A Coaching Power Tool created by Edda Jonsdottir
(Professional Training Coach, ICELAND)
All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. Henry Ellis
Letting go of something that you have been holding on to, can be a liberating process. Letting go can mean letting go of a person, letting go of a difficult situation or letting go of the past.
Letting go can mean taking responsibility over the situation, rather than staying in a passive role of a victim. It can mean that you stop blaming others and let go – to be able to move on and become free of the situation.
Letting go can mean forgiveness – towards your self and towards others. It doesn’t have to be the same as forgiveness though. It can mean simply to let go and believing that the situation will resolve on its own without you holding on to it any more.
Many clients feel stuck and unable to move forward. Some are dealing with unresolved issues from the past that may result in limiting underlying beliefs. Those can be holding them back from living their lives to the fullest.
When people hold on to negative experiences, negative feelings and negativity towards others, they suffer. Long lasting negative feelings can in some cases result in distress and even sickness.
When a client comes to a coach with an issue he has been holding on to, it can in some instances be helpful to support him to hold on to the issue for a while longer. Long enough to go through it, process it and get a clear picture of what the client can learn from it. In these situations it is important to be particularly aware to let the client lead the process. The coach should not ask the client to let go of an issue until he is ready.
Coaches can support their clients by offering them an alternative point of view when they are holding on to something that results in them feeling stuck.
This can be an unresolved issue from the past, a person that the client has been having a difficult relationship with or a situation that the client feels powerless against.
Pointing out that the client has the power to let go, can be extremely empowering. By choosing to let go, the client get the chance to take responsibility and move forward. By letting go the client often experiences transformation.
Sometimes simply pointing out that it is an option to let go is sufficient. The client gets a fresh perspective and becomes able to move on. In other cases more work needs to take place for people to feel the transformation that occurs when you stop holding on and simply let go.
Tools and exercises that can be used to help clients to let go:
- Visualization exercises can be used to help clients let go off a situation or another person. It can be powerful to visualize that you let go physically of the situation or the person into the protection of God, a guarding angel or Spirit (according to the clients belief system). This can be very helpful for the client and can help to move them forward.
- Writing can help many people in the process of letting go of something. They get the chance to reflect on their feelings and to become clear about the situation before they let go off it. This can be a great learning opportunity for the client. For some people, daily journaling would be a good tool.
- The Belief Closet Process is a powerful process to use when people feel that underlying beliefs are at the heart of what they need to let go of. By choosing to let go of limiting underlying beliefs, the client often experiences freedom and relief. They then replace the old beliefs with new empowering ones.
- An alternative approach to letting go is the Body Wisdom Process. It is a process to be used when people experience being stuck in a physical way. They might experience anxiety as a knot in their stomach, stress as tension in their shoulders and neck etc.
The Body Wisdom Process offers a way to connect with these physical sensations in order to be able to let go off them and release the physical tension. The client often experiences relief and a sense of freedom following this exercise.
- What would it look like if you were to let go – rather than hold on to this (situation, person, belief)?
- What is your underlying belief around this situation?
- Do you want to let go of this belief?
- Would you like to let go of this physical tension?
- If you could change one thing – what would you change?
- Would it be helpful to hold on to this issue for a while longer, to just let it be and let it have its space?
- How would it serve you not to change anything about this situation?
- What are the things you can control?
- What are some things you cannot control?
- How does keeping this belief serve you?
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. Lao Tzu