Often to Move Forward, You Have to Let Go

I have been thinking about ways in which we move forward, and how the hardest part can be just having the courage be in a state of momentary disequilibrium as you move from the known to the as-yet-unknown.

I am reminded of an old post I wrote years ago based on learnings from my friend and personal trainer, Mauro Gumierato, pictured in the photo above.  In his advice on physical dexterity and fitness, I see many parallels and applications to my work on cognitive agility and change.

One key theme is that often when you want to move forward, you have to let go.  Here’s why:

  1. When you are reaching for higher levels of achievement, you have to push away from your comfort zone and let go of that sense of security – In other words, take a (managed!) risk and trust that your training won’t let you down.  There is no way to reach another level of achievement with moving from where you are and accepting that it might take a few tries, and even some pain, to get it right.  This is absolutely true with personal growth and development.
  2. To learn a new skill, sometimes you actually need to throw away what you think you know and start from scratch – what you know might be outdated or irrelevant.  It might have gotten you where you are now, but not where you want to go.  Even worse, it could actually impede your ability to achieve (either physically or mentally).  Sometimes you need to let go of the old and reach out for the new.
  3. For change to be sustainable you need to adapt, not just adjust.  When it comes to motor skills adjusting is making temporary, compensatory changes to something you are doing at the moment; adapting is changing in the way you approach or conduct movements based on new requirements.  The same is true for changes in behavior – particularly today, when what you’re looking for is real and sustainable transformation in an environment that’s constantly and rapidly changing.

Moving on can be difficult.  But remember – the focus is not on the letting go, it’s on the moving forward – on connecting with and achieving new experiences and skills in your life which make you stronger, flexible and agile.

What do you need to let go of in order to move forward?

All the Best,

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