I found myself irritated by an exchange recently where I felt I was being unfairly judged for the second consecutive time without good reason.
After letting it sink in for a few minutes, I moved onto other things. However, the irritation was still at the back of my mind. I don’t like the feeling of irritation and I have come to think of anger as a weak reaction. So, feeling that irritation made me wonder about how to let go completely.
After sleeping on the thought, I realized that the issue was the way I had framed the situation. In thinking about the situation, I had implicitly assigned blame on the other person. In my language – “They had judged me.” And, to add to it, the solution, in my own language, was – “I wish they were upfront about what they expected.”
I switched the frame to think about what I could have done and what I had learnt from it. And, voilà, it all became clear. I should have done a much better job setting expectations upfront. I didn’t this time. But, I’ve learnt my lesson and it is time to move on. Letting go was so much easier once I’d accepted responsibility.
It is very hard to let go of things you don’t feel you influence. You can, thus, take control by re-framing the situation and focusing was in your control. Once you do that, you acknowledge the mis-step, accept responsibility, learn and move on.
Re-frame. Then, let go.