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When we set our sights on new and higher goals, change is imminent. While change can be challenging, the secret to up-leveling your life comes in welcoming the process of transformation. The biggest obstacle most of us face is resistance to letting go of old patterns and ideas that we are clinging to, but this shift is key. In today’s episode, I’m offering 6 tips on how to let go of the old and create space for the new.
What You’ll Discover in this Episode:
- What you need to see first before letting go of the old
- Key questions to explore to get excited about what’s next
- The misstep most people take when they’re trying to “fix” something in their life that isn’t working
- The unexpected response you should foster when things go south
- The essential step to uplevel your life
These 6 tips are taken straight from my work with clients and most recently from my own process of transformation. The process of letting go of the old can feel like putting up with an unwelcome guest. These steps will leave you grateful they visited, and help you make the transformation with more ease.
Listen to the Full Episode:
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Featured on the Show:
- Special shout out to Romy Maillard from Moravena Lifestyle
- For support in your own life transition join my Facebook group Expats on Purpose here.
Full Episode Transcript:
Welcome to the Expat Happy Hour, this is Sundae Bean from www.sundaebean.com. I am a solution-oriented coach and intercultural strategist for individuals and organizations and I am on a mission to help you adapt and succeed when living abroad and get you through any life transition.
Change is never painful only the resistance to change is painful.
So, if you’re not quite as wise as our great Buddha who is known for this quote you might have been caught in a change trap like I’ve been. Now keep in mind change and working through change is something that I coach my clients on. I teach about it. I read about it obsessively and still I can get my claws sunk into a change process with a level of resistance or I won’t let go. And these are times when you least expect it right? Not, you know, transitions from one country to the next or major shifts professionally etc. It’s the small stuff the subtle stuff that can keep you stuck. So, I was on a call with my assistant one morning, she was in Hawaii, I was in Johannesburg, so there’s a twelve-hour difference, and we were talking about something that seemed so basic. I wanted to up level my website. If you listened to Episode 105 I was talking about the tiny changes that can make a big impact and one of the things I was trying to do was make a few tweaks on my website to kind of elevate its look.
Sounds simple right?
We’re on the call and we’re talking about the lead photo on my home page, and for those of you who are familiar with my website it is an image of an arrow and me looking at it and, maybe people don’t know this, this is the image that inspired my logo with the arrow. So, backstory with the arrow you’ll notice that the arrow is a left turn and very very relevant to change. Sometimes people they think about the right turn, the thing that everybody thinks you should do and what I’ve seen in coaching is sometimes taking the left turn is the one that will get you to where you want to go more quickly. So, this photo is something that is pivotal to my business. When I started it in 2013 my logo – it’s is my brand identity. Do you get it? Like claws dug deep in this image. I mean my hair isn’t even the same length as it was, I am five years older than what was in that image, but I was so stuck on it. She and I were having this conversation about if you’re really going to sort of give your website a lift, you need to swap out this image.
And I was stuck, and I realized I was like, “yeah but this and that my identity!” blah blah blah.
Then I said, wait a minute, this is the woman that I was working with her name is Say, she’s also a Martha Beck coach, and I’m like, “You’re a coach, coach me on this. What’s happening here?”
And it dawned on me I was holding on to this home page image so tightly because I didn’t have a vision of what would come next. So I said, OK Say you’re amazing with graphics, can you please suggest what image can replace it? Because I know for me to let go, I needed to know what it was going towards, and that’s the core message I have for you today! You have to let go of the old to create space for the new, and I say that knowing I am also susceptible to the death grip of resistance to change, I get it, right? Simple thing like an arrow picture and we struggle to let go, but we need to let go to create space for the new.
So, the whole point of today’s episode is for you to walk away with six tips on how you can create that space for the new. If you remember from last episode 105, I’m talking about up leveling your life. The tiny things you can do to make a big impact. And all of that is great and you’re motivated. Maybe some of you are on the high after the new year, but if we don’t let go of that which we’re gripping to we’re not going to create space for the new OK? And again, I get it. Like I just shared my story, but I also want to share with you how I let go. We have to sort of bribe ourselves to get over this resistance.
