Jill Sherer Murray is a TEDx speaker, author, blogger, coach, and founder of Let Go For It℠, a lifestyle brand dedicated to helping individuals let go for a better life and organizations let go for better business results. She is also an award-winning journalist and communications leader who can trace practically every success she’s had in her career, love life, and more to letting go.
Her TEDx talk, The Unstoppable Power of Letting Go has been viewed by more than a million people on YouTube – and grows by the thousands each day. Her advice column Big Wild Love: Let Go For It® is in response to the countless numbers of viewers who’ve reached out to her for help and inspiration after seeing her TEDx talk. And her book, Big Wild Love: The Indestructible Power of Letting Go, will be published through She Writes Press in May 2020 and available online and offline, wherever books are sold.
As part of Let Go For It, Jill also coaches and consults with business leaders on how to let go and communicate effectively. She’s consulted with and spoken to groups at organizations like Gatorade, PepsiCo, and IKEA, about what it takes to let go of what’s not working for better business results. She spent 25 years doing communications strategy and execution, facilitation, coaching, speaking, and leadership work in corporate America. She spent a year studying improvisation comedy at the famous Second City Training Center in Chicago, and another five years writing a popular blog called “Diary of a Writer in Mid-Life Crisis” for www.wildriverreview.com, and so much more. Jill let go of just about everything to put her weight in Shape Magazine—12 times—as part of a year-long assignment to document her weight loss journey for millions of readers.
Hello and welcome! I am delighted to share information about what it takes to let go for a better life and love. I’ve learned firsthand over the years that letting go is both the way out of a situation you don’t want to be in and the way back to yourself.
Case in point: A few months ago, a woman named “Brianna” wrote to me after watching my TEDx talk to tell me how much it inspired her own letting go story. After her nine-month-old son was diagnosed with a rare disease, she asked her emotionally unavailable bully of a husband to leave. A few weeks later, she tried to repair the relationship so she could keep her family together but he didn’t want it. So, she let it go. That’s when she realized how strong she was on her own. “I’m scared to death of what the future holds,” she wrote. “But … I love me. I don’t deserve to be treated poorly. I deserve to be happy.”
Her story touched me deeply for so many reasons, including the fact that I too had a personal experience with an emotionally unavailable bully of a boyfriend-turned-fiance when I was in my late teens and early 20s. Let’s call him “Matt.” Matt and I were together for almost five years; for most of them, he wasn’t very nice to me and everybody knew it. He’d talk down to me, control me by telling me what I couldn’t do, where I couldn’t go, and who I couldn’t spend time with. He’d hang up on me for no good reason and ignore my calls for days. And you know what? I accepted all of it—even apologized when I did nothing wrong simply to keep the peace. After all, I couldn’t risk losing him.
To make matters worse, he’d do these things in front of other people—leaving me feeling embarrassed and ashamed. But because I didn’t think too much of myself back then, I always went back for more. I remember one night, in particular: I was making a spaghetti dinner for the guys on his softball team at his apartment, when Matt said something not so nice to me. For some reason, I rose up like Edith Bunker (Google her). Took off my apron, literally and figuratively threw in the dish towel, and walked out.
But by the time I’d gotten home, panic had set in as I imagined all the ways I’d spend the rest of my life alone if he’d gotten mad and left me; so as soon as I got into the house, I called him to apologize. He didn’t answer of course, so I called again. And again. All night long until he finally picked up (not until the next morning, leaving me without sleep), and “forgave” me.
Even as I recount this story, I am cringing.
Months later, after I’d eventually come to my senses and left him, I ran into one of the guys who was at that spaghetti dinner. He told me how they’d prayed I would NOT call. That I would leave Matt to stew in his own bad juju. Maybe he’d have learned something—gotten nicer to me, changed his ways.
Maybe he would have, but I doubt it.
Today, I’m actually grateful for that experience—and the one I present in my talk (although Hector was really lovely, his worst crime not wanting what I did)—because it taught me that it wasn’t up to Matt to get nicer or for Hector to change his mind; it was up to me to think and want better for myself. To set my own ground rules. To stop letting love whack me six ways from Sunday. As Brianna puts it so eloquently, “to love me.”
The pain of heartache can be a powerful tool for self-advocacy. At the time, I didn’t register leaving Matt as a merciful act of letting go, but today, I can very clearly see that’s what it was.
