Detachment From Outcome

Detachment From Outcome


Discover the Power of Detachment from Outcome

Written by: Isak Vidinghoff

Date Published: May 15, 2023

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Do you rely on external circumstances for your happiness and well-being? Well, it’s not about the destination but the journey.

Detachment from the outcome is a mindset that has been gaining popularity in recent years. It’s the idea of letting go of expectations and desires, focusing instead on the present moment and the journey towards a goal, rather than just the result.

This approach can bring a sense of peace, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve overall well-being. In this blog post, we’ll delve deeper into what detachment from outcome means, how to practice it, and its benefits for both personal and professional life.

What is detachment from outcome?

It means taking a step back and not relying on external circumstances for your happiness and well-being. It’s understanding that you’re not in control of how things turn out, regardless of your efforts and hard work. And as a result, can lead to greater peace of mind, reduced stress, and improved relationships.

When you detach from outcome, you let go of expectations, relinquish control, and accept whatever results of your life journey.

Let’s imagine that you achieve all your life's purposes. Then what comes next? Striving hard to meet your goals, accelerating your career, and improving your life all boils down to nothing in the end. As Marcus Aurelius rightly said, no matter how important some persons may feel, all their achievements will be forgotten in only a matter of time.

No one will give a hoot about their accomplishments, and everything they’ve amassed will become obsolete a while from now. Unless they’re extremely lucky and have done something unforgettable, just like in the cases of Jesus Christ, and Martin Luther King, who were revolutionaries in their own right.

Don’t get me wrong; detachment from outcome is not about giving up or becoming passive. Rather, it requires more engagement to move forward toward achieving your life's purpose. Though, with less worry about potential outcomes that are way beyond your control.


Whether in career pursuits, creative endeavors, or personal relationships, relinquishing control is important. Also, learning to accept whatever comes from your effort helps you become more content in life. If not, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the outcome of whatever you’re pursuing.

So, stop obsessing over what may happen. Focus on the present and disconnect your self-worth from external results. Always give yourself the permission to learn and grow without fear of failure or disappointment.

Actionable Steps To Detach from outcome

Instead of trying to control situations, start by identifying the outcomes that you are overly invested in, and why. Once you understand the main reason for these attachments, it might be time to take a step back and look into the situation objectively.

Here are some actionable steps to practice detachment from outcome. They can be quite difficult concepts to grasp, especially when involving uncertainties. However, these steps, if put to good use, will teach you how to control and manage your emotions correctly. And you’ll live your best life.


Although it can be quite hard to keep still, quieting your mind each day goes a long way. Do your best to let go of expectations while focusing on the moment. With time, you’ll start noticing when you’re clinging too tightly or getting caught up in anxious thoughts about future results. You’ll realize you’re much more than the thoughts inside your head.

Focus on the actions you can control

Understand that life has unpredictable plans in store for everyone. You can’t steer it in any direction or control it. So, never worry about factors out of your influence. Focus on being in flow, and enjoy every moment. Also, relinquishing control and accepting whatever result comes your way will help you become more content in life.

Concentrate on what you can manage

You can’t manage everything. It’s not workable. Falling into the trap of thinking you have it all figured out, taking on too many responsibilities, and trying to tackle them yourself only leads to burnout. It will most likely work you up and leave you with feelings of fear, anxiousness, and disconnection. By focusing on what you can manage, you’ll be able to direct your energy towards those tasks instead of stressing over results.


Set clear expectations for yourself

Ask yourself why a particular outcome is important to you. Then, make your plans and be realistic about them. By doing so, you can detach yourself from the expectations of immediate results. You also create room for mistakes, learning, and progress. With time, you’ll learn to focus more on the efforts, attitudes, and actions that lead to achieving your goals.

Practice having a sense of humor

Attaching so much seriousness to work and life not only takes a toll on you, but removes the fun of enjoying what you do. After all, it’s not about the destination, but the journey. Be playful, take it as it comes, and enjoy yourself.

Always remember to crack jokes with your team. If there’s no passion and delight in whatever you do, you’re simply not enjoying life.

On the other hand, it could also mean putting yourself in challenging situations, no matter the outcome. And when things go south, always find fun and make the best of the situation.


Contemplate your own death

Being here temporarily, it’s very healthy to think about death while working on your life's purpose. Life is fleeting, and everyone is headed to a destination. No one will escape it. So, it’s safe to imagine attaining your desired height in life, passing to the great beyond like everyone else will, and leaving all your achievements behind. What then becomes of everything you left behind?


It’s not a bad thought in itself, even though it’s easier to shy away from it and live in denial. This imagination is a reality check, and a reminder to do what you must because of the limited time available. So it’s best to live every day as your last, being in flow, and detaching yourself from outcomes.

Benefits of detaching from outcome

Though an important skill to master, detaching from outcome is a difficult feat to achieve. A lot changes when you master the art. You stop creating too many expectations, and instead become more open-minded and display a positive attitude.

You will look at every situation with acceptance instead of fixating on particular outcomes.