OK so you have to let go of the old to create space for the new. And tip number one that I can offer here is when you are trying to create something new in your life. Make sure you have a vivid picture of what you are replacing the old with, because when my assistant was suggesting I take that away there was this, what’s the word, like an emptiness – a void that was left and those voids can feel scary. And this is just a picture, imagine if it’s a new relationship, imagine it’s letting go of a marriage, imagine if it’s leaving a country, imagine if it’s going from having no children to becoming pregnant, imagine if it’s changing jobs, imagine if it’s going from being a stay-at-home mom to an entrepreneur, right?
I get it!
We need to fill the void with a vivid picture of what you’re replacing. So a very simple example, one of my clients is on fire! She’s amazing, and one of the things she’s on fire about is improving her health. So, she noticed when we were in a coaching session that one small tiny change she could make to make a big impact is when she orders in a restaurant. She typically orders a Coke when she’s thirsty. Now that is not in alignment with a woman who is on fire about improving her health. She knows that ordering a coke with her meal is not towards her goal. So instead of just saying okay, stop drinking Coke, she is primed now to replace it with something she enjoys, like a sparkling water with lemon. Right, it is so simple, but the impact is that she’s saying no to 40 grams of sugar. Imagine that glass, and you just pour in 40 grams of sugar and you put some water on top. She’s saying no to that, and that is going to have an impact if she does that every day. Five days. One week. In three weeks, imagine that will be a kilo of sugar that she didn’t pump into her body in no time.
Okay so what are you replacing? What is the thing you’re trying to get rid of and what are you replacing with? So maybe for you you’re trying to eat healthier and you want to stop doing something. We know that when we have goals, goals are not effective, we need start goals.
You want to be more physically active, start packing your yoga clothes when you go to work. What are you going to order in a restaurant? How are you going to start your day? How do you want to be with your children? Anything that you’re trying to do differently, you want to create a vivid picture of what you’re replacing. One of the things that I think a lot of people can connect with is parenting, how do we talk to our children? Earlier in 2018 I shared with you that I was having a challenge with one of my children where I would lose my patience and I would catch he and I raising our voices. And I was trying to let go of the old and my picture of the new was me in a normal tone. So, I used a bridge, I said instead of getting louder I would say, “Talk to me like you love me” so that we have this picture. We are the son and mother couple who de-escalate conflict with the phrase “talk to me like you love me”! We’re letting go of our death grip on old patterns and we’re going to have something to take its place.
So that’s my invitation to you! I want you to think about what are ways that you can do it differently so that you’re replacing that old thing you don’t want any more with something new.
Here’s what happened with me, I asked her to give me alternatives when we discovered I needed to sort of get my grip off this old photo and then get a new one. Right, but when she did that she discovered a technical problem, there were a couple of things going on; My pictures I had available were only in portrait, they were not horizontal making it very hard to give a replacement, and I was technically operating my website as if it were 2015.
So, this leads me to tip number three, which is when you are letting go of the old, we need to take stock of our strategies because maybe they’re not serving you anymore. So, for me I plugged and played my website in 2015. I think 2013 is when I started, a little upgrade in ‘15 and I let it go. Boom! Right into a train wreck. Because technically I had neglected my website for so long that I rammed myself into a wall. I had a conversation with my website designer and she said, “To be honest Sundae we will spend more money trying to repair your current website than to develop a brand new one.” In fact I realized I was operating my business like it was 2015. This is my big aha moment from 2018. I’ve been doing so much on my own – like I was in 2015. Before my client load doubled or tripled. I was not outsourcing as much as I should be to my assistants even though they’re amazing and ready to take on more. I had my claws dug deep even this summer.
I realized that the strategies I had worked so hard to build to do a what I call a workation, right, how do you work and take time off? For example, my kids are off school for 10 weeks in summer. I don’t close shop for 10 weeks. I keep working and I keep playing. So, I call that a workation.
