Archana Law knows when to take a stand and when to let go

While working on an important matter recently, I had to go back and forth in my mind trying to come up with some meaningful answers. This reached a point where it became quite stressful. Which got me thinking whether I should let it go and save myself the attendant stress.

But where’s the justice in that? Because the issues would still remain. Sometimes there is a fine line between letting go and standing up for oneself. This mental debate led me to come up with a plan of action – and this is what I came up with…

AVOID DRAMA Often, our own moods or experiences can colour a situation to such an extent that causes us to see things from a biased point of view. The issue feels overly emotional and can trigger volatile egos, because we feel wronged, attacked and victimised. And all of this fuels a powerless mindset. So try looking at the facts instead, and let go of vested emotional meanings.

CONSIDER WORTH Would you rather focus your energy on other and better things in life? Weighing the consequences of your actions often helps determine the extent to which one could or should go and the degree of engagement that would be productive. This can also help you avoid strained relationships.

BE EMPATHETIC Discover new perspectives by exercising empathy. When deliberating on how to deal with a situation, putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and asking yourself how you’d like to be treated if the tables were turned can be very insightful. It is also important to remember that everyone is fighting their own battles – and battling their own dilemmas – which may have nothing to do with you. Our actions and words are our responsibility regardless of how others are treating us. So let go of revengeful thoughts – be empathetic.

BE PERCEPTIVE Teach people how to treat you. If you find yourself in the same situations constantly – or face similar conflicts with friends, family or coworkers – it may be a good idea to think about how you’re letting yourself be treated! Start with ‘I’ statements, which allow you to take responsibility for your own feelings and also prevent the other person from becoming defensive. Or learn how to let things go, walk away from confrontation and choose not to engage – the only exception being abusive situations. When you stand up for yourself, you’re showing people how you want and deserve to be treated. If you walk away, you’re highly likely to attract people who are looking for someone to take advantage of.

BE ASSERTIVE When someone does something that crosses a boundary, pretending that it didn’t happen can work well… until you realise the weight of carrying all that hurt and unexpressed pain. Wanting acceptance or to make everyone happy can result in you compromising on yourself. At a deeper level, it could reflect a low level of self-worth. You have to show people what you’re willing to tolerate and what you will not accept – it’s not up to them to make that guess.

BE CENTRED Stop taking things personally – not everyone has to like you! There are billions of people in this world so what if some of them don’t like you? Speaking your mind doesn’t necessarily have to become an argument or descend into a blame game. Let go of resentment and keep your statements centred on yourself to communicate more effectively.

TACKLE ISSUES If you remain calm, it’s so much easier to handle problems promptly. Targeting the issue when it first arises is a great way to set boundaries and stop yourself from being compromised at the beginning.

KNOW YOUR WORTH You’re worthy of having people in your life who respect, honour and love you – people whom you needn’t feel afraid to express your true feelings to.

A Jim Carrey video that went viral poignantly captures what holds most of us back from achieving our goals. The actor says: “You can spend your whole life imagining ghosts and  worrying about the pathway to the future, but all there will ever be is what’s happening here… and so many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality.”

As individuals, allies and humans, we need to be able to handle both good and bad. What if through self-compassion and empathy in human interaction, we’re able to do both? The best way to walk the line between letting go and standing up is to find the right balance.

Life is not a series of problems to be solved; rather, it’s a journey that should fascinate you. Make way for the bigger, better, miraculous and beautiful matters.

Picture this scenario…

The future is a blank canvas in front of you. The past is behind you. Your hand is poised with the paintbrush of your present. Now that you know this, you can take positive steps forward – and know that each step forward is a step in the right direction.