I wish there was an easy, multiple choice test a person could take to determine if it is time to leave a relationship, change jobs, close a business, walk away from an alcoholic spouse, etc.… Unfortunately, no such test exists. And, even if it did, we would still question the results. So, how can you tell if it’s time to move on?
When you begin to notice that you are dissatisfied with your current situation, you will start to consider making a change. When the circumstance you are in becomes more painful than the future you fear, or the guilt that has a grip on you, you will think about change even more. As you begin to think more about change, your mind will go to war with itself. You’ll tell yourself that no relationship is perfect, and all relationships take work. You’ll second guess yourself… have I given my spouse enough time to get his anger under control? You’ll convince yourself that the next promotion at work will be yours or you will tell yourself you’ll never find another job that pays as well as the one you have. These are places where most of us get stuck.
As difficult as your current situation may be, it is comfortable. You may try to think your way out of your comfort trap, but this is not typically a problem our logical minds can solve. Fear and guilt are in the driver’s seat and they won’t give up control without a fight. Determination and bravery supported by a healthy dose of faith, are required when you don’t know where you are going, but you know you can’t stay where you are. When it comes to making a change, most of us take two steps forward and one step back. This could go on for weeks, months or even years.
One of the ways you can get unstuck and move yourself forward, is to picture something better on the other side of your present circumstance. Something you can only have if you let go of what you have and break through the invisible walls that hold you back. Once you have that vision, you will need to take some action, no matter how small, to begin to let go of the attachments that hold you in place.
Start with your fears. Consider all the reasons you don’t want to stay where you are and all the reasons you are afraid to leave. Examine and break down these ideas to uncover the actions you could take to loosen their grip on you. Most fears are based on imagined outcomes. Test them to find out if they are true. If you are afraid you won’t be able to find a better job, begin to look online for job openings, send your resume out or visit a career coach. This is also an action step someone could take who hasn’t worked in years, but needs to get a job in order to leave a bad marriage.
The thought of change can fill you with uncertainty. The solution is to do what you know to do now and have faith that you will know what to do in-the-moment, in the future. If you wait to feel one hundred percent sure before you start the process, you will never start.
When is enough, enough? When you say it is.