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Debbie Larry-Izamoje: The Power of Letting Go



IMG_6260I have come to realise that life happens to us in seasons. Nobody goes through life without using his or her tear ducts. Your moment of mourning might be someone’s moment of celebration. We all experience situations that shake us, question our decisions and even redefine us as humans.

We wake up each day with the uncertainty of what the hours ahead hold. In my few years on earth, I have read about and seen people go through traumatic experiences but I have never met a man who woke up wishing to have an absolutely horrible encounter with Life. Who unhappiness epp?

I am a sucker for new beginnings. There is an indescribable joy and warmth that comes with new chapters. It could be shopping for graduation, giving your partner hints on the kind of engagement ring you want, reading pregnancy books as a mum to be, or choosing brand colours for the logo of that business.

There is something about new beginnings; it is a sign of hope. To me it feels like life handing me a plain canvas and paintbrush and saying to me “Hey Debbie! Paint what you want your life to look like”. Thankfully it does not work like that, because my painting skills are almost non-existent.

But don’t you wish it were that easy? Paint a picture of the life you hope to live and then you actually get that? Sometimes life happens and that new chapter isn’t always so easy to write because people die, businesses fail, the love of your life walks away and with all of this you’re forced to keep living or be left behind.

So today I want to discuss laying things to rest after we have tried severally to fix them. Let us discuss true healing and not acting like we have healed. Let us talk about moving on with fear in our hearts of what the future really holds. How do we control our reaction to uncertainty? How do we let go of situations, people and businesses we had big dreams for? How do we release that failed business and trust in the beauty of new beginnings? How do we forgive that boss that wrote our sack letter at the office? or that investor who pulled out on a deal?

What makes tough situations even harder to deal with is the fact that somehow our environment has put a constraint, called time, on us. It feels like the best advice to give someone hurting is “ time heals all wounds” but what happens when the doctor called time is healing everyone but you?

According to my role model Bishop TD Jakes, we often get trapped in our wounds, hideous experiences and feeling like victims, that we forget that there is always a choice to move forward. We have the power to quicken our healing processes with the proper mentors, tools, spiritual insights and much more.

This article in no way discusses the situations we run into, but rather letting go of the uncontrollable situations that happen – while we experience life. Of course you can trust me to relate it to business, like I always do.

Let Those Emotions Flow
For the longest time I was afraid of emotions. Because for some reason the world had made it seem like such a horrible thing. Right from secondary school days of “odeshi”, proving to our mates that we didn’t feel the pain from the whips our teachers used to discipline us. I am not sure I even knowing the meaning of that word, I just know what it stood for, back then.

Maybe the reason why you cannot seem to get over that situation is because you haven’t allowed yourself to connect with your emotions. See emotions are such a beautiful thing. The minute you realize that your ability to feel is not a sign of weakness, you’re definitely closer to healing. Understand that this may not mean weeping or throwing objects like some do. Sometimes it is recognizing how you feel towards that situation. It could be anger, sorrow, disappointment or even fear. Often times when we struggle with letting go it is due to our perspective on uncertainty.

Dear reader, in this moment you are allowed to feel all those emotions you have been running away from. If for no other reason connect with your emotions because you are human. Breathe and know that there is nothing new under the sun and that you need to understand those emotions to even begin the healing process. You cannot treat what is not diagnosed; this is why doctors run tests before giving medication. Breathe and decide that you will take the necessary steps needed in letting go of that situation.

Get Knowledge
There is power in knowledge. I always advice people to get knowledge first then get wisdom.

I love observing situations or people and reading about them. This is probably why I understand that there is nothing I have been through or will ever go through that is unique to me. There is always someone out there who has been exactly where you are and this is why you must seek knowledge.

Sometimes all you need is to hear how someone got over his or her situation. Stories of how they had 4 failed businesses but are extremely successful today; how their child died after 6 years of waiting, but they are now blessed with twins. Read biographies, blogs, listen to or watch people share experiences.There are so many people out there willing to share experiences with you.

