Saying goodbye

Author:   |   Date: 27/01/2015   |   Categories: Career Development,

Last year I did a one-day workshop with the wonderful Joanna Maxwell at Work in Colour on creative thinking. She promised lots of insights into how to access your own creativity and inspire creativity in groups, and she delivered.

I booked the workshop after a few weeks holiday, feeling the need to get a bit unstuck from my everyday thinking and inspired about my plans for the new year.

However what has struck me today is that maybe one of the reasons I have been ‘stuck’ with moving on my new goals is that I have not made enough space for them. Maybe part of embracing a new goal is saying good-bye to the old dreams and ambitions.

And I don’t just mean mentally saying “that’s over”, its allowing a bit of space to have the “feels”, to connect with those emotions of disappointment, loss or sadness that come from acknowledging something is over and it is time to move on.

Even if the next goal is incredibly exciting, until the old one has been released we might be unconsciously holding on to both. I think that is what has been happening with me, and the result has been a rather diffused energetic state.

Luckily I was able to spend the last part of the year travelling and so have had a gap where I have not had to think about goals and dreams. But I have not bounced back quite as I hoped.

I am clear what I want to do, but getting going is still hard.

To achieve a goal there needs to be commitment. And in making a commitment to one path we do say good bye to other options and possibilities – that’s just life.

Whether it be choosing a profession and studying for the qualifications, working on developing a business, or a creative pursuit – these ambitions are usually at the cost of something else you may have wanted in your life.  But if you are changing career or way of working, you will come to a point where you let go of the old, and with it all it gave to you.

It may come with a sense of relief: no more commuting, meetings, office politics, may be uncertainty.  But you also say good bye to people you may have liked and even cared for, a routine that supported you, and goals and ambitions that once inspired you (even a little) even if they have become frustrating now.

In many times in our lives we have rituals and ceremonies that mark our points of transition: birthdays, weddings, graduations, funerals.

But what of the internal shifts. How do we celebrate these times of growth and renewal?. How do we say goodbye to our old hopes and dreams and let them go so there is plenty of space for new dreams?

Just like any relationship, sometimes we move on mentally a lot more quickly than we do emotionally. We know that it is good to give up on the old and want to take on the new. 

But our emotions may be a bit slower, especially if not acknowledged.

So, when you are going through a transition, I encourage you to find as much space as possible to acknowledge what is going on in the feeling realm. As I always say, you don’t have to do anything but unless we understand our feelings we will be stuck.


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