Letting go is an essential part of a minimalist lifestyle. Simplifying your life requires de-cluttering, which means letting go of a few stuff to free up some space. My minimalist beauty queen lifestyle, however, requires more than just de-cluttering material possessions. It also includes letting go of some areas in your life. The first post in this Letting Go series is letting go of yourself. Today will focus on letting go of your ambition.
Everyone has dreams.
When you were a child, you probably dreamed of becoming a nurse, an engineer, or a princess. When you matured, those dreams became ambitions. You wanted to take that dream college course and envisioned forever with your special someone. Even when you started working, your ambitions are still there. Only this time, they are different versions of your original dreams: a higher pay, a better job, and a good spouse.
I’ve been through the same thing. I’ve wanted better things in life and I still do. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming and working hard to reach your ambitions. In fact, people who give it their all to hit their goals are admirable. But is it always right to hold on to your ambitions?
When Goals Become Too Much
Attaining personal goals is wonderful, but only for a short time. Securing it comes with a price, part of which you pay now and the other you pay later. The sinful nature of man can influence how you try to reach your goal. Sometimes the way to reach that goal becomes unhealthy. We become greedy, dishonest, and immoral.
The greatest trade-off while going for that goal is you veering away from God’s path to get what you want. You become preoccupied with your determination that you compromise personal beliefs. People won’t stop until they hit their goals. In the process, they end up straining their relationships or breaking the rules.
I personally relate to this. In exchange for my dreams of becoming successful, I sacrificed time with my family. I wanted to succeed so bad that I ended up hurting my husband, my kids, and the people around me. I compromised on the Word of God by deceiving others and taking shortcuts instead of doing things the right way.
On the other side of the spectrum, fear of failing to reach your goals can have a negative effect. You don’t want to fail. As a result, anxiety plagues you. You worry a lot. How are going to fulfill your ambition? What if something goes wrong along the way? If you do succeed, the euphoria is temporary and is quickly replaced by new worries.
When you do not hit your mark, a feeling of emptiness fills you. To fill that gap, you strive again and deal with countless adversities. But too much work can lead to burnout and missed time with friends and family.
Hitting my personal goals became an obsession. It came to a point where I neglected my health and my relationships. My eyes were set on improving myself and increasing my finances. I was too blinded by my ambition that I ended up sacrificing my health. Since I was often unwell, I was unable to live in the moment. I couldn’t be a better mother to the kids and wife to my husband.
I became a different woman — and not the best version what I wanted in the first place.
Ambition is good, but when it takes over your life, holding on to it might no longer be worth it.
Let Go: The Active Work of Letting God
When we say let go, does this mean you forget about your dreams and the hard work you put into achieving said ambition?
In the world’s opinion, yes. But in God’s eyes, it’s a different story. Letting go doesn’t mean forgetting. It means surrendering it to the Lord.
Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do and He will establish your plans.” According to this verse, we must offer WHATEVER we do to God — whether it’s a new job, a romantic relationship, and all of your aspirations. The Bible states we must surrender our all to Him and let Him do the planning for us.
When you surrender your ambitions to God, it means that you trust Him and His timing, which is always the best. Keep in mind that the Lord is our Heavenly Father. He always wants what is best for is His children. Giving up our ambitions to Him means trusting that He will see us through even when it doesn’t feel like it.
His promise to Jeremiah still applies to all His children today. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Let Go and Be Free
Surrendering your hopes and dreams to the Lord is not without benefits. Consider the following:
Have you ever felt like you’ve been staring at the screen for too long and the words are starting to blend together? It’s like when you try your best to achieve your goals and do it all at once. Things can become confusing, stressful, and overwhelming when you’re too immersed in your pursuit.
Letting go of your ambitions means pausing and taking a step back from it all. By giving your brain time to breathe, you’ll see your efforts from a different point-of-view. You’ll spot mistakes you’ve missed before.
Today, most people drive themselves to the limit to achieve their goals. They file for overtime, forget to rest, and worry more than they should. When you let go, you need not experience these troubles.
Trusting the Lord to direct you means that you’ll live one day at a time. This doesn’t mean you let God do the hard work and you do nothing. You’ll still do your part: study, work, or follow what His Word says. The difference is you won’t worry your head over the outcome. Your trust in the Lord sets you free from the worries of this world.
Life is too short to worry or push yourself to the limit for the sake of your ambition. Instead of dealing with countless complexities, simplify your life by letting go and letting God.
Still, need help with simplifying your life? Ms. TM can help. Get in touch with me today for more information.