Every time another email came in from a lawyer, I’d read it and kind of shake my head. Really? Seriously? This is…this is so…crazy. Then I’d read it, again. Sometimes there were outright lies, other times just a manipulation of facts.
Someone was throwing down some nonsense, in the name of…competition? Or something? I wasn’t really sure. My lawyer and I would hop on the phone and discuss what was basically becoming some kind of weird, hostile takeover kind of situation–an attempt to shut down my business.
I’d talk about it with friends. We’d sip wine and they would look at so-and-so’s website and roll their eyes and say, “Kate, what is she even…after? I mean, you guys are doing different stuff. What’s this about?”
“I couldn’t tell you,” I’d say, pouring myself another glass.
Some nights, fear would hit. My head might spin with all of the potential outcomes. If this happened, then this…and if this happened, then this…
* * *
Until the day when I just decided that it was time for letting things go .
That day would be something of a first, for me, because typically I have the hardest time ” letting things go ,” but on this day letting go landed because I was under zero illusions that continuing to ruminate any longer was going to change anything. People do what they do. Let the lawyers handle it.
Letting things go looked like this: the next time I was on the phone with my lawyer, I said to him, “Just do whatever you think is best. You’re the legal expert. You tell me what you think the best approach is, and that’s what we’ll do.”
And then, I got back to my own work. I worked on my book. I got back to it with revising the curriculum for my life coach training program. I held a few coaching calls. I sipped a bit more wine, with friends.
Letting things go = life gets good.
Worrying about why people do what they do or what they might do, next, takes your focus away from your work, from innovating on and iterating into the next direction of your life or business. And especially in business, you’re not competing with anyone “out there.” You’re only ever competing with last year’s version of yourself.
I’m not talking about trying to somehow be “above it all,” or adopting some enlightened perspective that really just adds up to avoidance. Fear is real, and anxiety is real, and those have certainly come up. But after trying to figure this out and failing because it was inherently un-figure-out-able, at a certain point I just decided to throw up my hands. Let the lawyers work it out.
And in the meantime? I’d get back to doing the work, my work. You do you, boo.
There’s probably something in everyone’s life that they ruminate on, more than they’d like–a conversation they rehash, someone’s behavior, something that really needles them. I’ve got no easy answers when it comes to letting things go–which is to say that I don’t think it’s a simple, 1-2-3 approach that you can access, at all times.
I think only this: when you can, as often as you can, keep coming back to what you’re really about. You’re probably not really “about” that old conflict, or their behavior, or what so-and-so said (or immortalized in a legal complaint). You’re not “about” those things.
You’re about you, and your life. There’s nothing that anyone else can really take away from you. Even your peace of mind is under your own jurisdiction. Letting things go isn’t easy, but it’s definitely the path to freedom.