I nailed that – how to do the work up until 2017 but in 2018 those strategies did not work as well because my business grew from 2007 to 2018 and I did not change my strategies. Do you see the pattern? When I started running, the path that I took, I take work breaks at ten thirty in the morning and I go for a run almost every day and my path took me like thirty to thirty five minutes. Maybe forty when I first started. And then when I got a Fitbit I realized that my path, the same exact path, only takes me twenty five minutes. I was like, “What the hell?” Same path but thanks to the Beastie Boys and consistently running I took off almost 10 minutes of my time. I need to change my path.
Because I’m in a different space from when I started my strategies, right?
So, do you see this in your own life? Where do you need to upgrade your strategies to fit your life and your business? We need to let go of the old to create space for the new and that includes old strategies and when things are not working. It’s even as important when things are working because I need to make a choice. Am I going to now only run twenty-five minutes because my cardio is better or am I going to run thirty-five minutes but go further and there’s no judgment! Either way it’s a choice based on where I want to go. For me personally based on my goals, with let’s say running, I’m going to keep my twenty five minute run but I’m going to add a seven minute sort of strength training for my upper body because you should see my underarms! These little lovelies need some attention because I know exactly what they are going to look like when I’m seventy five. I have seen my Grandmothers and it ain’t pretty. Something I want to work on is my strength.
So, I’m going to keep the twenty-five minutes of running but I’m going to add to my strategies strength training because strength is something that I’m working on in 2019, so:
Tip 2. Part of letting go of the old is taking stock of your old strategies. Maybe they’ve served you then but, are they serving you now? So again, I want you to focus on when things aren’t working that you need to stop because it’s not serving you but also things that are going well. Are you supporting yourself in a way that is most optimal? Because habits are stubborn creatures. There are so many times that we do the things that we do and we are not even conscious that they don’t make sense anymore. I am as guilty of this as anybody else.
But what is important is that we pause and think for a moment.
Is it serving me? I want you to take this quick quiz. Either write it down or do it mentally in your head as we go. Just answer yes or no. Yes or no. Are you in love with your parenting strategies? Yes or no? Are you in love with the ways you currently connect with your core relationships – your core people? Are you in love with the food you have in your home? In your exercise regime? How much sleep you get? How often you take breaks?
How much time you put in? Are you in love with these things? If any of these are no, you may be in the perfect position to up level your strategies. I’ve shared with you what I’ve been doing to up level my strategies. There’s a lot more I haven’t shared. Some of it I’m not going to share because I can’t share everything.
But for my health and for my business it is when doing that I have to tell you – the good news is it up levels your mood, your happiness, your energy. All kinds of other things.
And for me this has really been critical and that’s to remember part of letting go of the old is taking stock of your old strategies and asking, “Even if they served you then, do they serve you now? So, for me I’ve been working hard to get rid of my 2015 strategies because I am in a different place. I have different needs. I have different goals and part of that leads me to tip 3 and that is about laying the foundation for what’s next.
You have to let go of the old create space for the new and for me that is creating what I call the container for 2020. Creating the container for Me 2020, for my business 2020. And I’ll tell you more about that in a second, but here is what I want you to ask yourself for tip 3. What must happen for me to have the space and energy to do what I want to be doing in 2020? What is your game plan? What has to happen for you to have the space and energy to do what you want to be doing in 2020? Because this is the year to get it done.
As I said – you create the container. What is it? Do you need to have someone look after your kids for an hour? Do you need to have more date nights because one of the things you want in 2020 is a better relationship? Do you want to feel amazing, so do you need to actually buy some jogging shoes? What is it that you need to do to create the container for you 2020, because 2019 is the magic year to get it done!
So far, we’ve covered three tips to letting go of the old and creating space for the new. Nr 1: Make sure you have a vivid picture of what you’re replacing the old with. One of my clients physically created a vision board of her life that she was working toward and included her biking to work, doing more fitness, being a leader in a new industry. You can literally create a picture of what you’re working toward.
