The Unstoppable Power of Letting Go | Jill Sherer Murray | TEDxWilmingtonWomen


Translator: Phuong Cao
Reviewer: Peter van de Ven Letting go can make you unstoppable. I know because I let go
of a relationship and reclaimed my life. And I know that letting go
can create the best of change for each and everyone of you. Let me tell you a story. When I was 41, the death of a relationship
showed me how to truly let go of what wasn’t working. See, up until that time,
I didn’t really think about the future. I kind of lived my life like a dog – moment to moment. I chased balls, I ate
whatever I could find on the ground. (Laughter) And life was good. I had a great job, great friends,
a great apartment, a great actual dog, and a great boyfriend. Well, sort of. See, Hector didn’t have any skin
in the game, and I felt that. He danced around
the very idea of marriage, and after 12 years,
we didn’t even live together. Still, he gave me hope. Well, sometimes. More like living in a situation
that had no hope just felt normal. Don’t get me wrong. I stayed because Hector was a good looking, smart,
reliable, and sensitive guy who cared, and while our relationship
wasn’t perfect, it worked in theory. Until a wake-up call from a friend
changed everything. So my realtor friend called
to tell me about a condo coming up for sale
in my Chicago neighborhood. She knew that I was looking
for Hector to commit and thought, ”Well, maybe this could inspire
a little forward motion.” Still, my first inclination was to say,
“We’re not ready. Not yet.” Haha, “Not yet.” That was Hector’s favorite catchphrase. I would say, ”I want to get married.” He’d say, ”Not yet.” I’d say, ”Let’s live together.” “Not yet.” ”Not yet” was a hair
I couldn’t get out of my eye and a bad song
I couldn’t get out of my head. So you could imagine my surprise
when he said “Sure” to meeting me at the condo at noon. Now, I arrived early and eager. But Hector? Haha, well that was another story. 12:15 came. 12:30. 12:45. 1:00 pm. No Hector. Eventually, he called,
something had come up. So we agreed to reconvene at three,
but Hector was a no-show again. It was in that moment that I decided, after 12 years, it was time to let go. See, I had to let go of Hector
and of the idea of marrying him or anybody because at 41, my options were scary. I could either stay with a man
who couldn’t commit, but was great on
all the holidays and birthdays, or I could break up with him and be alone. Not that letting go of a good man
I truly loved was easy. No, no. I had to survive
the consequences of my epiphany, and that’s when the pain stage kicked in. “You and Hector
won’t be together forever. You won’t be his person. In fact, he’ll probably
meet somebody else fast, marry her, and she’ll be his person. And then you’re going to have to live
with the fact that you made a mistake.” I ugly cried, ate a lot of pizza,
listened to a lot of Joni Mitchell. (Laughter) And then, when I couldn’t rub
my eyes anymore without hitting bone or imagine Hector in a wedding photo
with another woman, probably in a size-6 dress, I brushed myself off. See, I let go of the fear
that I would grow old and die alone, that my friends would use me
as a cautionary tale, that it was too late for me. No, no. In that moment, I had to finally admit
what I really wanted, which was more. You see, Hector not showing up, that was a gift, and that it gave me freedom
because let’s face it, I’d been chasing that ball for 12 years. No, no. It was time to move on,
even if I risked rejection. So I made a plan, one that got clearer with every step. Of course, Hector had an excuse
for his no-show. But by then, it didn’t matter. I told him it was over. I quit my job, I hugged my friends, I sold my beautiful condo
in the same neighborhood that delivered me
that life-changing epiphany. I let go of everything to start a whole
new life in New Hope, Pennsylvania. To which he said,
”Don’t go, we’ll get married.” To which I said, ”You had twelve years.” To which he said, ”I’ll come visit.” To which I said, ”Not yet.” (Laughter) Was it hard? Ha ha, you bet. Was it worth it? Within a year of leaving,
