The Beatles’ “Let it Be” gave us good advice in 1970. So when is it best to let it be, and is there a moment when you can’t, or don’t want to? Let’s explore this question by bringing in an even shorter phrase, one which often gets in the way of a decision on whether or not to let it be.
“What if…..”: two words which often prevent us from doing something. The problem with “what if” is that it can sometimes form part of a negative thought or belief. That little voice in your head, which might be yours, a family member’s, or a “friend’s”, planting doubts, fears, insecurity and taking away your power.
There may, of course, be times when we need to listen to the “what if” in our heads, because it might prevent us from doing something extremely dangerous, but, in reality, when was the last time that happened to you? “What if” is usually about fear: fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of being judged unfairly, fear of looking silly; the list is endless! It has the power to hold us back from achieving our goals, and if we keep paying attention to “what if”, those negative beliefs are reinforced again and again.
When you’re pressured with “what if”, try the pragmatic approach. Ask yourself: is it very likely to happen? Is it going to harm anyone? Is it within my control? If the answers to any of these questions are “no”, then you can choose to “feel the fear and do it anyway”, or let it be, rather than choose to be disempowered by that small, negative voice.
But what if we used “what if” to positive effect? Think about it for a moment, and flip it round. What if I gave this a go? What if I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried something completely new? What if I took a chance? What if I turned down something I really didn’t want to do, in favour of something I really did want to do? What if this made a real difference to me, or to someone else? There will be times where you don’t want to let it be; you might prefer to convert to a positive and go for it.
So, to let it be, or not to let it be? (with a nod to Mr Shakespeare!) Just saying those three words can make you feel peaceful; it’s a great affirmation to have in your collection. On the other hand, there’s “go for it!” It’s a judgement call, and it will vary. Choose to make that call for the right reasons.