Sometimes mental strength is not characterised by our determination to keep going, but our willingness to stop
and let go.
We live in a world which encourages us to ‘just keep going’, ‘hang on’. Winners never quit and quitters never win. No wonder there’s such shame around giving up or walking away.
As a result of this culture, we can find ourselves holding on to things that no longer serve us. Relationships, careers, businesses, homes, etc. And it’s not healthy. I mean, just think about holding onto a poo. It’s not good for you. That shit needs to go, or it soon becomes toxic.
Yet in our lives we hold on to things due to fear and scarcity. ‘What will people think?’, ‘What if I give up too soon?’
When really, it’s no different to poo. If you are feeling the need to go, and you hold on, not only is it super uncomfortable but hold on too long it will become poisonous. Though, I guess sometimes the need disappears, but that doesn’t mean the stinky piece of shit is gone. It’s just hiding for a while. It will return. Maybe with a vengeance.
I consider myself pretty apt at letting things go. Yet I found myself holding onto something that felt crap, primarily due to the way it might make me look to others.
Make Some Noise (my podcast about creativity, self expression and mental health) has recently felt like hard work. It’s been hard to find guests who were the right fit. It’s been hard to get people to listen to it. Guests kept cancelling. It was all feeling a bit too hard.
As podcaster I am well respected amongst my peers and sought after as a teacher and mentor. I considered how walking away from a podcast after six months might reflect on me, as a professional in this field.
But here’s the thing: we can live our lives worrying about how our actions might make us look to others, but if something isn’t serving you, holding onto it because of assumptions you’re making about how things might be perceived by someone else who is not in your position is kind of bullshit.
Why go on hurting yourself just to spare others from a thought they may, or may not, have about you?
You are the only one you need to answer to.
Ain’t nobody else going to hold on to your poo for you. Trust me. I mean, would you? If you are feeling the need, it might be time to let that shit go.