My friend recently auditioned for a reputable theatre company. She’s dreamed about working with this company for years. She’s a fiercely talented actor and it’s totally possible. However, her attachment to this goal is getting in her way.
She can walk into any other theatre company in town and nail audition after audition. She knows what she’s doing, she’s prepared, she does it well, and she lets go after.
She walks into this one theatre company’s room, however, and she’s a mess. She sweats and stumbles over her lines. She feels awkward! The casting director knows her, even likes her, and is most likely rooting for her. But my friend self-sabotages her success.
One of the hardest things about being a goal setter is the ability to let it go. But believe me, by letting go of your attachment to a goal, it may actually become easier to achieve.
Do you remember liking someone so much that you were a bumbling fool around them? Or (maybe worse) you were on the receiving end of that affection, but you didn’t feel the same? The same thing can happen when you’re too attached to a goal.
When that happens, your ego is saying you’re worthless without this job.
How does one “let go” of a goal without giving up?
1. Write your goals in present tense. To want something is to be lacking. Writing, “I want to get cast at Big Stage Theatre,” is like saying “I don’t work at Big Stage Theatre.” That’s not what you want! If you write, “I am working at Big Stage Theatre,” you’re focused on having it, rather than the sneaky opposite. You’re never lacking because you’re already there.
2. Visualize yourself feeling the emotions you would feel if you got the job. Chances are you want to achieve that goal because you want to feel a certain way. The good news is you can feel that way with or without the job.
Once you’re done visualizing feelings, you can visualize yourself putting those memories you created into a glowing orb (Glinda, the Good Witch Style) and sending that orb off into the Universe. That way you can create a ritual of letting go in your mind. It sounds hokey, but how else can you let go of something that’s not actually there? If you find a way, let me know!
3. Finally, let go of the need to accomplish the goal because there’s nothing left to achieve. Know that it’s already happened; you just don’t know how and when it will happen. That’s not up to you. Your job is to have faith that it already did. Sometimes your ego will try to take over and lead with FEAR. Sit her down and have a little chat with her. Let’s call our ego Betty. (You can name your ego whatever you’d like.) When Betty starts to take over, say, “Betty, I totally get it. You’re trying to help. You’re trying to protect me here. You really want me to get this job, because you think without it, I’ll be nothing. But, I gotta tell ya…I’m good. I don’t need this to be worth something. If I do get it, I’ll have fun. If I don’t, I’ll be fine. I’ll still be an amazing human being and talented actor regardless. So, feel free to step down, cause I got this.”
Again, you may feel silly or crazy, but better that than inadequate and worthless!
Let it go, and miraculous things will happen.
Your turn! Have you ever let fear or attachment get in the way of achieving your goals? Let us know if this helps in the comments below, and if you like this blog, share with your friends!
Courtney Rioux, The Whole Artist coaches actors and other creative talent who feel stuck in their career and want more out of life. She's here to help you shift your mindset from stuck and unhappy to empowered and joyful — all while making it feel fun and easy. It’s like therapy without the therapy.