For every story that you find that is similar to your situation, look at it analytically and compare. Where did I go wrong? What could I have done differently? Is there still hope for this business? Do I let it go completely and start afresh? Is this my purpose? What can I learn from this? Who can I seek counselling from?

It is in seeking knowledge that we are motivated to do better. Do you ever look at weight loss before and after pictures and stories and all of a sudden you’re sending emails to Shreddergrang or Nazomscorner asking for weight loss tips? Happens to me every time! You should begin to feed your mind with the information it needs to drop that deadweight and push to better and bigger things.

Take Action
This is where wisdom comes in. One of the reasons why I do not completely dislike pain or discomfort is because over the years it has pushed me into my purpose and potential. Pain will introduce you to your strength if you let it. It will introduce you to a new you.

Some of the best ideas have come out of a place of pain.

There are some experiences that change you forever…and for better, of course. In the moment, it feels like the worst thing ever, but when you come out of it you’re most likely always thankful for the lessons learnt along the way.

Change how you react to your pain and use it to empower others. I have heard a million and one times that the best way to get over a failed relationship is to get busy; this applies to failed businesses too.

You simply have to put in work to see results even in letting go of hurt. Just like you will cut ties with an ex while getting over a breakup, you have to cut ties with that failed business if you are absolutely sure there is no hope moving forward. You can start by evaluating and selling assets, brainstorm on your next project. Find a hobby or your passion and turn it into your purpose. Spend time with the right people.

You must realize that the sooner you accept situations the better and the faster the healing process is. I strongly believe in starting the day with positive affirmations. So at the start of everyday from tomorrow, write out the kind of day you want, or future you see and read it to yourself till you never question it.

Change your outlook on life today. You are smart enough to run a business. You are good enough and you deserve the very best from life. You need to begin to trust yourself enough and understand that, like TD Jakes will say, your destiny is never tied to anything that didn’t work or anyone that left.

Debbie Larry-Izamoje, with Certificates in Innovation and strategy from Harvard University and user innovation from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is the Founder of a fast growing digital agency in Nigeria and the group operations coordinator of Nigeria's only sports radio station, Brila Fm Twitter and Instagram: @dee_larry @imageboosters_ Email: [email protected]


  1. tunmi

    September 19, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    I think the Jibike Abika saga could use this. Man, oh man, the woman sounds pained.

    I know this article is for a business perspective, but I see this application for personal growth too. A former friend hurt me and betrayed my trust massively. It stemmed from miscommunication and it went where it should not have: cops, being evicted earlier than planned (like a week earlier), and seriously destroying that relationship. Now that I see her, I feel sad and pity for her, and for what we could have had. I’ve let the emotions flow, and now I’m acquiring knowledge. The next step is to take action which is to acknowledge her existence. Rebuilding a friendship will take efforts on both sides, and I’m not ready for that. What I can do know is acknowledge her as a colleague since we are in the same field.

  2. pinkie lee

    September 19, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    Very helpful indeed

  3. Ola

    September 19, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    This is so powerful.. Just what I needed. God Bless you

  4. Your fan

    September 19, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    And she is back! Another stunning article from Debbie. You’re going to go places Debby, even bigger than your dad. Youre so hard working and even strangers testify. Thank you for this one.

  5. zainab

    September 20, 2016 at 6:49 am

    God bless you! What i need right now

  6. Peter

    September 20, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Dr Larry Izamoje must be very proud. Lovely read.

  7. Dee

    September 20, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Thank you Debbie. This is just what I need right now. Thank you so much.

  8. Oloye

    September 20, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Debbie with the good hair and great brain.


  9. GraceOfGOD

    September 23, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    @Debbie Larry-Izamoje,

    Good afternoon MADAM. I want to say a BIG THANK YOU for this EXCELLENT article which is ONE of the BEST I have read here so far. May GOD bless and protect you in JESUS name I prayed, amen 🙂 🙂 🙂

  10. Olatunde

    October 10, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    Nice write-up ma’am, the piece is quite real and motivating…painting life scenarios. Please keep up the good work.

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