I was sitting in a meeting at work the other day, laptop plugged into the projection screen, meeting agenda in hand trying to keep everyone organized and on task. After the meeting ended, one of my colleagues, who is rarely required to attend this particular committee meeting, said to me, “I didn’t realize you were in charge of this committee now.” “I’m not,” I replied. He raised his eyebrows at me and gestured at my laptop.
Did you just hear the sound of the Universe hitting me upside the head? Yep. Me too. Let me just put my Superwoman Cape back in the closet and then let’s sit down for a cup of tea and chat about letting go. [Puts cape in closet.]
I’ve been on that particular committee for 3 years now and I can’t even mark the time when I took charge of it. It wasn’t a conscious decision on my part. It’s certainly not something I wanted to do. If anything, I’ve been thinking lately about how I could get off of that committee. And yet… there I was, laptop in hand, running the show. It was crystal clear to everyone but me.
After that incident occurred, I did two things. 1) I made a list of all of my roles, responsibilities, and obligations and started going through them with the following question in mind: “Does this serve my highest purpose?” You can bet that committee didn’t make the cut. 2) For each role, responsibility, or obligation that didn’t make the cut (that is, I didn’t identify it as being part of my higher purpose), I asked myself 3 questions:
- Is this mine? – Is this something I signed up for (consciously)? Do I even want to do this or like doing it? Or did someone else get me involved, I felt I couldn’t say no, I felt like I “should” do it … [insert reason you started this role in the first place if it wasn’t your idea/desire].
- What role did I take in this? – There is no blame or shame here. What I’m asking you to do is to take responsibility for how this happened. In other words, get out of victim mode and take back your power. In my case (and this is an old pattern I am consciously working on), I didn’t say yes, but I didn’t exactly say no either. I allowed it to just happen over time. In other words, I gave my power away by not making my desires clear. (Codependency rears its ugly head again.)
- What role do I want to take in this? – Is this something I want to continue doing? If yes, fine. But if no, then it’s up to you to make a plan to gracefully (or speedily) exit this role. Again, there is no blame or shame here, but at some point you need to let everyone involved know that you will no longer be serving in this capacity and either delegate that role to someone else or let the powers that be (the other committee members in my case) figure it out once you give notice.
In today’s video, I talk more about the steps involved in letting go. I hope it serves you.