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  • Writer's pictureGabby Pavlovic

The Power of Letting Go for Personal Growth, Fulfilment, and Freedom

Updated: Jun 5

As I write this, it is Autumn / Fall here where I live in suburban Melbourne.

The crisp, chilly mornings, occasional warm afternoons, and kaleidoscope of colours seen in nature are what makes autumn my favourite season of the year.

With autumn comes a breath-taking display of colours as the leaves on the trees begin to turn orange and brown, before gracefully falling to the ground, blanketing the earth.

The beauty of such a natural phenomenon is a sight to behold, however autumn is also a favourite season of mine due to its symbolism.

In this blog, I’d like to explore briefly how autumn is a season of transitions, and particularly a season of letting go and surrendering. I will discuss how this often intense but liberating time can open up possibilities for our personal and professional growth as busy, purpose-driven humans.

Naturopath Gabby Pavlovic in a tree

To grow, we must let go

As the trees must shed their leaves to make way for new growth, we need to also do some shedding of our own.

Life is a dynamic, non-linear process which is continual, ever-changing, and often unpredictable. This can be unnerving for many people, especially if you are the kind of person who appreciates organising, scheduling, and planning things, which can often provide you a sense of safety and security. Or if you simply enjoy coasting along in the comfort zone of regularity and familiarity.

The truth is though, no matter how organised your Google calendar is, and no matter how many routines you put in place to keep you trucking along every day, life can (and will) throw you curve balls, which can mess up all your grand plans. I find Pema Chödrön’s book, “When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice For Difficult Times” is a great resource which helps in dealing with those curve ball moments.

This is why cultivating resilience on all levels – mental, emotional, physical, spiritual – is vital for going through the unpredictable nature of life, so we can come out the other side better than before.

That’s the key phrase here – better than before. Or, perhaps more accurately, different than before. Because it’s not always about “uplevelling” and trying to beat your “personal best” in life. I find that for high-achieving, ambitious people, there can often be a fine line between that ambition, and damaging self-criticism. Nonetheless, the events and circumstances we experience in life can either make us or break us, and you are the only one who gets to choose which of these options occurs.

It is only when we take life’s situations and ask, “where is the opportunity in this?”, or “what is the lesson here?” that we can harness adversity, change, and big life transitions for our personal and professional growth.

When we do this, we can actually take advantage of our circumstances to nurture our own growth and development, but as often is the case with growth (whether you’re a deciduous tree or a human being), old, stagnant energy needs to be shed to create space for the new.

Why letting go is important

Letting go helps us grow and adapt to change

Autumn is a season of change, as nature transitions from the warmth of summer to the cold of winter. Similarly, life is filled with changes, challenges, and setbacks that high-achieving individuals often encounter on their path to success. Holding onto past failures, setbacks, or regrets can hinder growth and progress, unless we decide to see these as opportunities to change and grow in ways that serve us.

By embracing the concept of letting go, we can cultivate adaptability and resilience. It allows us to bounce back from setbacks, learn from failures, and move forward with renewed strength and resilience.

Letting go creates space in our lives

Just as leaves that no longer serve the tree are shed, letting go of people or things that no longer serve us means that we can create space for personal growth and new opportunities. It allows us to release mental and emotional baggage, free up space for fresh experiences, and foster adaptability and resilience, leading to personal growth and development.

It is this personal growth and development as a continuous process throughout our lives, nurtured consistently and compounded over time which leads to fulfilment, and ultimately, personal freedom to live the lives we feel called to live (and not the lives anyone else expects or encourages us to live).

Letting go is a form of self-love

Another reason why letting go is important is because it is actually a form of deep self-care and self-compassion.

Often, high-achievers have high expectations of themselves and may neglect self-care in pursuit of their goals. Letting go of unrealistic expectations, perfectionism, and the need to control everything allows us to prioritise self-care and self-compassion. It allows us to take care of our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing, ensuring we have the energy and resilience to sustain our productivity, creativity, and success in the long run.

Why letting go is hard

It’s all well and good for me to talk about how important it is that we regularly take stock of our lives so we can shed what isn’t helpful, but let’s be real – letting go can be tough.

In facing harmful circumstances, toxic relationships, and adversity in many forms experienced throughout our lives, it's important to acknowledge that letting go can be a deeply complex and challenging journey, shaped by our unique emotional, psychological, social, and cultural experiences. It may require us to cultivate self-awareness, lean on our support network (whomever that may be for you), and make the courageous decision to prioritise our own well-being above other concerns.

Seeking the guidance of a therapist, counsellor, or equivalent person can offer invaluable support as we navigate this process, empowering us to make healthier choices and ultimately cultivate a brighter future for ourselves.

Final thoughts

As the trees make their transition from one life stage to the next, we can witness the beauty in this. As the colours change and the leaves fall, all that no longer serves the trees is shed, making space for new growth, and to nurture the energy within.

We are all much like the trees, as our bodies, minds, and spirits ebb and flow seasonally and cyclically too.

There is beauty in the transitions you make in your life. There is beauty in the shedding and letting go of what no longer serves you and your highest purpose in this world. And there is perhaps the upmost beauty in witnessing the surrender to the unknown of what comes next, because this is when we are truly, deeply seen – which in itself is a scary (but ultimately liberating) thing.

As the trees drop their leaves, they stand tall, stripped of their leaves and exposed. There is something deeply beautiful and powerful about witnessing the release of the old and stagnant, because by letting go, space is made for something new to start growing.

Only you will know when letting go is the right thing to do.

Because only you can gain the deep inner knowing that provides you with the answer; the sacred “yes” or “no” that you feel resonates within your whole body, not only in your thinking brain.

If you are the kind of person who finds it difficult to “get out of your head”, you may find some of my favourite strategies to manage stress helpful in bringing you back into your body. By doing this, you can start to make more heart-centred decisions in life which truly align with you, rather than ones that foster resentment later on because they did not truly feel like the right decision.

If you are in need of further support with grieving, letting go, or processing emotions related to loss, you may benefit from an Emotion Release Technique (ERT) consultation.

I hope that this article has been helpful for you in some way, and please do send it on to anyone who you feel may benefit from it.

If you are looking for guidance and practical strategies to improve your own resilience so that you can deal with life’s many challenges, including the stress of everyday modern living, then book in a free call with me to see how I can help you.


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