The state of Holding On is closely associated with the fundamental changes of life; change of house, change of partner, change of job, change of lifestyle, changing from being independent to interdependent. Holding On is the default state assumed before all major changes, the state of mental torment between the status quo that was, and the future state yet to come.
It exists because all major life changes cause you to reminisce, long lost memories reappear bringing with them feelings and emotions that lay dormant within you.
Sifting through your mental possessions, still in the boxes they were packed into the last time you moved on to something new, is like winding back the clock to a different place in time. And like moving house, you have a choice; carry the boxes of sleeping memories on to the next destination to occupy another space for another time, or; cut loose now, releasing the memories to fend for themselves amongst those of others, down the local tip.
In the weeks leading up to the end of a job, Holding On to the roles, responsibilities and projects you have developed is natural and hard to stop. Surely no-one else will give the same care and attention to the relationships you’ve nurtured over the years. Those unique methods you employ to assimilate information, make decisions and get things done are casually lost forever (is that the sound of work colleagues rejoicing I hear? Finally, simple spreadsheets presented with only the information you need.)
The state of Holding On is trying to remain interested enough to at least look outwardly present and not dribble as your mind disappears off into the possibilities of what the future might hold.
In truth, Holding On serves to make us feel that we are still needed, reminds us of who we are, what we’ve done, and why our role is important.
Indefinitely Holding On
Holding On also occurs as a result of indecision; you know where you are isn’t necessarily where you want to be, but you haven’t yet decided what to do about it. You’re left hanging there in limbo, think: unreciprocated high five, just Holding On hoping to be noticed and saved by anyone willing to put you out of your misery. The longer you wait the more desperate it gets; this is the most insidious dose – Indefinitely Holding On.
Prolonged episodes of Indefinitely Holding On will bring further anguish in the form of comparisons between then, now and the future; were you happier or healthier, more popular or confident, more excited about the future, then, or now. No matter what the answers, these reflections will most definitely induce feelings of anxiety, fear and self doubt about whatever it is you choose to do next. The perpetual cycle begins; fear, doubt, indecision, holding on, repeat. Will you ever be able to high five again?
Hack The Cycle – Letting Go Is Liberating
Please take heed, if you find yourself Holding On to the bitter end in fear of what will become, you will eventually be forced, with an aching arm, to let go and move on. For nothing stays the same forever, and to wish things the same, when all around is changing is a badly informed endeavour. The field of options narrows in, like being last at a buffet and where there were once choice, remains only soggy leftovers.
From my experiences this week it’s better to just to let it all go, it’s a cathartic, energising and sometimes embarrassing process but in the end, change always brings growth with it, so take your boxes to the tip, dribble with pride and decide to be first at the buffet that is life.
If you ultimately get more of what you’re focusing on, focus on what you love to do and work out a way to spend more time doing it.
Feel free to leave your comments below, what are you Holding On to, or letting go of? What would or did make you let go?