I met my husband Dan online. (Laughter) I knew when he showed up
for our first date, in the most wrinkled shirt
I have ever seen, (Laughter) with a rain hat to keep me dry
walking from the restaurant to the car, that this was my guy. (Laughter) You see, umbrellas were for people
who wanted distance. Too heavy a wind, you know,
turned them inside out, and even the best of them
only lasted so long. But a rain hat, you know, the kind with a string,
and you tie it under your chin, (Laughter) Now, that’s personal. And after four dates, it turned to love. Finally, I understood
why I had to wait so long. Dan was handsome and wise
and soulful and kind, and he made me feel
like I could do and be anything. We could. And we got married a year later. (Sigh) When I turned 50, Hector died of cancer. And as you can imagine,
I grieved for a very long time. But his death reaffirmed for me the promise I made
to myself when I was 41: that I would never
take time for granted again. Instead, I would use it
to let go, to create space for the things I really wanted
and for what mattered most. Here are five ways
to let go I know work because I still use them every single day. One. Let go of taking things personally. I spent a lot of time wondering why Hector
didn’t love me enough to marry me until I realized that his inability
to commit had less to do with me and more to do
with his duty to his family. Now, I’m not saying that was not
a hard pill to swallow, but there was a lot of peace in knowing that it was his issue
and not some defect in me. If people aren’t giving you what you want,
or if they’re just behaving badly, most times, that’s their problem, not yours. Two. Let go of what other people think. So after my husband and I
dated for a couple of months, I took him home to meet my parents. (Laughter) ”He’s very good-looking,”
my mother said. ”You know, Ted Bundy
is very good looking.” (Laughter) Now, I could’ve let this
influence my actions, (Laughter) could have let my imagination run wild with thoughts of my new beau
stabbing me while I slept. (Laughter) But instead, I just
chalked it up to my mother. There is a rule in business that states: Whenever you are putting
something out there, 10% of people will hate it, 80% will be indifferent, and 10% will be your raving fans. And raving fans are awesome, but if somebody’s not a raving fan,
let that be okay too. Three. Let go of trying
to be something you’re not. Now, I have this crazy big personality
that I actually call “the Big.” Some people really like the Big. (Laughter) Some people are fascinated by it, kind of the way they are
fascinated by jugglers. (Laughter) And others just run away. But it’s who I am. I have tried to turn down
the current on the Big, but hard as I try, there it is. There are some things
we just can’t change about ourselves, and that’s a good thing. Four. Let go of the need to be perfect. Many years ago, I wrote
a column for Shape Magazine, and I got a lot of mail from readers, including a very sad letter
from this teenage girl asking for my advice
on how to improve herself after her absolutely horrid boyfriend
had her strip down so he could critique her body. This is a true story. I said, ”Dump him immediately, and never let anybody
make you feel bad about yourself again.” But we all know that feeling
the need for perfection is not just about our weight. It’s also about keeping the house clean
and the dogs groomed and the kids healthy
and the bosses happy and all the balls in the air. It’s even about keeping our youth intact. And yet, who wants to be friends
with someone who’s perfect? Think about that. And lastly, five – my favorite! Let go of ”Not yet.” You know, when I left Chicago,
my life was pretty good, it just wasn’t good enough. If there is something you want to do,
make a plan and act, but don’t wait. I still grieve for Hector, you know,
it just comes in waves now. But it’s the phone call I can’t make that reminds me to make every day count. And I encourage you all to do the same. Whatever that is, I say,
”Let go for it.” Thank you. (Applause)

