#MTtalk 2019: A Year of Letting Go » Mind Tools Blog
letting go

A Year of Letting Go – 2019 #MTtalk Roundup

December 20, 2019

© GettyImages/Tanachot

“The beautiful journey of today can only begin when we learn to let go of yesterday.”

Steve Maraboli, American Author 

Somewhere in July, I found myself singing the Christmas song “Let It Snow” out loud in the car, on my own. But instead of singing the word “snow,” I changed it to “go.”

“Let it go, let it go, let it go…”

It’s a song that I have loved for many years, and, somehow, singing my new version had a calming effect after an upsetting event.

As I sang, I realized that “letting go” was the best way to respond to this upsetting event because I had no control over the person, or the situation, that had caused me sadness – I could only control what went on in my head.

#MTtalks 2019

In many ways, letting things go was an overarching theme of our #MTtalk chats during the year, whether it was an intended topic or just popped up in conversation.

Here are some of my favorite contributions on this theme, shared by chat participants throughout the year.

Holding On

In May, we discussed holding on and letting go. We wanted to know what it feels like to keep holding on when, probably, you should be letting go.

@MurrayAshley said, “It feels awful. Like continually knocking your head against the wall in exactly the same place. Add being an overthinker to the mix and there’s hell right there.”

Let it go, let it go, let it go…

Onlyness

Another important topic that we tackled was “onlyness.” Nilofer Merchant, the author of “The Power of Onlyness,” explains that your power is determined not by your status but “by onlyness – that spot in the world only you stand in, a function of your distinct history and experiences, visions and hopes.”

We wanted to know what others will do differently as a result of discovering their own and others’ onlyness.

@ZalkaB shared this, “I’ve refrained from trying to control every part of a process and not to expect from others what I find acceptable. And, most importantly, I’m not everyone’s cup of tea – and that’s OK.”

Let it go, let it go, let it go…

Othering

In April, Dr Eve Kedar joined our chat called “The Ugly Truth About Othering,” where we discussed the painful effects of this behavior on individuals and organizations.

As an expert on the topic, she fielded many questions, including, “What we can do to prevent othering ourselves?”

@harrisonia said, “We can stop ‘othering’ ourselves by first acknowledging that society’s norms are not the ONLY way, kind, or type. We can embrace what’s unique about ourselves and stop trying to live up to the narrow-minded focus of the broader society.”

Let it go, let it go, let it go…

Empathy

Empathy at work has been a big topic of discussion over the last few years. In our chat, “How to Empathize With Me,” we wanted to know (among other things) how you can help to create a culture of empathy?

@blondepreneur offered this advice, “Regularly reflect how and where we can improve our empathy, and have regular check-ins with ourselves, too. See if we are being too tough on ourselves, as well as others. It’s a daily process and practice.”

Preserving Values

Have you ever felt a conflict between your personal values and keeping an open mind? During our April chat “Preserving Values vs. Closing Your Mind,” we wanted to know if it’s ever possible to do both simultaneously.

@MapDorcas imparted this advice, “Observe the impact of values on other people. Continue with values that have positive responses, outcomes and reciprocal benefits. Remain open to challenge and change.”

Thanks, Dorcas, for helping us understand what we should hold on to and why.

Coming Up in 2020

A huge thank you to all our participants and readers – it’s meant a lot to us that you’ve been engaged by these talks, and we appreciate each and every contribution. Happy holidays everyone.

Our next #MTtalk chat will take place on January 3, 2020, when we’re going to discuss “taking your space.” The pre-chat blog will be published on December 31. Put the dates in your calendar, if you can. We can’t wait to hear your thoughts and ideas!

Resources

In the meantime, here are some resources relating to the topics we discussed throughout the year:

What Are Your Values?

Dweck’s Fixed and Growth Mindsets

Cognitive Restructuring

Snyder’s Hope Theory

Avoiding Discrimination

Managing Mutual Acceptance in Your Team

Eight Ways to Cope When You’re a Team of One

Making the Most of Employee Resource Groups

Avoiding Unconscious Bias at Work

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