Reduces the stress and anxiety associated with uncertainty



Your creativity level heightens, encouraging you to look at problems in different ways without attaching too much emotion.



You develop the courage to take risks. Worrying about failure or disappointment if things don’t turn out according to plan becomes a thing of the past.



It allows you to set your mind to achieving your goals, knowing that things aren’t always in your control, and you’re always ready to embrace any outcome.



You recognize that sometimes it’s best to take a step back and let things be as they are, thus promoting and restoring your inner peace.



It balances your emotions and prevents you from becoming too invested in a particular problem and instead, makes you focus on the process.


💖Better Choices

You’re able to make choices based on your values, rather than seeking validation or recognition from others.


🚶‍♂️Eyes on the road

By eliminating every attachment to results, you’re able to focus on the journey and learning process. You become more proactive and pursue your goals despite any setbacks or failures.



It’s also a powerful tool for personal growth and spiritual development, allowing one to stay focused on what really matters while working towards their goals and aspirations.

Challenges of Detaching from outcome

As much as it’s freeing to detach from obsessing over results, it’s a difficult one to overcome. This is because humans are naturally wired to want perfection, control situations, and strive for outcomes that align with their desires and life purpose.

However, it's important to accept that no material item or achievement will amount to fulfillment or prevent nature from taking its course.

It requires taking a step back and consciously letting go of expectations, which many are not ready for.

Of course, positive expectations can be beneficial, but becoming too attached to them can lead one down a spiral of disappointment. But by detaching, you learn to accept whatever comes without attachment. In the end, you’ll have the freedom and flexibility needed to best adapt when faced with life’s curveballs.


Everyone can learn to overcome these challenges. No one is exempt. Learn to find satisfaction, even when results are the opposite of your expectations. Stop attaching so much importance to things and trust the process.

Allow yourself to enjoy achieving a goal rather than obsessing over its result. Realize that as long as you’re doing what you can, and putting in your best effort, then no matter what happens, it will be well worth it.


Detachment from outcome is understanding that you’re not in control and learning to accept this uncertainty. It doesn’t mean giving up or losing hope. Rather, you’re able to manage your expectations and experience joy even when events don’t go well. In the end, you take ownership and reap rewards.

If you’re free from all attachment to results, it lets you focus on the things you can control—Your attitude, efforts, actions, and reactions. You will move through life with more grace, even in the face of challenges.


For those of you who find this topic interesting and want to learn more, here are some of my favorite books on this topic:

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle - In my opinion, Tolle's book is an excellent resource for anyone looking to detach from outcomes and live in the present moment. By focusing on the present and letting go of attachment to future outcomes, we can find greater peace and purpose in our lives.

The Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu - I find the Tao Te Ching to be a beautiful and poetic guide to the art of detachment. Its emphasis on living in harmony with the natural world and letting go of our attachment to material things can help us find greater purpose and meaning in our lives.

The Bhagavad Gita - I think the Bhagavad Gita is a profound spiritual text that offers insights into the nature of the self and the universe. Its teachings on detachment can help us find greater purpose by reminding us that we are part of a larger cosmic order, and that our actions have consequences that extend far beyond our individual lives.

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl - In my opinion, Frankl's book is a testament to the power of finding purpose and meaning even in the most difficult circumstances. By focusing on our inner values and beliefs, we can find a sense of purpose that transcends external outcomes and helps us navigate life's challenges.

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz - I believe the Four Agreements are a powerful guide to living a life of detachment and finding inner peace. By focusing on agreements with ourselves, we can find greater purpose and fulfillment in life, even in the face of adversity.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey - I find Covey's book to be an excellent resource for anyone looking to live a more purposeful and fulfilling life. By focusing on habits that promote inner growth and detachment from external outcomes, we can find greater purpose and meaning in our lives.

In terms of how these resources relate to life purpose, I believe they all offer insights into how detachment can help us find greater purpose and fulfillment in life. By letting go of our attachment to external outcomes and focusing on our inner values and beliefs, we can find a sense of purpose that transcends material success and helps us live a more meaningful and fulfilling life.

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“To be identified with your mind is to be trapped in time: the compulsion to live almost exclusively through memory and anticipation. This creates an endless preoccupation with past and future and an unwillingness to honor and acknowledge the present moment and allow it to be. The compulsion arises because the past gives you an identity and the future holds the promise of salvation, of fulfillment in whatever form. Both are illusions." - Eckhart Tolle


Isak Vidinghoff is a Strategic Life Coach and Content Creator. He communicates personal development strategies to help people find purpose and meaning to live their fullest potential in life.

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🤓 Nerd Alert

According to a study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, practicing detachment and maintaining a positive attitude is associated with better psychological well-being. (Tartakovsky, 2018)


🙋‍♂️ Did You Know

The word "detachment" comes from the French word "détachement", which means "separation" or "removal"? The term was first used in military contexts to describe the act of separating troops from their main unit for a specific mission or objective. Over time, the term has come to be used more broadly to refer to the act of separating oneself from a particular outcome or emotional attachment.

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