Do your best. Let go.

One of the most challenging things about openly sharing one’s personal story – in my experience at least – is trying to keep steady on the inside, no matter how that story is received.

The talk I gave at the Do Lectures 2018
(originally entitled: The Problem with Big, Amazing Things)

I found taking part in the 2018 Do Lectures an enormously positive experience. It demanded that I think deeply about the ups and downs of my life, find some kind of meaning there and then try to articulate that meaning to others. It required me to have conversations (particularly with my two sons) that I hadn’t dared to have before. It opened up new discussions about the common struggles we go through in our attempts to feel ‘good enough’. It was an opportunity to make peace with a peculiarly painful period of my life and move on. An extraordinary process and one for which I will always be grateful.

Now that the talk has been published online, I am noticing how easy it is to feel vulnerable knowing that it can be seen and responded to by others; people who will inevitably have their own judgements, experiences and sensitivities around the subject matter. At times it can feel scary to have spoken out and to have been so honest and unguarded in sharing a story which, previously, was held private and safe.

However, as I’m gradually learning to do, I’ve found my way back to the writings of much older and wiser people. In particular, to these words by Lao Tzu from the Tao Te Ching (translated by Stephen Mitchell):

“Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.”

What I love about this is the reminder to do one’s best and then let go.

A simple thought, yet such a comforting one.

So I’m curious…

How do you keep steady?