If there’s one thing for sure, life IS change. Nothing stays the same. Even when you’re standing still you’re evolving and moving forward. As you evolve, certain people and situations that once served as positive influences in your life can turn unhealthy or even toxic. When this happens it’s time to say, “I quit.”
Our culture is a breeding ground for the proverbial, when the going get’s tough the tough gets going attitude. Most people stay in toxic situations way too long; tolerating behaviors and environments that literally have the power to suck the life out of New York City. Why? At the core, most people don’t want to be perceived as a failure, the fool, non-dependable or uncaring. So rather than quitting and moving toward healthier new beginnings, they stick it out in hopes that the clouds will clear and the toxic situation will get better. Rather than sunshine and clear skies, the situation only gets more toxic.
Here’s the deal: quitting is okay. Not only is it okay, it’s absolutely necessary if you want a healthier happier life. That said, I get it. Leaving a toxic situation is hard and damn scary–especially when it’s tied to your dream. A dream of a specific career path, that certain relationship, or becoming that image you’ve been striving toward for years. For those of you who like the straight and narrow path, the thought of changing course before realizing your dream makes you feel like someone is twisting your heart and stomach into a pretzel–making you want to throw-up at the very thought of walking away. Ironically, the toxic situation or relationship that has you hanging on with an iron fist gives you the same sick feeling. The difference: the sick feeling turns to relief and freedom when you walk away. When you stay, you get to carry that sick feeling with you everywhere you go–forever.
One of the scariest parts of quitting an unhealthy situation and relationship is often the thought of losing your identify. We think things like, if I change course now, who will I be? Who will I become? Will I make the wrong turn and lose out on what may have been? I’ve invested so much of my time, if I change course now will I have wasted all that energy and effort? Oh God! Anything but that! The reality: if you quit, you get to live a new dream that’s better than anything you’ve ever imagined.
The hardest part of quitting a dream and opening yourself up to a new beginning (no matter how beautiful that new beginning may be) is mourning your vision of what could have been. It’s no different from mourning the death of a good friend. Your vision, idea or dream has been with you a great deal of time. Acknowledge your feeling of loss. Honor yourself, your strength and your courage. Then let it go in gratitude. Once you’ve given yourself time to feel at peace, start walking forward–and know that you did the right thing.
Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Visit Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.