How To Actually Let It Go

How To Actually Let It Go

Have you ever been in a meeting or other important conversation where you had something you really wanted to share, or a great idea that you wanted everyone to know about…and then someone interrupts you…or even worse takes credit for your idea?  
 
This has happened to me several times, as it does with many women in business environments.  And when it does, it turns into one of those moments where I am seething with anger on the inside, but afraid to show my emotion on the outside.  
 
In this case, making a statement will likely turn into a conflict that’s not worth having, or even worse, an emotional outburst that will leave me crying (and deemed ‘too sensitive’).
 
One technique I have found, in these type of situations, allows me to both deflate my anger and state my case or opinion without the emotional reaction.  It’s called the Drop Down Through technique and it comes from the world of Neuro Linguistic Programming.  
 
Drop Down Through is very simple to do and can be done in any situation where you want to feel an emotion…and then let it go and move on. 
In the scenario I described above, when you feel yourself seething with anger, let the other person keep talking for a minute or two and focus on yourself.  
 
Close your eyes if you’re on the phone, or stare at an inconspicuous spot on the wall, if you are in a conference room.  Without showing it on the outside, concentrate on the emotion you are feeling.  Let it build and let yourself fully feel the anger or frustration on the inside.  
 
Continue to let it build and imagine yourself holding the emotion, like a ball, while it grows and gets stronger.  Really feel the emotion…it’s okay to be angry, just not to show it, if you don’t want to.  
 
Then, when you have really felt the anger and feel like it’s all you can handle to hold it, imagine that you dropped through a trap door in the floor and fell to the level below.  Everything you were holding before, all of the anger and frustration, or any other emotion, was left behind while you dropped down through.  
 
You should feel lighter and level headed after this exercise.  You should feel like you got to feel your emotion but that you also controlled it, and left it where it needed to stay.  If you still feel emotion, redo the exercise and continue until you feel level headed and in control.  
 
Once you are in control, it’s time to re-enter the meeting and conversation happening around you.  You should be able to jump into the conversation and either redirect it to your idea with a statement like, “Thank you for sharing, I’d like to get back to my original idea and finish that thought.” or take back credit with a statement like, “I’m glad you agree with my idea, let’s discuss how we can move it forward together”.  
 
Now, pat yourself on the back for taking control of your emotions and handling this situation in a productive and effective way.
 
This article was originally posted on JennThoma.com.  For more original articles like this one, subscribe to JennThoma.com.
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