How Non-Attachment Can Help Us Succeed

When we’re attached to a specific outcome, ideal, or metric, we limit our ability to see the big picture. Try these six science-backed ways to open up to more clarity and self-compassion.

Adobe Stock/ Davide Angelini

I didn’t realize I was attached to my identity as a runner until I got injured. I remember the doctor sitting me down and suggesting I take up water aerobics, walking, or pilates. But, “I am a runner!” I was so resistant to trying other forms of movement that I spent a few weeks not moving at all because I refused to see myself as anything other than “a runner.” 

Therein lies the problem with attachment—you become inflexible. For me, my attachment to being “a runner” got in the way of my values of moving and caring for my body. 

What are you attached to? Does it get in the way of living flexibly?

How Attachment Can Be Limiting

We can get attached to all kinds of things. For example, we can get attached to certain outcomes—such as the amount of money we make, followers on social media, or getting someone’s approval. Or, we can get attached to our body—staying young, having the right hair, or being a certain weight. And we get attached to beliefs—political views, being “right”, or even limiting beliefs about ourselves.

Ultimately, what we’re attached to is not the material item or…