Tip Nr. 2 is to take stock of your old strategies and check if they’re serving you now. One easy way you can do this is just ask the question. Am I in love with __ ? Think about the top 10 most important things are going in your life right now and just ask yourself Am I in love with the way I am doing X, Y or Z? The way I am parenting, the way I’m working, the way I’m connecting with my friends? That will help you see if your strategies are up to date because maybe what was going on with the strategies (a.k.a. your habits) worked last year but things have changed. Maybe your health has declined. Maybe your health has improved. Maybe your friendships have improved. Maybe your workload has increased – whatever it is.
Check out if your strategies are still good.
Tip 3. What has to happen for you to have the space and energy to do what you want to be doing in 2020? That means, “ What do I need to do to create the container for 2020?”
All right let’s look at tip 4.
Tip 4 is simple: Don’t patch.
So, let’s go back to my website when I started to do a quick fix for my website.
It cost me a thousand dollars and that is when I had the heart to heart on the phone with my website support. And she basically said, “Listen, the wheels are falling off and we can continue to invest but you’re not going to have a functioning thriving website and you’re not going to be happy because you’ll have dumped money into something that was patched up.” Right.
So, look at that in your own life. Where are you putting patches on your life?
I threw this thousand-dollar patch on my current website and it wasn’t enough.
What about you?
Are you consistently working too much and then you’re buying your kids things on a weekend to spoil them? Are you forcing yourself not to drink alcohol for a week because you drank too much last weekend, again? Are you eating salad on Thursday because you said no to exercising on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday? Are you swallowing your discontent at dinner to avoid a fight, instead of asking for your needs to get met?
Whatever it is. Enough with the patches!
I had a leadership conversation with Romy Maillard from Morevena Lifestyle. She’s wonderful and in our conversation, she explained to me a water analogy. That if you have your kitchen and you see water dripping out of the cupboard and you think, “oh there’s a leak, I’m going to put a patch on it” and that stops it. And then the water starts dripping again. So, you mop up the water and then you put a bigger patch on it.
She said it might work for a while but what’s happening is that you’re building pressure in the pipes and you’re ignoring the source of the problem. So that one day everything will explode and you’re going to have chaos on your hands. A disaster on your hands and it’s going to cost you way more time and energy to repair.
So enough with the patches. I’ve seen this happen in relationships where you ignore the drips until it all explodes. I’ve been guilty of harboring things inside and letting them build up until one day I’m speaking in “Dolphin language”. It is terrible for the other person. Stop ignoring the leaks, stop patching.
That is tip 4. Don’t patch, so if we’re going to stop patching, we want to take it one step further. And that is to be grateful for when the wheels fell off. That is for me looking at the bits where the wheels are falling off and then discovering the source of the problem.
Just like I did with my website. I realized that things have not changed. I’ve not been updating. I’ve not been nurturing my website. Same thing in my business. I’ve not been updating the kind of support that I need in relation to the growth I’ve had on my business. And I am so grateful for this stupid website glitch because it has created a chain reaction of attention to what has to change. I am truly grateful for that. So, I my invitation to you, is when you’re feeling the drips coming from the faucet and you know you’re not going to patch – you’re ready to look deeper.
Be grateful for when the wheels come off, for when you have the fight with your boss, for when you have that truth bomb coming from your partner’s mouth that you weren’t expecting, for when you step on the scale and you’re like “How did I let it get this far?” Whatever it is!
I know I had a pivotal year in my business early on where I had been working so hard and I hadn’t been paying attention my finances I hadn’t been doing my administration. When I finally did the bookkeeping, I saw a series of killer 5 months, and then a drought, Because I was so busy serving my clients I completely ignored the fact that I needed to create new relationships with new clients.
Wheels off, thank you for that learning.
And those moments are when we change everything.
We change how we do things so that we will work differently, sustainably in the future. So really, take a moment, don’t shame yourself for when things are going bad, I also know this is human. I do this too. There was something specific that happened to me in 2018, where I was like “Sundae why did you let it go so far before you saw it?” I gave myself two days to stomp around like a toddler and be mad at myself.
And then I sat down, and I wrote down all the reasons I was grateful for that learning because it really implemented into how I’m approaching this year right.
So be grateful for when the wheels fall off and finally tip 6 is create the new routines that will serve you create the new patterns to upgrade your life.
