Many, many years ago, I started reading Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch. I was really excited about reading it until I bumped into the concept of detaching from the outcome in the first ten pages or so. I couldn’t fathom a world where I should detach from the outcome of my life. I was in my early 20s and I had so many dreams for my career and future family. I had a lot of specifics in mind.
I understood that detaching from the outcome did not mean that I didn’t care. It means that after I have put in the work and the effort, I should surrender and allow the results to be the results. It’s a faith walk. Detaching from the outcome is the antithesis of trying to control a situation and that’s probably why I find the concept in general hard to fully implement.
I typically have a clear vision of how I want an endeavor to end. When I scope a project, I have a specific objective in mind – and I want it to happen exactly like that. Truth of the matter is, none of us control much. We can set our intentions and work to influence, but the specifics of how everything comes together do not respond to our magic wands. Additionally, what if things could happen better than you imagined?
So, with all of this in mind – what can YOU do to detach from the outcome?
- Paint a clear vision of success.
If you can’t think beyond Phase 1 of the project or the next 5 years of your life, that’s okay. Write down what your objectives are, and how you want to see things come to fruition. Again, detaching doesn’t mean you don’t care.
- Shake the fear and limiting thoughts that keep you from going after what you want.
If you are going to detach from the outcome, why not detach from the reactions from others on what and how you’re doing something? Don’t allow fear or imposter syndrome to hold you back. Go for it!
- Put in the work.
Act on your vision. You have to do the work that your vision requires. There’s no magic pill. (Right now, I’m reminding myself that drinking water is a necessity for the level of health & fitness that I desire.) Detaching from the outcome doesn’t mean that what you’re working towards just magically happens. You still have to show up every day and put your best foot forward.
- Operate from a place of abundance and positivity versus scarcity and negativity.
We are all inundated with headlines and social media feeds of shocking and distressing info. These things keep our pulse on the worst of humanity, not the best.
No matter what I read, when I meet people, they’re usually trying to do the best they can to bring forth goodness for their families. Assume goodness and positive intent when you work with people. It will enable you to treat them differently. When you need to address non-productive behavior, do so. But start from a place of goodness and understanding; nothing works better in getting the best from relationships and teams.
- Trust that things will work together exactly as they should.
After you have set your intentions, showed up to put the work in, demonstrated a character that expects abundance and not scarcity, you may find that your original vision wasn’t bright enough for the goodness that you’re experiencing.
When you detach from the outcome, you allow the possibility of other – potentially better – outcomes to occur.
Detaching from the outcome is not about giving up control; it’s about putting your energy and efforts behind those things that are in your circle of influence. It’s about ditching worry and replacing it with faith.
If you show up and be exactly who you should be – things will work out exactly as they should. And if you don’t believe that, please trust that pushing, pulling, and trying to manipulate the outcome is a proven recipe for failure and stress.
Give it a try. At the least, you may find that you enjoy and smile a bit more!