When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.Lao Tzu

A pupa in it’s chrysalis. In order to become a butterfly, this caterpillar had to let go of what it was, in order to become what it might be. What is hiding within you, ready for you to become?

What does that mean?
I really like this quote. It talks about being stuck in the past. What you are now is based on what has gone before. But if you stay where you are, you will find it difficult to reach your full potential. The quote says when they let go of what they are now, they give themselves the room necessary to grow into the person they could become.

This quote is all about taking risks, and about growth. It also mentions that you have to let go of what you are presently if you are to continue to grow. Like the caterpillar, you have to let go of what you are if you are to become a beautiful butterfly.

When you let go, you allow yourself to accept the changes in life. Sometimes life changes anyway, but to reach your full potential, you have to let go of your old limits, and those things that hold you in this place. They might be old beliefs, they might be old values, and they might be old places. Sometimes, moving to the next level is as much about what you gain as what you leave behind.

Why is embracing change important?  
It’s not always easy to let go and embrace change, but it is necessary. As a child, you have to let go of your parents to go play with your friends. As a youth, you have to let go of your parents to go to school. As a young adult, you have to let go of your family and strike out on your own. In each case, you have to let go and embrace change, if you are to become all that you might be.

If you don’t embrace change, will you be able to, by yourself, stop progress? Unfortunately, the answer is yes, if the subject is your own changes. If you continue in a childish mindset, you can stop progress, but you will never become what you might be as an adult. Unfortunately, it’s such a common phenomenon, it has it’s own name, Arrested Development.

Where can I apply this in my life?
What in your life is ready for a change? What within you, or around you needs to be freshened up a bit? If you want to update the kitchen, you’re going to have to let go of the old layout, appliances, tile, or cabinets. In some cases, you’ll be willing to embrace this without hesitation. Other times, it may be a bit more trying.

Similarly, if you want to move on in your life, you may need to let go of some of what you think you are. I still think of myself as a bit of an introvert, but I’ve been stepping out from behind the label, as it is keeping me from what I might be. I’m not sure what that “might be” might be, but I know the introvert label and my belief in it is holding me back.

What did you come up with? Do you need to let go of the old carpet in order for the house to become what it might be? In most cases, that’s not a very big problem, is it? But what if it was something more personal, a habit you hold as part of your identity?

What if what you had to let go of was (my favorite thing to pick on) smoking? What if nearly all your friends smoke, and when someone asks who you are and what do you do, one of the first words out of your mouth is “I am a smoker”? But what might it be holding you back from becoming, and how difficult might it be to embrace the change?

This particular habit has biological components, social components, and no small amount of personal identity components. Fail to embrace the change at any of these levels, an the change is pretty much doomed, isn’t it? And you may have be able to think of other components with which I am not familiar.

You will have to find the reasons to embrace your change(s). You will have to make sure the reasons are bigger, stronger, and more compelling than the discomfort you will experience in the change. But once you have that figured out, you are already most of the way there. Then it’s just coming up with the steps that move you in that direction, and getting in motion.

Where you presently are is the top of a small mountain. You can see another mountain nearby, a place that you would rather be. However, to get there, you have to let go of your present location, and climb down through the forests, slog through the swamps, and then climb up the other mountain.

If you don’t embrace the change, you’ll probably never make it all the way down your hill, much less up the next one. If you are unwilling to let go of what you have, what you are, or where you are, you will find it very difficult to become what you might be.

It’s not always easy, it’s not always fun, and it is likely to be at least a little bit scary. But I don’t know how else to get from here to there.

From: Twitter, @_inspirational_
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/laotzu379182.html
Photo by puuikibeach

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12 Responses to When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

  1. hlluu 3 December 2012 at 10:52 am #

    Thanks for your explanation. I can understand this quote very clearly now!

  2. Vaniss Nguyen 13 September 2013 at 10:03 pm #

    This is great explaination, thank you so much

    • philosiblog 15 September 2013 at 8:30 am #

      Thank you for the kind words. I’m glad you found this quote to be of some use to you.

  3. George 5 November 2013 at 11:41 am #

    This is really very true .
    99 % of the people in the world have accepted their fate and given up on their ambitions because they were too stuck to try anything unconventional , or maybe too afraid !

    • philosiblog 9 November 2013 at 5:07 am #

      Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment. Glad you liked the post.

      It still amazes me how so many people are too stuck in one place. That said, there is much I want to do, and much I could be, yet I simply excuse myself, claiming ‘responsibilities’ – how lame is that? 8/

  4. Felix R. 25 January 2014 at 5:07 pm #

    isn’t this also about being yourself? This is how I initially understood the quote. One has to accept the way he/she is in order to be the person one is supposed to be, or to become. But seeing the quote in that way would embrace individualism which goes against Chinese thinking that propagates collectivism…any thoughts on this?

    • philosiblog 26 January 2014 at 8:58 pm #

      I suppose it depends on where you are in your life when you first hear this quote. I was in college, and realized that a lot of what I was doing was because I was following the wishes of others. When I let go of this false image of what I thought I was, I was freed to become the person I could be. That is what the quote meant to me.

      Being an American, I don’t know much about Chinese thinking. But if I may be so bold as to compare it to my example (above), if everything is measured against a standard of behavior and thought, are they not also living someone else’s life? Can they be who they truly were meant to be, who they could become, if they stay confined within that manner of thinking? Until they let go of the limited vision of themselves, how can they become what they could become?

      Not sure if that answered your question exactly, as it seemed kind of broad. Feel free to follow up with a clarification if you wish.

  5. Saru Chithiran 30 March 2014 at 7:46 am #

    Inspirational and gives the feel to be dynamic :) Thank U !

    • philosiblog 31 March 2014 at 4:51 am #

      Glad you found the post useful.

      Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment.

  6. nany 29 October 2014 at 1:54 pm #

    Thank you so much for the explination! i really feel stuck in the past i hope i can move foward because i think time is killing me

    • philosiblog 5 November 2014 at 3:14 am #

      Thanks for stopping by and for leaving such a nice comment. I’m glad the post helped you, and I hope to hear from you again.

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