Maybe you’re creating new patterns of what you put in your closet or in your cupboards or in your head or in your body, in your communication or in your business. This is the moment for you to take action. Remember you have to let go of the old to create space for the new.
And if you just leave that void no new will be born from it. You need to create the container for what’s next. Okay?
And for me I’m so grateful for all of these steps that I’ve taken in my own life and what I’ve shared with you today that are working in the lives of my clients because we end up creating something so much better than if we let everything run on default.
There is one thing that I’m letting you in on that’s a surprise and that is at the time of listening to this, you are just hours away from seeing my new website! This is the thing I’ve been working on.
The manifestation of the wheels falling off, the manifestation of letting go of the old and creating space for the new. And I am so excited to share that with you because it is a physical reality of the internal process that I’ve gone through.
Imagine something simple like a web site. It’s actually not that simple to create a website but the idea of the simplicity of the store front face of a web site. Imagine what you can do with your own life if you take these steps so that you can create space for something new, right?
So that is the big surprise that I have today and the other one is that the brand-new website going live as we speak is attached to an opportunity for you to up level your own life. So, if you’re listening to this. Check out my blog. Have a look at the new website.
You can also get in on something brand new that’s going on. So tip six is create and all of this connects with the surprise that I have for you today.
Remember you have to let go of the old to create space for the new.
And my surprise is that you can see what I’ve created – my brand-new website going live as I speak. I would love you to check it out because it should be up and running by the time you’re listening to this episode 106 and it will be shared in my newsletter. This is the physical manifestation of these tips that I’ve shared with you today. This is the product of that internal process of recognizing what’s working what’s not creating the container for where I’m at now and where I want to go with my business.
This is an external manifestation that you can see and touch. And that’s what I want for you, for whatever goal you have. Maybe it’s for how you want to transform your house so you feel more comfortable and less cluttered. Maybe it’s for how you want to transform your relationship, so you feel more authentic and more connected. Maybe it’s for how you want to lead your team.
So, you feel like you are effective and still resting and resilient. Whatever that is. These are the exact six steps that can help you get there.
I don’t want to minimize the thought work and perseverance that is connected to each step by step. I don’t want to minimize the amount of effort, clarity and perseverance it takes for tip six: create.
And that is one of the reasons why I’m so excited to announce to you that I am offering a free VIP upper level day where you can win a chance at this upper level day where I can be by your side.
As you let go of the old and create space for the new.
So, if you haven’t seen that in social media check it out there’s ways that you can enter double your entry and even five times your likelihood of getting selected in this drawing for a VIP day. Right. And be on the lookout for more surprises and gifts.
January for me is all about celebrating. It’s also my birthday month. So, you can expect to hear more from me when my birthday comes around and throughout this whole contest phase for the VIP session through January 25th, 2019. Be on the lookout for some gifts in your inbox.
So, remember these top six tips are for you to be able to let go of the old and create space for the new – whatever it is you were trying to create in your life and in your business.
Tip 1: Make sure you have a vivid picture of what you’re replacing with the old. Tip 2: Take stock of your strategies and check if they’re serving you now. Tip 3: Ask, “What has to happen for me to have the space and energy to do what I want to be doing in 2020? Tip 4:Don’t patch. Tip 5: Be grateful for when the wheels fall off. And Tip 6: Create.
Be on the lookout for more. All this month I would love to be by your side as you create the life that you want to be living in 2019 and in 2020.
Remember I am here for you so don’t hesitate to reach out to me personally. I’d also love to hear from you. If you’ve checked out the website what you think about it what’s working for you what’s not.
And don’t forget to enter the contest to win the VIP upper level session from me. You’ve been listening to Expat Happy Hour with Sundae Bean. Thank you for listening.
I will leave you with a few quotes. I went on a little bit of a Pinterest quote binge and what I was actually looking for is the quote, “If you let go, you’ll have both hands free.” But what I actually came up or I came across was, “You can’t reach for anything new if your hands are still full of yesterday’s junk.”
All right so get rid of yesterday’s junk. Let your hands be free because, “When you let go, you create space for something better.”