Watch the video above or read the transcript below
Is letting go of outcomes the same thing is giving up completely? No, it’s not. Ah, thanks for reading.
Okay, so previous content of mine about letting go of outcomes confused some people. Maybe I wasn’t quite clear. People got the message that letting go of outcomes – letting go of results, letting go of trying to win and so on – is the same as giving up completely. Like there’s no point in even trying.
I wanted to clarify the difference between letting go of outcomes and completely giving up on your goals.
By the way, we cover this in great detail in the BROJO webinar on letting go of outcomes, which is free to all members. So if you want to join, it’s free as well. But I’ll just do the short version here today.
As a recap on definitions; an outcome is something that happens after your behavior. It’s a result – a consequence of what you’ve done. And when you desire an outcome – i.e. what you want to happen takes place, your goal is achieved and you get the result that you want – we call this being attached to outcomes.
When somebody is attached to outcomes, they’re emotionally attached to getting what they want. It’s a win or lose situation.
For example, if I ask a girl out, that’s a behavior; the outcome I want is for her to say yes. And if I’m attached to that, then I’ll be worried about her rejection.
“Letting go of outcomes” is about doing the behavior, but stopping at the end of the behavior, not having an attachment to what comes next – the bit that’s out of your control.
Want but not need
You can want something without trying to control it. I can ask someone out and want them to say yes, without trying to control them into saying yes – without trying to control their part of the interaction.
Letting go of outcomes is essentially about focusing on what you can control and letting go of your attachment to what you can’t control.
To give you some examples…
In a social interaction, letting go of outcomes means that you focus on being honest but you don’t try to make people like you.
In a business sense, you focus on serving people and providing great value, but you don’t try to manipulate them into giving you money.
And in health, it might mean focusing on going to the gym and eating healthy, but letting go of whether or not you get a six-pack of abs or lose weight.
Giving up, on the other hand, is that when you let go of control over what you can control. You don’t just let go of the outcomes, you also let go of managing your own behavior.
Giving up means you don’t even try. There are no goals. There are no attempts. There’s no risk-taking or there’s no bold action. There’s just doing the minimum to survive. That’s giving up.
And that is so different from letting go of outcomes. With letting go of outcomes, you still want a specific outcome but you just don’t try to get it. Instead, you focus all of your energy and all of your attention on managing your behavior so that it aligns with your values.
I focus on being honest, but I don’t focus on making people like me, even though I want them to like me. Now, I can’t pretend to myself that I don’t want that. But I manage my behavior to align with my values rather than trying to make my behavior get them to like me.
I stop trying to manipulate them. I focus on being an honest and courageous leader, and I leave them to decide whether or not they like me.
there’s no shame in wanting
So go for what you want. Don’t be ashamed of wanting things – just let go of controlling those things.
Focus on your integrity. Focus on managing your behavior, making sure it aligns with your values in a way that you’ll be proud of it later, even if you don’t get what you want.
This way, when you don’t get what you want, at least you can congratulate yourself and reward yourself for living with integrity. And you can try again later, maybe using a different approach, but you never really give up because you can’t give up on controlling your own behavior, you’ll always be able to do that.
You can give up, however, on controlling other people’s behavior or trying to force the universe to give you the outcomes you want. Yes, you can want those outcomes but no, you don’t have to try and get them.
Instead, you have to manage your behavior in a way that you’ll be proud of.
the sweet spot
The best-case scenario is that your behavior also will get you what you want. That’s the magic connection that we’re looking for.
When you behave with integrity, it will get you the results that you really need. Now, often those results aren’t what you originally thought you wanted.
A common example I see so often is somebody gets into business and they think they want a lot of money. Yet when they do finally make a lot of money, they realize it’s not quite as satisfying as they hoped it would be. It’s the old cliche where it doesn’t quite buy happiness.
Whereas if they get into business or into a career to be of service – to live by their values and be a valuable person, whether or not other people appreciate it whether or not people pay for it – they’ll often find that they’ll get paid for that in the longer term.
They’ll end up getting what they wanted, but what they’re really getting rewarded for is being of service is having a meaningful impact on people’s lives, no matter how much they get paid.
So go for what you want but let go of the idea that you have to get it for your actions to be meaningful. Your actions can be meaningful, whether you win or lose. And that all depends on whether or not they are actions of integrity.
I hope that clarifies everything. Thank you so much for reading/watching.
And of course, if you have any further questions, you can contact me personally firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ll see you again next time. Cheers.