Daniel ‘Mamba’ Odoi

On Letting Go

Published 3 months ago • 7 min read

Reading time: 6-8 minutes

Hey legend,

What will you give up in order to go up?

I ask myself this question every time I commit to a new direction in my life.

It's because I realise that my current thoughts, feelings and actions ("cause") have led to the results I currently have ("effect").

In last week's week's edition On Planning Your 2024, I shared my annual planning framework to help you craft inspiring, relevant and aligned goals for your life in the coming year

And in doing so, you'll quickly realise there's a gap between where you are right now and where you want to be

So you might wonder - how do I close the gap?

Asking My Audience

I shared a preview of my (work in progress) 2024 Game Plan template on my IG Stories and was hit with a lot of DMs asking about it.

Realising this template might help others, I polled my community to gauge their appetite.

So, for everyone who responded to my poll, I DM'd them to let them know that I'd share a (free) copy of the finalised template if they let me know:

What is the biggest struggle you have when it comes to goals?

Here are a handful of the responses I received:

After working through dozens of DMs and voicenote replies, I zoomed out to let my brain marinate and find the common denominator...

And it suddenly clicked.

Because it's something I'd experienced myself.

It wasn't related to new goals.

It was related to their current life.

What got you here won't get you there.

In a flurry of "New Year, New Me" motivation, we often rush and start stacking new identities, goals and habits first.

This is where most of us get it wrong.

Instead, we should be consciously identifying, unwinding or "letting go" of what's currently conflicting with or undermining our future goals.

It's like trying to drive a car with the handbrake jammed down.

You're making it unnecessarily harder for yourself to move in the direction of where you want to go because your status quo is working against you.

Michael's Breakthrough

During our Storyteller Sprints wrap-up for our November 2023 cohort, we celebrated everyone's incredible growth across the Sprint and had everyone share their highlights, lowlights, lessons and insights.

Michael Lim shared a remarkable breakthrough that resonated with everyone (legit, we got chills as we listened to him share it).

He shared that he finally confronted the reality that he'd been straddling 2 conflicting versions of himself - one from his past and one from his future.

And that to fully commit to his future self, he'd need to fully "let go" of everything that came with his former self.

👇🏽 What he shared was so good that I've included an excerpt from the transcript of what he said.

"One of the biggest things that came out of this Sprint was identity change.

Because in a previous life I've been in and around the not-for-profit, charity, and community sector for the better part of 3-4 years.

I've had all this identity wrapped up in this sector as an award-winning director and CEO.

And it's really only come to this year where I knew I didn't want to keep doing that.

But it took me over 12 months to let go of that identity.

I've been straddling these 2 worlds:

One where I very much belonged, and people loved me.

And one where I was still breaking in and starting from the bottom.

And it was really hard to accept that I climbed the former mountain, and got to the top...

I realised that actually didn't want it anymore.

And I wanted to climb back, down and climb up another one again.

But I tried to do both.

I tried to stay on one mountain while trying to climb up another, and it just didn't work.

So I woke up this morning, and I journaled all the things I'm planning to let go of next year so that I can make room to add more things.

When we have goals, it's like we just add them into next year without actually taking away anything else that will hinder us

I've now got a list of all the things that I'm just letting go of.

I feel like I've just like taken a weight off my chest.

It feels really good to just walk into 2024, knowing that I've just let go of a lot of things that previously defined me but no longer do"

- Michael Lim

For tech enthusiasts, Michael's bottleneck between his past and future self can be likened to this error when you're trying to update your laptop's software:

You first need to create space by clearing out what's already there to allow room to install newer software (i.e. identities & habits) that are aligned with your new goals.

So if you're inspired by Michael's breakthrough and want to create a "Letting Go List" for yourself alongside your 2024 planning, here are 3 areas that I recommend you start with.

👋🏽 Your 'Letting Go List'

1. People

You can't change the people around you, but you can change the people around you.

- Joshua Fields Millburn

^Read that twice, so it sinks in.

The power of proximity is real.

