel if you’d be able to share this experience with those you love and appreciate?
As Steven D’Souza and Diana Renner (2016, p. 21) suggest, we start to reinvent at “the edge between the known and unknown and the unknown is a place full of possibility; playing at the edge can lead us to experience fresh new learning, creativity, joy and wonder. The edge is the place where something new can emerge. We call this Not Knowing.”
Steve Chandler (2017, p. 146) offers a very workable description and process of reinvention saying, “Reinvention is about options. You have options. When it comes to who you want to be in any circumstances, you have options. Exercise your options.”
3. A process of let ‘it’ go, let ‘you’ grow, and win ‘in-between’
Letting “it” go, letting the “old you” go, letting “you” grow, and all “in-between” challenges are part of the process of transformation; inventing, and reinventing; learning, unlearning, and relearning; of evolving, becoming, and creating.
I heard an interview with a Slovenian NBA player Goran Dragic a few weeks ago where he said something like, ’the game you know you need to win is the hardest one to play”, and “any game you play, you can win only by winning each point, and winning every comeback when you lose the chance for a point, or when the other side wins a point. This analogy can be easily applied to a reinvention process for success in any life situation or challenge we might find ourselves.
Let’s focus on the potentially more messy part of going and growing through in-between phases. As Brené Brown says, “What we don’t need in the midst of struggle is a shame for being human beings” and we so often struggle with it anyway. I wrote an article a few years ago on Leveraging the in-between space, and an excerpt from this article goes well in line with this topic:
It is important to acknowledge that these ‘in-between spaces’ are not some kind of traps that we fall into because we are, for example, not careful enough, not good enough, or because we have bad luck. They are the most normal and usual things and situations in our life. These are spaces in-between relationships, different phases of a certain relationship, people, partnerships, tasks, projects, business and businesses, experiences, travels, challenges, emotions, feelings, thoughts, days, moments, etc. If we look at these spaces like they are actually a wonderful possibility to learn, feel, acknowledge, and cocreate so we can live more intentionally and in a more fulfilling way.
There is a massive potential to leverage this ‘in-between space’ just by slightly changing our perspective on how we look at things and life situations in general. It is like becoming aware of the thought of Alexander Graham Bell, who said, “When one door closes, another opens, but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”
For this possibility to emerge and unfold, we need to provide proper conditions in certain situations. The precondition is to allow the letting go happen, to empty the space, to embrace this emptiness, and to be aware and present.
At the same time, we get the chance to apply the ‘less is more’ principle, where simplicity and clarity lead us further step by step. We can avoid blocking this process with endless questioning, thinking, repeating the old patterns and recycling the already known answers, and controlling how it should be, develop or happen.
With this less is more, but very much aware, active, and intentional approach, we create our life in many more shades, colours, flavours, textures, and layers than we could before even imagined that it was possible. We create a new space for us, a space of which we were not even aware, although it was there all the time. We broaden and deepen the moment and situation and the experience itself. We expand our life and strengthen our inner power to intentionally and actively create our next step and the desired outcome.
With this approach, it actually became a different kind of process. It is not just from “door to door” or “goal to goal” thing. It is the whole process of constant learning and growing in between while we are becoming as powerful and as free as we need to be and give our best.
Are you ready for some action? Let’s go! And Let’s grow!
4. Exercise: Let “IT” go and Let “YOU” Grow in 3 steps
Step 1: What ’s the “IT” you can / allow / will let go (now / this week / this month / this year)?
Let’s use the “tree” analogy. Please choose your level of ambition and commitment:
Take the inspiration from Rumi and “Be like a tree, let the dead leaves drop.” You might drop some thoughts, beliefs, fears, ideas, memories, stories, expectations, or any other ‘IT’ that’s limiting you from growing.
Now be like a tree, and shake the branches. Check all brunches like they would be fields of your life and how you express yourself through life. Notice what you are doing, where you put your energy, what you are creating, what is growing and what is not, and why something is growing and why not. Is there something on your tree that you’d like to additionally let go of?
Now observe how you are on this tree after you’ve done level 1 and level 2 activities. What has changed, if anything, after you’ve let “IT” go? What is now available to you?
Step 2: Let your past idea of “YOU” go
John C. Maxwell says, “Change is inevitable; growth is a choice.” What’s behind this dilemma to change and grow or not? Let’s use here the “butterfly” analogy.
“Caterpillar does all the work, and the butterfly gets all the publicity.” ‒ George Carlin
I’ve selected 5 common challenges we are internally processing while we are going through the process of transformation when reinventing ourselves. I chose them because these are often the points where some go through change by learning and growing, and some might get stuck or just choose to stay there.
These 5 challenges are:
“I should know it better before going through…”
“How is (not) my outside reality reflecting my inner reality, and vice versa”
“What if it doesn’t work out? What if it will be worst than before …”
“It should be different… It’s not fair…Why it takes me so long…”
“Am I worthy it”
I’ve recorded a video on the topic to guide you through these challenges with some questions (duration 23:23). Try to stay open with shared ideas in the video. Instead of judging and concluding, “that’s not me,” “I don’t have this,” or “I don’t need this,” I invite you to rather think about these ideas as “how is this showing up in my life,” “how this can help me,” and “if there’s something I could improve right now in my life by using my power and my freedom in an empowering way, what or how I can do it.”
Step 3: Let the new “YOU” grow
Who’s the new you? In which direction are you going/growing?
A great guideline to create a new successful you are using a life success formula by Zig Ziglar. He said, “First, you have to BE before you can DO, and do need to DO before you can HAVE.” I’m adding the “success” element and “success after success” to this formula (more in the article).
Do the exercise for yourself using this BE-DO-HAVE Success after Success formula:
Be Success after Success:
Do Success after Success:
Have Success after Success:
You’re now one choice, one action and one win away. Will you take it?
The new “YOU” is becoming and growing by winning moments, choices and actions in between the dots and connecting those dots on your path to success.
In a world where you can be anything, I invite you to be powerful and free, give the world the best of you, and make the difference that you are here to be and do. Keep winning, one choice and one action at a time.
Celebrate your life by celebrating all those wins on the path. Keep inspiring and empowering those around you to be and give their best as well.
Sources and References:
Steven D’Souza and Diana Renner, Not Knowing, The art of turning uncertainty into opportunity, 2016;
Steve Chandler, Reinventing Yourself, The Career Press, 2017;
Tanja Bogataj, be powerful and free Platform, blog post, May 2017;
Tanja Bogataj, be powerful and free Platform, blog post, January 2021;
Tanja Bogataj, Mind-Stretching be powerful and free® Session on The Butterfly Story, Change and Grow or not, TBC YouTube Channel, February 2022;
Tanja Bogataj, M.Sc., Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Tanja Bogataj is a Leaders' Consultant, Empowerment & (Self)Leadership Coach, Founder of be powerful and free® approach, based in Slovenia, working internationally. She's a lawyer from a background with two Master's degrees from Political sciences, and from Leadership and Management. In her work, she’s combining 20y rich experience working within the Government of Slovenia (of which 14y on leadership positions, covering portfolios like urban development, environment, green & circular economy) and 10+y experiences of coaching and leadership with coaching. Last 5 years she's helping leaders, coaches, entrepreneurs, and teams to free their power to expand impact while making a difference they are here to be and do.