Self Improvement #15: Let It Go

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let it go

Let it go!

You don’t have to be right all the time!

You don’t have to win every fight.

You don’t have to change lanes in front of that car. Many of us tend to be competitive even when there’s no competition, and the results do not matter. Make a decision that you will give in and let go in the case of mundane everyday matters. Letting go is not defeat or losing, you are making a decision to let the other person have it.

You will avoid a lot of stress and frustration.

Try losing arguments

Point out the holes in your argumentation but don’t flip to the opposing argument. Just state your case and point out the holes or the aspects the other side has missed. Lay back and watch the other person fry their brains trying to figure out what you are doing.

If you know for a fact that the average distance to the sun is 92.96 million miles and they say its 149 million miles. Don’t argue with that. Just say you are not sure and have to check your facts.

let it go Aurelius quote

You shouldn’t give circumstances the power to rouse anger, for they don’t care at all. – Marcus Aurelius

Defer to others

Let people pass you in lines. Let that car make the turn even if you have the right of way. Keep in mind that in traffic you have to make sure you don’t block others who have the right of way.

Let others go before you. Letting others have the first pick will help you slow down and be less worried about the result. You can take it as a random act of kindness to a stranger.

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Volunteer to do the thing nobody wants to do

Don’t wait to be the one to draw the shortest straw. Step up and take the job, as a bonus it will build your willpower.


It doesn’t matter that you are right. If they are upset with you then in their eyes you are to blame. Say that you are sorry about what happened and ask what you can do to fix the situation. You can fight to be right or just defer and try to fix the situation.


One thing I’ve learned about life is that if you really let go, it’s just a joy ride. ~~Ricky Williams

Give yourself a break

But letting go is not only about other people. You may want to beat your previous results in exercising. Pumping more iron, running more and faster miles. Giving it your all is commendable, but from time to time you have to let go. If that ripped triathlete passes you on the track, you don’t have to keep up. Or this may relate to your work. If you have set a goal to close 10 deals every week, it may feel like a failure to do less. But give yourself a break every once in a while and take it easy.

Getting your impulsive reactions under control

I have found that letting it go is a good way to improve your self-control in situations that really matter. There are times when you automatically explode and go into fight mode.

Not a good thing!

It should be your conscious decision what mode you want to be in. Your lizard brain should not interfere with your plans. Letting it go will help you prepare for situations like this. Practice in the situations where the stakes are low. Low stakes practice will build up your ability to respond when it really matters.

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Deciding to let it go is not a weakness

Often letting it go is a strength. For example:

  • deferring to others,
  • taking the job nobody else wants to do,
  • apologizing.

It’s a strength, and it will build your character for the future. You can let it go but don’t give up.

Remember that this is a decision and you don’t use that to justify failure. Be honest with yourself, and this will grow you.

I have a daily writing habit. As of today, I have written at least 500 words per day for more than 700 days in a row.

It is unsustainable.

When I visited Miami in April 2018, I ran with Raven. He has run every day for more than 15,000 days. There will be a day when you have to break the chain. Do it on your terms.

running with Raven

As long as it’s your decision and not permanent, it’s a break for you.

Here’s a warning, use your head to decide when it’s a right time to let go. If you are hanging on a cliff by your fingernails, then you might want to give it your all.

Now go out and run your usual distance with the slowest time in a month. Go ahead and lose some arguments.

Image: Letting It Go by Alan Turkus
Image: Snøgropa i Trysil by Skistar Trysil
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

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