We all know someone we went to school with who was a complete mess on test day; these people are often hard working, intelligent, and know their information, yet on test day, they show up with sweaty palms and forget everything. Test anxiety is one of the most common forms of attachment to outcome, everything rides on 1 task and you must do it well to get the grade you have worked for. The overwhelming attachment to the outcome of the test causes poor performance, stress, and anxiety as the person enters the cycle of fear.
There are many different types of people in the world; some people barely study at all, don’t pay attention in class, and ace every test, while others study for hours, hang on the teacher’s words, and barely slide by with a C. There are many, many factors that can affect someone’s performance, but attachment to outcome is on the forefront.
Learning to detach from outcome can greatly increase our effectiveness as people, decrease our stress levels, and help us accomplish the goals that we set for our lives. There is a paradox that exists within most successful people: they work incredibly hard for what they desire as if what they desire is the singular purpose for their entire life, yet they take failure and setback as hidden opportunity. These people have found a hidden strength within themselves to believe that no matter what happens they will be successful. Their faith allows them to put extreme importance on a goal, yet let go of outcome by believing that everything will work out regardless of outcome.
In every opportunity and decision there is a possibility of failure, and the harder we work toward something the more attached to outcome we become. We value the things we create, we hold onto the things we love, and we prize the things we accomplish. Think about it this way, the more we have invested into something the more value it has in our life. What would you value more, something someone gave to you for free, or something that you had to work hard for years to get? It is a simple fact of life that the harder it is to get something, the more we want it: this can motivate us or it can push us further away from our goal.
In order to achieve greatness we must learn the art of double think. Doublethink is a psychology term for thinking two things simultaneously or easily switching between beliefs to suit us in the moment. Like the olympic athlete who dreams their whole life of olympic gold must learn to let go and allow their hard work to pay off naturally, we must learn to let go of the immensity of the moment and simply allow our hard work to work its magic.
It takes faith in something to let go of attachment and allow life to take its course. We must believe in our hard work, our skill, destiny, fate, God, or just believe that no matter what happens we are on our path in life. While we have a huge influence over our life, trying to control life too much can have a negative effect on our life. Work hard, seek to achieve your goals, and believe in something: this is the recipe of success. Its only after you have let go of the possibility of failure that you are ready to achieve anything.