Crowding out beats letting go

January 24, 2011 by Joshua
in Awareness, Blog, Freedom, Tips

I have a friend who says he can voluntarily let go of emotions he doesn’t want to hold on to anymore. I’ve let go of many things, but never in the moment from conscious intent. He sounds sincere, but frankly I doubt him.

Like telling an angry person to calm down, suggesting someone let go of something is counterproductive advice. Trying to let go of something voluntarily focuses your mind on it, often achieving the opposite of your goal.

Whenever I’ve let go of something important, I’ve always noticed it after the fact. One day I realize I haven’t been thinking about some girl or dwelling on a past event for a while. I can’t identify the time of letting go.

To let go of something, I find filling my mind with new stuff and crowding out the old stuff is more effective. If I have an itch I don’t want to scratch, my best way for it not to bother me is to occupy my mind on something else. Thinking about the itch only makes it worse.

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4 responses on “Crowding out beats letting go

  1. Pingback: » Goodbye guilt and blame, VI Joshua Spodek

  2. Pingback: Quora Saturday: How to be like Steve Jobs, leading versus following, unrequited love, burpees, and weight loss | Joshua Spodek

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