How To Know It's Time To Leave [A Job, Relationship, Country]
Yesterday I arrived in Ubud, the second week of my month-long trip and it hasn’t been altogether pleasant. But I feel like Ubud is that kind of place - it’s a spiritual vortex that gives you exactly what you need, not necessarily what you want. And I feel like something I would like to work on inside myself right now is patience. I arrived to my hotel yesterday afternoon and had pre-arranged a scooter with the hotel, so I could head to a coaches meet-up which was happening at Outpost (a co-working space in Bali). One of the staff had taken off somewhere with my scooter, leaving me to miss the event. Patience. Defeated, I walked to dinner at my favourite Ubud restaurant - Clear Kafe - and was surprised to find it heaving at 5pm. Patience. Waited what felt like an age for someone to notice me and take my order. Patience. Today, unhappy with my hotel (the smell, the noise, the darkness of my room) I’ve decided to switch hotels, cos ain’t nobody got time to be unhappy and unimpressed on holiday.
But today I want to share with you what I’ve learnt about knowing when it’s time to call deuces on something; a job, relationship, living situation etc. It’s a question I get asked often and one I can speak to as someone who has moved countries six times now, first moving to the Gold Coast, Australia at 19—fresh out of Uni. Then on to Sydney to chase my first true love who went M.I.A as soon as I arrived. (He was on the run from the law a lot.) Then back to New Zealand to “get a real job”, back to Sydney with a boyfriend, to London, back to Sydney, and finally, where I’ve now settled, back in New Zealand.
At 24, I moved to Sydney with my then boyfriend, Mike. Two years in we were super close, but I knew that my love for him had grown into more of a best friendship than a relationship with long-term prospects. It took me six months of knowing that we weren’t right for each other for me to actually grow a pair and tell him I was done. But only after moving into the spare room, and spending a horrifically awkward Christmas with both of our families visiting from NZ. I’d never really been a ‘tear the Bandaid off’ kinda gal, and that came from a distinct lack of trust within myself that I knew I was doing the right thing. With a great deal of my coaching clients, it’s the exact same: lack of inner trust.
And then, in my early thirties, when the love of my life cheated on me—I stayed in the relationship because I felt powerless to leave. The truth was, I was powerless. I had such little self-worth that I believed I’d never find anyone else if I left. Three years ago, I wasn’t in my power—at all. I didn’t even know what that was.
Exactly a year ago, I left my corporate job, started my blog and my coaching business, but it took me six months of relentless anxiety, adrenal fatigue and apathy to gain the courage to turn my back on what I’d always known. What my parents believed to be a great career. What all of my friends thought looked like I was ‘killing it’. But I wasn’t turning my back on anything; I was turning my front towards my dreams. What I learnt throughout that experience, as well as working with mentors and coaches on my journey, is why I am making it my life’s work to help others find their joy. Because I truly believe that things could have ended much differently for me had I not listened to those nudges and taken the leap at the beginning of 2018.
But the cold, hard truth is that you know when it’s time. If you’ve even asked me, or someone else, this question—you know. It’s just a matter of quietening the noise (I’ve given examples below), owning your power and taking the leap. The Universe has a crazy way of rising up to catch you when you do.
Here is what I believe stands in our way of knowing when to call it quits on something:
Fear of failure
If we choose option A, what if it turns out wrong? The fact is, there is no such thing as a wrong choice. It’s what we do with the outcome of each choice that really matters. It can either be an incredibly rich catalyst for growth, or it can be a disaster. It’s all a matter of perspective. Sure, if a business actually fails it’s hard to not see that as a failure, but you can also see it as a redirection to something that is more in alignment. A failure is just information that perhaps we were out of integrity somewhere and ol’ Universe is gently (or not) guiding us home. I’ll be that 99% of your fear is bedded in what your parents, friends or strangers are going to think of you if things go tits up. But, what will you think of you if you never take risks in the pursuit of your dreams? That’s the real question here.
Attachment to an outcome
When we attach to an outcome, we have a very specific idea of how we want (I mean need!) something to work out, (plus when and who with etc etc), taking us out of a space of trust and surrender which is the belief that the Universe is looking out for us and will give us everything we need. When we have a fixed vision of how something needs to work out, we set ourselves up for disappointment when it doesn’t work out exactly as planned. Attachment also means that we are acting from a place of scarcity; because we’re focusing on the fact that we don’t yet have that thing, rather than being grateful for what we do have and acting from that space of gratitude and abundance. So, set an intention for what you want to happen (e.g. “I want the best possible outcome for all in this decision that I am making”) be grateful for what you currently have, and sit back and let the Universe do her work.
Lack of self-worth
Our low self-worth might tell us that there’s nothing better out there. This is particularly true for relationships. It can be easy to choose to ‘settle’ in a relationship for fear that we won’t get anything better. But settling sends the message and energy out there that we don’t feel worthy. Ergo, low self-worth creates more things to have low-self worth about. Make it your daily non-negotiable to do exercises that boost your self-worth. Look in the mirror and say “I love you, I accept you, I respect you, I am” twenty times. maintaining eye contact with yourself. Surround yourself with people who boost your self-esteem, and remove anything from your environment that hinders it: Instagram accounts, toxic people, junk food, gossip magazines etc. Get out there, exercise, meditate, take baths and fill up your self-love cup on the daily. If you’re a journaller, you can set a timer and spend 15 minutes writing all of the things you are worthy for. I am worthy of….. I am worthy of……. This exercise rewires your neural pathways and helps you find more things to be worthy of in your life.
Not listening to intuition
One of the first things I dig into with my coaching clients is intuition. A women’s intuition is her birthright and a gift, but so often it’s a skill that has been neglected and silenced. We drown out our gut instincts with ‘practicalities’ and ‘shoulds’ rather than trusting the signals from the Divine for what they are. So start listening to your body and notice how it is responding to certain ideas or feelings. Do you tense up when you think of pursuing a particular path, or do you feel spacious, relaxed and free with another? Meditation is a great way to get in touch with your intuition, so chuck on some Insight Timer and introduce 10 minutes of medi time, twice a day.
You have a fixed mindset
With a fixed mindset, a term coined by Carol Dweck in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, people believe that their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. The opposite of this is a growth mindset, where someone embraces their perfections, views challenges as opportunities, and stops seeking approval from others. So how do you change your mindset from fixed to growth? Firstly, adopt the belief that you can grow. Cultivate an environment that is optimal for growth: surround yourself with smart people who have what you want, work with a coach or mentor, listen to podcasts, and stop taking advice from people who don’t have what you want, or aren’t going where you want to go (i.e. your parents and your best friend Brenda the know-it-all.)
And there you have it. Easy, right? I hope that this was really helpful. I’d love to hear if there is a big decision in your life that you are currently making. Share it in the comments below, or send me an email. Big love from me and Mama Bali xo