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. She is courageous, intelligent and easy-going women. But I wonder why she did not leave her BF earlier. She left him until 12 years later, which is so strange to me. I mean I could not understand why it happened too late. Woman should know by instinct whether the man truly love you within 2 to 5 years. If he does not love you, don' t care about your need of getting married, you should have dumped him and find a better guy within 5 years.

  2. I just started this video, but I just wish women had more self respect these days. If you want to be married, don't waste your time with a man who doesn't. Hurts my heart when so many women do that.

  3. "Letting go will make you unstoppable."

    I wonder if this advice still works when you're hanging on a cliff.

  4. Just listened to your talk Today after coming out of a job interview, Iโ€™m not setting myself any expectations and if I donโ€™t get the role I know I can let go of my disappointment

  5. Sheโ€™s HOW OLD ?! omg I loved this talk. Iโ€™m going through a 9 year break up. And this has helped. More than anything else Iโ€™ve seen.

  6. Man, I was in a long distance relationship for too long with my own "Hector." He never wanted to get together or move in or anything. His version "not yet" was always "someday."

    Folks, if someone does that to you, get OUT of the relationship immediately. People go on and on about settling or staying to avoid dying alone…but I would WAY rather die alone than be with someone I've come to resent or doesn't give a damn about me. I mean, just imagine you are on your deathbed and the person with you clearly doesn't wanna be there, and your last moments alive are all awkwardness or anger or resentment. Um…I'll take dying alone, thanks.

    Stop fearing loneliness. A loveless relationship is far worse.

  7. Thank you for your words. After 7 years, after my 12 year relationship, I am able to let go! Itโ€™s truly liberating and empowering to finally move forward!

  8. Thank you so much. Iโ€™m just going through the early days after the breakup and Iโ€™m grateful that there are so many videos and articles available online these days that are so supportive.

  9. Fortunately.HE let go on my behalf, we still live together so waiting for him to move. So Iโ€™m slowly letting go.

  10. I've been married for 46 years but separated for nearly 5, and he visits once a month to help out with chores I can no longer do, so I hang onto him. I am finding it very difficult to let go and move on, and when others become interested, I back away and of course they get the impression that I'm not interested. This lady is right, because I know that I have to let go, otherwise, I can't move on.

  11. After 12 years? Stayed in there too long, sister. Parents need to explain when people are young that all relationships have an expiration date. By death, by decision, all friendships, romantic relationships, even pet ownership will end. No need for sorrow, that's life.

  12. This is the best TED talk I've watched by far. She's such a great talker, funny but she goes straight to the point at the same time. Gotta love her personality! I would love to have her as a friendโค๏ธ. Hope I will be able to follow her advices because it's been over a year since I'm trying to get over someone, it's harder than I thought it would be.

  13. amazingggggg ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

  14. I soo needed this. Hector sounds like my son dad. Iโ€™m glad I found ted talks and was able to let go

  15. I'm currently in a situation that I need to let go of. It's really hard to let go of something so passionate and so strong especially when the circumstances are out of both your control. I wish I was good at this skill. Seems so helpful in life.

  16. I havent watched the video yet. My gf left me suddenly and broke our relationship. I gave my 100% and she gave me nothing. Sometimes i indeed screwed up but i always made up for it. But now she left me, and im heartbroken af. I hope this video helps me in finding relief from this pain and agony. I disnt wanted her to leave me, but she did anyways.

  17. EXCELLENT…..make everyday count never let someoneโ€™s inability to see you , love you, commit to keep you from living YOUR LIFE… at 41 I allowed a man to come into my life and completely rearrange my life drag me down and damn near destroy me all because I dint want to be alone but when LET GO my life changed completely and now Iโ€™m better than I was

  18. I've been struggling a lot for the past five months and then I listened to this: "I will never take time for granted again, instead I will use it to let go, to create space for the things I really wanted and for what matter most".

  19. This story brought tears to my eyes…I related to this story and it helped me to make a very important decision

  20. I have to let go of someone who doesn't even care if I'm in their life anymore. I'm just holding onto memories now. I have to let go so that I can move on and breathe again. I have to do it for me. Thank you for this wonderful TED talk, Jill ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Thank you for this! It's been about 2 months of going back & forth asking myself if I should or shouldn't let someone go. Finally after this video, I decided to let him go. It's a little hard but definitely necessary. One of many things I learned from my previous relationship, was that I had to decide what was more important, loosing him or loosing myself in a relationship that no longer makes me happy & fulfilled. In the end, I choose to loose him instead. I'm currently in the path of getting to know myself & loving every part of me, so that when the right one comes, he will learn to love & value me as I do.

