#77 How to be Free From Attachment

free from attachment

Would you love to build your career without riding the associated emotional roller coaster? Just so you know… it is very possible to have a thriving career while being free from attachment!

I. The Set-up

Question for you: Why does it feel amazing to get that new job offer, raise or award?

Seems kind of obvious, but let’s break it down anyway:

  1. work toward an outcome or expectation
  2. experience some failures and some success along the way
  3. personally grow and evolve as a result of your experiences
  4. reach desired outcome or expectation
  5. give credit to the desired outcome for your joy or happiness

This general process also applies when we work toward a desired outcome and do NOT meet the expectation. Obviously, in that case, most of us would look to the outcome and become devastated, disappointed or worse.

What is the common denominator in these 2 scenarios?

In both cases, we have set ourselves up. What we’ve done here is we put ourselves in a position to emotionally rely on desired outcomes or expectations. This is an emotional set-up… or as I call it, attachment.

Attachment is when we rely on desired outcomes or expectations to come to fruition. The way it works is when we are attached, our emotional state follows suit: when an expectation is met, all is great! When an expectation is not met, we become unhappy or frustrated.

This is important to know about attachment: emotional reliance on outcomes or expectations, aka (attachment), can set us up to be miserable. Ideally, we want to put ourselves in a state that is free from attachment.

II. Another Path

“But it seems logical to be happy when things go our way … isn’t that what we’ve been taught?” you might ask. 

Of course it feels logical! We’re taught to expect rewards in return for all out hard work. You’re not doing anything wrong; you’re simply doing as you were taught.

It doesn’t take rocket science to understand how attachment can be detrimental to your wellbeing. The great news is that your emotional state does NOT have to depend on outcomes determined by others.

If in fact attachment can be detrimental to your wellbeing, are you willing to challenge it? I’d love to help you! Just a word of caution – I will introduce you to a new perspective that might seem awkward or foreign. You might feel resistance at first. Completely normal!

However, if you can keep an open mind and picture this, it is a great way to start: what if you did not have to rely on outcomes to feel good or worthy, etc.? What if your emotional state could remain secure, despite any outcome?

You might naturally wonder, “but how the heck am I supposed to be happy when I didn’t get that promotion, the job offer, or the award I worked so hard for?”

Excellent question!

And my answer is: detachment. Again, this idea might seem foreign to you. But if you are willing to learn the skill of detachment, it will free you up to live a life of freedom!

III. Give Credit Where Credit is Due

In section I, I explained that the traditional attachment process we’ve been taught has us beholden to outcomes… reliant on certain expectations to create our wellbeing.

Detachment, on the other hand, involves shifting the traditional attachment process. Instead of attaching your emotions to the outcome that did or did not go your way, attach your emotions internally to:

  • internal efforts (and all failures/successes)
  • unfamiliar experiences
  • resourceful network that you met along they way
  • newfound knowledge
  • internal motivation 
  • unexpected self-discoveries, the good and the bad

Practice giving credit inward, to the 6 things listed above. That is how you can be free from attachment! And the more you learn to detach, the more your external outcomes seem insignificant. Thus, you get off that emotional roller coaster by becoming emotionally secure and unattached to external outcomes!

It it similar to the attachment process with a significant change in #5:

  1. work toward an outcome or expectation
  2. experience some failures and some success along the way
  3. personally grow and evolve as a result of your experiences
  4. reach desired outcome or expectation
  5. give credit to #1, 2 & 3 for your joy or happiness

In conclusion, realize that it is perfectly fine to be happy or ecstatic when an outcome works in your favor. But be extremely careful to give the substantial credit where credit it due: celebrate the process you went through to reach a higher level of your being.

Recognize that your internal growth and personal discovery offers intrinsic reward in life, not the external outcome itself.

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