Have you ever been told you need to let go of something in your life that’s not serving you? Or maybe you’ve been told you need to let go of things sooner because you hold on too tight and tend to dwell?
If you’re someone that struggles with either of these things, you’re not alone.
Whether it’s having to let go of a relationship, a job, or a home you’ve made so many memories in, or experiencing loss, letting go and being open to change is one of the most common parts of life people struggle with. Myself included.
In a climate where layoffs seem to be announced more often than we’ve been used to hearing in the last 2 years, sometimes a change presents itself and we’re forced to let go sooner than we’re ready to.
If there’s anything I’ve learned about letting go and embracing change, even when I wasn’t ready for it, it’s been there’s always something better around the corner. It’s the one thing I remind myself of today time and time again running my own business, where one opportunity doesn’t work out, I trust something bigger and better is on its way to me.
This applies to all areas of my life!
Maybe you’re in a place right now where you’re struggling with letting go of a job you love and had to walk away from, or maybe a relationship you didn’t decide to end, but it ended anyways, or maybe you experienced a loss or gearing up for a big move you’re just not ready for.
There are always signs trying to get our attention to tell us something needs to change, yet we resist because of the discomfort of feeling a host of emotions from grief, sadness, anger and a big one – fear.
Sometimes letting go is an act of far greater power then hanging on.
Whether it’s a relationship, a job or something else in your life, here are 5 signs of how to tell when it’s time to let go:
1. You’re feeling complacent or stagnant: this is usually obvious and can be so subtle you wouldn’t even consider it might be time for a change! If you’re normalizing feeling this way and thinking it’ll pass, it’s a good idea to take a minute and ask yourself what part of your life is making you feel this way. If it’s your work, for example, have you lost interest in what you do? Are you fulfilled or feel connected to the work you do? Do you feel like there’s a natural forward movement or are you finding yourself feeling like it’s Groundhog Day every day? Get honest with yourself and consider if it might be time to make a change or find a new opportunity.
2. You feel drained or depleted: whether it’s from the work you do, your relationships, or maybe it’s both, if you’re feeling drained by the end of your day, this is a clear sign something needs to change. When your work is regularly draining you, you’re likely on the way to burnout. There’s an imbalance and you’re overextending yourself, exerting more energy than you’re getting back. In other words, you’re putting too much into your work and you’re not replenishing yourself. Your relationships are the same. In order to feel a sense of balance, reciprocity is important and you want to ensure your relationships are not taking from your personal energy. This is a big one and very common so pay attention to how you feel!
3. Your needs are not being met: seems obvious, doesn’t it? But sometimes we overstay our welcome despite not getting what we need. We ignore the signs. We ignore how we feel, and we stay longer than we should, whether it be in a job or a relationship. Get clear on what you need to feel satisfied and fulfilled. If you don’t know, this would be the time to reflect on what those are. Don’t sell yourself short and settle because of the fear of having to make a difficult decision to move on if your needs are not being met.
4. Your fear of starting over: sometimes we stay in something longer than we need to because of the fear of starting over. In this case, you may have a nagging feeling it’s time to let go of something, but your fear is keeping you stuck where you are. Here’s the thing; we’re never really starting over. We’re bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience, hopefully, learned lessons and have an opportunity to do things better moving forward. Don’t let the fear of walking away from something or someone that’s no longer serving you keep you from potentially making the best decision for yourself.
5. You’re not being yourself: if you feel like you’ve lost a part of yourself, you’re not doing things you normally like to do, or you’re unhappy more times than not, it’s a good sign you may need to let go of something in your life. Is it a relationship? Is it a job that makes you feel like you’re not able to be yourself fully? No matter what it is in our life, our relationships and the work we do is meant to enhance who we are, not take away or make us feel bad for being who we are. Surround yourself with people and workplaces that value and accept who you are.
It’s important to note that sometimes, it’s not always the physical aspect of the letting go part people often struggle with, but the emotional residue that’s left and we hold onto longer than we should.
Overanalyzing or dwelling on how things should have been, could have been or why they didn’t happen another way, keeps you stuck in a mental loop that often keeps you closed off to anything new entering your life.
While these are signs to help bring attention to the parts of your life you may want to pay extra attention to, the act of letting go can sometimes come with a little more effort. The most important part is to decide you want to let go.
Decide you want better for yourself.
Decide you’re willing to let go and declare you’re open for bigger and better.
Not all things we let go of in our lifetime are equal in measure. Some are easier to let go of than others; when you’re letting go of something that weighs a little more on your heart, letting go happens as often and as long as you need to until you no longer feel it’s affecting you. Be patient and compassionate with yourself.
Be brave enough to let go of what no longer serves you and courageous enough to welcome what is!
With love and appreciation,