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KerryOn: Hang on Tight

When someone says, “Hang on tight” it can have multiple meanings. Maybe there is danger ahead, or uncertain terrain. It can also refer to entering the unknown and feeling a loss of control. Or, it might signify we aren’t ready to let go and change. To get through the turbulence, we hold on to what keeps us safe – we grasp, we clench, we “hang on tight!”

When I think of these words, it reminds me of summers past. As a teenager, my sister and I drove our dad’s motorcycle down country roads to our lifeguard shift. It seemed the road was always windy, unsteady, and when we would hit a certain dip along the last turn, my sister would lean back and yell “hang on tight!” As I hugged her from the back of the motorcycle, it always gave me a feeling of security. Someone was looking out for me. Someone was keeping me safe.

I learned, when I had to drive the motorcycle by myself over the bumps and ruts, I felt the need to hang on tight to the handlebars. I was tense, my senses heightened to the dangers surrounding me – loose gravel and rogue animals. These times of high tension were a stark contrast when the road was smooth, the pavement clean, and sightlines open. During these times, I could feel my grip loosen. I noticed the warmth of the sun and felt the wind through my hair. It was like a feeling of freedom.

As I think of situations in my life, I question: do we need to hang on tight or are we just going too fast? Moments are continuously passing us by. They are happening quickly right in front of us, and we can’t slow them down.

Our response to these uncontrollable changes may be to hang on tight for dear life. We may be hanging onto memories of the past. We may be hanging onto a certain belief system. We may be hanging onto a phase of life. The tighter we hold, the harder it becomes to let go.

Yet, if we begin to loosen our grip a bit, perhaps we can begin to experience life with a new perspective. We can savor the emotions in the moment whole heartedly. We can be present as we embrace the hugs of those we love. We can prepare for the changes ahead. What if, instead of hanging on tight, we let go and experience freedom.

KerryOn Questions

- What do the words hang on tight mean to you?

- Are there situations that cause you to hang on tight?

- How can you experience freedom and let go?

The Kerry behind KerryOn

My name is Kerry K. Fierke, Ed.D. (pron. Fear-Key) I have a unique combination of skills and experience – decades of fast-paced corporate experience in Fortune 100 companies and large health care organizations, combined with the academic rigor of a highly ranked research university. My focus is supporting others to create their own path to leadership development, lifelong learning, and a unique leadership legacy. Take a moment to focus on leadership, then KerryOn!

To see all KerryOn's and other leadership stuff, visit

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