“So many beautiful things can happen if you’re brave enough to let go,” Brianna wrote.
Like Brianna, so many of you have written to me with your stories of letting go for love—and how much my talk made a difference. I am humbled and honored by your courage. I’m also proud of you. You know, like I do, how letting go offers us a way out. That we can leave the madness and opt for a better more peaceful, more loving, and more fulfilling time of it. That, when it comes to finding love and happiness, we are not crazy for thinking what we think. And wanting what we want.
For those of you on the line, asking yourself what you should do, only you know the answer. But what I can tell you is that as long as you love yourself first, you’ll never regret letting go.
And if you need reassurance of that fact, then grab a cup of coffee or tea or a pizza or a pound cake or a bag of Doritos, call your friends and tell them you’ll see them next weekend, turn off Netflix, and spend that time browsing around this website. You just may learn a thing or two about not only the power of letting go, but yourself.
And while you’re at it, let me know what you think. What are the top three things that are standing in the way of your letting go in your own life? And how can I help you?
Can’t WAIT to hear from you!
With a ton of love and gratitude,
“Jill is a master storyteller. She has this uncanny ability to see the human condition in all of its dimensions and weave and unfold stories that grab heart, mind and soul… and our funny-bone. She captivates whether she’s speaking with us from the stage or from the page. Unafraid to be herself, tell her truth and rock her quirks, she invites us to do the same. Her down-to-earth-ness, cleverness and insatiable curiosity make you want to come closer and let her in… essential characteristics for a journalist, interviewer and confidante. She is one of those people who squeezes the juice out of life and… if you allow her… will take you with her.”
“By sharing her life experiences through her vivacious personality, which she herself calls “The Big,” Jill effortlessly creates something we all desperately want: connection.”
“Wow, Jill, I just listened to your amazing TEDx talk and I’m so inspired! A beautiful speech well delivered – truly one of the best talks I’ve ever heard.”
“Letting go, as painful as it can be, is empowering—and can open you up for what really should be in your life. Letting go has been a game-changer in my life. The TEDx talk, by my new friend Jill Sherer Murray, is on point and inspiring for those of us who need to make space.”
“Jill, finally got to watch your Rock Star talk! I had tears in my eyes as you hit so many nerves as I too learned how to let go of a husband, a lifestyle which I thought was perfect and friends who probably weren’t making me a priority while I made them one. I now realize that life today is amazing. Thank you for sharing your insight and wisdom!”
“Ahhhh, I just watched your talk Jill for the 4th time…think I may be a RAVING fan! I will probably watch another 10! Unbelievable, truly. Every single moment was crafted with precision and expertise … and delivered with so much heart, soul, and love! You were just utterly amazing! Anyway I shared with my friend and she loved it too. Said she wants MORE OF YOU! Xoxo”
“I just watched your talk and it was wonderful – congratulations! I think most people can relate in one way or another. I had to let go of a marriage and the dream of an intact family and it was really hard to do, but it did lead to better things.”
“Wow, Jill, what an inspiring and heartfelt talk. The “Big” runs strong in us east coast girls and realizing (and accepting) that not everyone can handle “all this” (and be okay with that) was a definite “growing up” opportunity for me. It took a long time to get to the idea that most times someone else’s opinion of me is just none of MY business! Congrats on a successful, entertaining, engaging and thought provoking TEDx talk!”
“Very inspirational. Something that I needed to hear. I let go of my marriage a couple of years ago—life is too short to be let down time and time again. Thank you so much for your courage and strength!”
“This talk moved me to tears. It had struck a deep chord, planted a seed that burst open recently after a major disappointment and my life two short months after your talk is completely different. Thank you for being you and sharing your story with a roomful of strangers!”
“Your video is poignant and comes at a great time for me. I was just remarking before seeing it how I’m looking forward to meeting the one I don’t have to let go of. It’s a great story. I wrote down your five points in my journal.”
“I’ve got to admit that Jill’s is one of the ‘funnest’ interviews I have done, learning about the process Jill went through for her TEDx talk, how she needed to shorten her talk close to the event day, and how the art of letting go helped her handle what she calls ‘the best kind of stress.’”
No thanks, I’d like to keep holding on.