  22. Jill I just read n I m so happy that the talk show was best by letting go of the past it hurts but it gives relief to ur heart by thinking there is something better then this thanks.

  23. letting go means s. with one guy – leave him – then s. with another guy – leave him – then s. with next guy … ad infinitum

  24. Youโ€™re truly inspiring! Thank you… this video is very important.. the message is life changing…

  25. I recently lost my friendship with my best friend of 13years she was the sister I never had she met a man on Facebook and needless today I become invisible sheโ€™s gonna marry him and move out of state complicated situation I canโ€™t move on Iโ€™ve tried I cry everyday I lock myself in my bathroom at home or work I canโ€™t get past the memories the tears the laughter the loneliness empty ness the hurt the betrayal I feel soo lost and alone itโ€™s been 6months I still feel very depressed and suicidal despite counseling and therapy I really donโ€™t see any hope for me I donโ€™t care about anything anymore my heart is broke into a million pieces please help me ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐ŸŒง๐ŸŒง๐ŸŒง๐ŸŒง๐ŸŒง๐ŸŒง๐ŸŒง๐ŸŒง๐ŸŒง๐ŸŒง๐ŸŒง

  26. This is more than money! Right on time! Learning to stop holding on to things that dont or no longer serve/aid me & my progression!!!!!

  27. This video keeps popping up on my recommended and I still do not have the strength to begin to watch it. I am not yet ready to let go of my ex. I am still holding on, I cry almost every day, I think about him all the time, I cannot concentrate or focus on any tasks for too long at all, and with all this I still donโ€™t feel like Iโ€™m ready or strong enough to let go. The thought of moving on and living the rest of my life without the man I thought Iโ€™d live the rest of my life with terrifies me. So, my goal is to gain the strength to be able to watch this video and videos like this sooner than later.

  28. Sad that he died Iโ€™ve lost a partner too. 4 years later I think Iโ€™ve found another partner. Life is tough but we carry on , work on ourselves and things can always get better.

  29. You didn't let go of Mr. Hector, as you never HAD him. Don't live for another and don't ask or expect another to do so for you.

  30. Thank you. I'm in the post break up phase of 9 months relationship that I thought it was going great; until he said it in my face, " oh, I even told my mom, my job always comes first!!". Well, I cut it for good, really painful, and I'm still crying, but I know my life is going to be much better without him

  31. I had let go of someone who I really loved with every cell in my body. But the memories are still there.

  32. It's very unsettling to hear this right now. My fiance's name is Hector, he is also very close with his family. I am the same as her, I want to get married and live together but away from where I've lived my whole life. Hector wants to stay where he is, probably forever. I'm wondering how I should approach my situation, since he's now suggested we take a 2 week break with no talking or seeing each other. I'm in no way ready to let go, but hearing this talk really makes me think I should. I'm so confused right now. โ˜น

  33. "In the end only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you"
    Buddha

  34. Its very inspiring. ..i think this vedo is given by jesus to me bcz i really need that…thnks..hevenly father..i m doing let go of every things which makes me sad about my self๐Ÿ˜Š

  35. I let go of a bunch of toxic friends and family who have been making me sick for years with their meanness and emotional torture. Its hard. I sometimes feel very alone but I know better things are on the way. I'm sure of it.

  36. Glad you found your happy place ! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ’•

  37. I tried marriage twice.
    I came to realize I cannot live with anyone.
    I need my space.
    Now, I am content in being alone.
    Alone and lonely are two different things.
    Lonely is realizing you are part of an impossible equation.

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