Not everyone or everything is a permanent fixture in our lives. Things change and people change. People, positions, and possessions can serve us well for a season or two and then it may be time to let it go. One of our greatest faults as human beings is holding on to people, places and things beyond their expiration date! You know what I’m talking about. You keep trying to make it work, to make it fit, to make it successful. The “It” can be a difficult person, relationship, problem, business, job or material possession.
Remember when you gave him another chance, even though you knew he was not sincere and did not have your best interest at heart? You didn’t want to start all over or to lose the time you’ve already invested. Or what about that job that is no longer a good fit? It is not fulfilling, and you hate getting out of the bed in the morning, yet, you continue to stay year after year because you are afraid of putting yourself back out there. What about that car payment that no longer fits your budget, but you refuse to downsize to something more affordable because you are scared of what other people might think? Whatever the scenario, you keep investing your love, time, energy, and money hoping that somehow, someday you will get different results.
Oftentimes we associate “letting go” with failure. We don’t want it to look like we couldn’t make it work. We don’t want to appear as if we made a bad decision or that we are in over our heads. We don’t want others to think we cannot handle our business or control the situation. While I believe that tenacity and perseverance have their place, I also believe in common sense, discernment and wisdom. Instead of letting go and pursuing other options, we continue to hang in there, work harder, and try harder and still not achieve our desired results. How do you know when enough is enough? How do you know when it is time to let go.
Here are 7 warning signs that it may be time to let it go, make some changes, and move on:
- The relationship/situation is no longer working for you and you experience more pain than joy.
- You dread getting out of the bed in the morning and having to face the relationship/situation.
- You go out of your way to avoid dealing with the relationship/situation.
- When dealing with the relationship/situation, you lack energy, focus and motivation.
- You did everything you could to make it work, but the relationship/situation hasn’t changed.
- When dealing with the relationship/situation, you feel nothing but stress, anxiety, and frustration.
- The relationship/situation is draining your life, energy, happiness, and your bank account.
We have to stop ignoring the red flags, flashing lights and warning signs. We all have an inner voice, what many people call their instinct or gut feeling. Deep down inside, we know when something is not right, when something is no longer working, or no longer serving its purpose. But instead of making changes, we make excuses as to why we should stay in a particular situation. We make sacrifices and learn to make do. Though we may complain from time to time, We become comfortable living unfulfilling lives with sporadic and fleeting moments of joy.
Life is short and time is a precious commodity that we can never get back. Instead of spending time and energy in a dead-end relationship, job or situation, think about what else you could accomplish with your time and energy. I think the renowned country singer, Kenny Rogers, said it best when he sang “You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away. The secret to survivin’ is knowin’ what to throw away and knowin’ what to keep.” Yes, we have to stop hanging on to people, places, and things beyond their expiration date. Sometimes it’s OK to let go and move on.
Tamara Hartley is speaker, author, advice columnist and personal success coach. She uses her personal life experiences and lessons learned to help others make critical decisions in their life, relationships and careers. Read her advice archives at www.YourAdviceGuru.com. Email questions [email protected] or on Twitter @DrTamaraHartley using the hashtag #AskTamara. As a personal success coach, Tamara works with individuals to help them find balance, make moves, and live their dreams. Learn more about her coaching programs at www.YourPersonalSuccessCoach.com.
By Tamara Hartley