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  • Amina Aitsi-Selmi

One question to transform your life and career [Wise Wednesdays]

Well, after last week’s mammoth Wise Wednesdays, I thought I should keep this one shorter...

The amount of information, tools and practices in self-development can be bewildering. Essentially, it should help you feel more ease and confidence in life as well as help you answer 3 questions:

1) Who am I?

2) What’s my purpose?

3) How do I make my contribution?

But those are still big questions. What do they mean in practice and day-to-day? I love theory and frameworks but I’m really a pragmatist and a scientist.

I believe there’s one question that tilts the scales moment-to-moment from anxiety and stress into clarity and wise action – more so than anything about your vision, values or goals. It is this:

What do you need to let go of in this moment?

A project, relationship, habit, negative thought, a tense feeling in your body?

[More on ways to let go in is this week’s video - go straight to minute 2]

With some honest contemplation, you can know. You might start with external things (a project, a relationship, a job). But eventually, you hit the assumptions and beliefs underneath all your actions. Unless you let go of those, the unwanted patterns in your life and career repeat themselves.

By letting go of one thing at a time, you end up peeling away the layers of pressure and frustration that cloud your judgement - like a distillation or purification process.

A 2021 study in Nature showed that we have a bias towards complexity where simple solutions will do. So, most of us have more complexity (and baggage) in our lives than necessary and there’s plenty we can let go of to make energy, time, and space for what we truly want.

As one of my coaching clients said after she let go of her prestigious consulting role to explore a new path including the creation of a photography portfolio and co-founding an innovative mental health tech start-up: “I learned that we can end up in amazing places just by having let go and trusted what we liked to do”. The full story is unwritten yet, but by letting go of expectations that no longer serve her she’s able to weather the uncertainty with more grace and take smart steps forward day-by-day.

You may have learned that to get ahead in life you need to acquire and achieve things and it may have taken you far in life which is great.

But you may have also started noticing that getting and achieving or the ‘acquisitive mindset’ stops working at some point and that’s when it’s time to try something different to make progress on your authentic path.

What is it time to let go of?

To your authentic life, work and fulfilment.

Have a good week,


p.s. Join the next Leaders Circle (workshop) on Sept 15th. If you want to explore deeper approaches to ‘managing up’, ‘getting buy in from your team’ or ‘stakeholder engagement’, this special 2-hour event may be for you. More info here.

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