If you're surrounded by people that:

  • aren't aligned with the direction you're heading
  • don't support you and your goals
  • drain your energy and time

And they're not willing to change or level up.

Then, my friend, it's time to reconsider your circle of association.

This doesn't just relate to those you see in person.

It also goes for those you consume a lot of content from online.

👉🏽 Action

Audit those you're spending a lot of time with.

Are they shifting, moving, supporting and encouraging you toward your new goals and the life you want, or not?

❌ If they're not, then you don't need to "hard-cut" them out entirely (especially if they're family or lifelong friends) as it can be quite tricky to navigate.

But just let the relationship naturally fade by seeing them less often and spending less time when you do.

And if they're online, then just unfollow & unsubscribe :)

✅ If they are,
commit to spending more time with and around them in 2024.

It's arguably the single biggest factor why our Storytellers are astounded by how much they achieve during a Sprint:

2. Projects

"We can no longer afford to spend major time on minor things"

- Jim Rohn

What are you currently investing your time and effort into across your personal and professional life?

In Michael's example, he realised that while his previous roles had helped to develop his career, create a positive impact in the industry and expand his network...

Continuing to do so was taking away from his ability to pour into new projects and goals.

Hence, he's starting the gradual transition out of those roles.

👉🏽 Action

Audit the projects and involvements that are currently taking up a lot of time and energy in your life.

Then, just like Michael, be honest and ask yourself:

Are they aligned with your future goals?

If they're not, it's time to transition away from it so you can create space for the new projects to focus on.

3. Pleasures

No matter what you say, you value or even think your priorities are, you have only to look at last year’s calendar and bank account to see the decisions you have made about what you truly value.

- John Losey

I'm not advocating to remove all leisure and enjoyment from your life.

But I'm sure that if you look closer, you'll realise that too much of them will costing you in more ways than one.

For example - what's the real cost of...

📱 Netflix & entertainment streaming services?

It's not just a $15.49 subscription.

It's another "attention-vampire".

🍔 Eating processed fast-foods?

It's not just a $10 meal.

It's another hit to your long-term health.

🎊 Going out to a lot of late-night social events?

It's not just the cost of an Uber, dinner and drinks.

It's the loss of a productive morning the day after.

👉🏽 Action

Audit your device's screen time, weekly eating habits/groceries and social events calendar.

Do these numbers or results align with the type of person who achieves the goals you've written down for 2024?

If not, commit to reducing how much you dedicate towards your leisure & enjoyment so you can re-invest it towards building the future you want for yourself.

"Sacrifice is giving up something of a lower order in order to receive something of a higher order."

- Bob Proctor

So, in summary, letting go involves:

  1. Acknowledging that some aspects of your current life aren't aligned with your future goals
  2. Identifying the specific people, projects or pleasures that are holding you back
  3. Committing to letting go of those areas to create space for the new habits, identities and actions that'll move you towards your goals.

And I'll leave you with a quote that I regularly reference when confronting the challenge of letting go of my former identities to evolve into a newer one.

“Your new life is going to cost you your old one.

It’s going to cost you your comfort zone and your sense of direction.

It’s going to cost you relationships and friends.

It’s going to cost you being liked and understood.

It doesn’t matter.

The people who are meant for you are going to meet you on the other side.

You’re going to build a new comfort zone around the things that actually move you forward.

Instead of being liked, you’re going to be loved. Instead of being understood, you’re going to be seen.

All you’re going to lose is what was built for a person you no longer are."

✍🏻 Brianna Wiest

📖 The Mountain Is You

I hope this serves you well and I'll see you in the next update (whenever that is!)


PS: Whenever you’re ready, here are 3 other ways I can help you:

1. Guides – 📚 Get started building a powerful digital presence with these free guides

Tools - 👨🏽‍💻 My recommended tools to systemise and streamline your business & content.

3. Sprints – 🚀 Join the waitlist for our next cohort to scale your digital influence, impact & income.

Daniel ‘Mamba’ Odoi

Your Digital Storytelling. Simplified

Simplicity scales, complexity fails. Join the community of digital storytellers scaling their influence, impact & income with smarter systems.

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