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Let go of the past

Some lovely responses to yesterday’s email – keep them coming.

It’s too easy to let who you were dictate who you are. This is a major barrier in making changes to your life and business and one of the biggest hurdles to overcome if you want to start something new.

Change can, sadly, be perceived as hypocrisy by some. Others see it as a judgement on a way of life you once shared with them. Some will be bitter because you can improve your life while they can’t.

But many – and many more than you expect – will support you. And you might not even have yet met a lot of the people who will celebrate whatever you do.

Acknowledging this is, I suppose, step one. That if you change something about yourself or your business then someone is probably going to get upset. The customers who used to buy the product or service you’re discontinuing; the friends who needed to share the pain of Sunday morning hangovers; the people who are intimidated by your bravery because it highlights their own fears.

Remember how much you’ve changed. You started in nappies, unable to speak. You learned to walk, to read, to laugh and love. You became a teenager who tested boundaries (to put it politely). You formed opinions, friendships and habits. Some of them changed, some of them remained – all of them will have affected you deeply.

You learned new things at school, perhaps at university too. You started working, making big choices about where you live, and with whom.

And you changed. All the time. Even if you didn’t know it. So why is making one more – conscious – change so difficult? The answer is that it’s not, really. You just allow it to be.

Step two is to decide if it really bothers you.

Life is a long-term, changing beast in which you will encounter many people. Keeping them all happy is exhausting and, arguably, pointless. Friendships and relationships (business or personal) should be mutually beneficial: if they’re not, why are you still involved?

Step three is to plan your New Thing. What do you want to do and, importantly, how are you going to start?

From one of the comments on yesterday’s email:

“In Aug 2018 I decided to do 12 marathons in 12 months, with the first event being 25 Jan 2019. When I had the “crazy idea” I booked the first event which meant I couldn’t slip the start date. For me this worked as it focussed my mind during those cold winter nights when I didn’t feel like going for a run.”

In short: decide something, set a target and take a very clear and definite action to make it happen.

What do you want to change? How are you going to do it? Comment below or email tom@tbogh.com if you’d prefer to keep it confidential.

Best wishes,

Tom

2 Comments

  • James Stewart says:

    Wow – great ! Deep questions. It’s easy to think only about ‘big achievements’ which lead to pushing friends and life aside for them. Maybe think in terms of what we want to look back on when we’re old …
    I like to try to pick a ‘balanced portfolio’, choosing maybe a new sociable, creative, or physical challenge to stretch me or fill gaps when life quietens down. If life gets too busy I start saying no to a few things to stay around the optimum level rather than being frantic or bored.

    • Tom Doggett says:

      Yes – it’s easy to end up constantly searching for the next Instagrammable-grand-plan. I like the idea of imagining looking back – the old adage that ‘nobody on their death bed ever wished they spent more time in the office’. And I recently spoke to someone who wrote a letter from their future self – “congratulations on…”, that sort of thing.

      The counter argument is to not hold yourself back to keep other people happy. Some friendships are temporary, based on factors such as geography, interests, politics (!), age of children etc. – others endure despite (or because of) these factors. We are so profoundly influenced by the people with whom we surround ourselves: it’s important to keep that in mind.

      Saying no is the most important thing!

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