A friend called me recently, in need of a sparring partner. For many years she has participated, happily, within a group. Recently she even held a position of authority within the group. And, doing so, she became painfully aware of a snake pit of jealousy, competition, and tension. She was no longer sure why she really participated in the group, it no longer brought her the simple pleasure of the beginning years. She discovered that she wasn’t the only person who felt this way. So she tried to use her position to change the situation. It didn’t help, it only got worse.
What a dilemma! She actually thought that maybe she just wasn’t ‘good enough’ to change things. It was so difficult to accept how powerless she felt. During our conversation, we both became aware of the fact that what she really wanted to do was to turn her back on the whole thing. This organization no longer fit how she wanted to live and work.
Deciding to walk away is a very, very difficult decision. Even when you feel that the situation is sucking all your energy from you and not giving anything back. This is true for group memberships, relationships, your workplace, etc. There are so many inner voices holding you back: the voice that tells you to be loyal, the voice that says that you haven’t tried hard enough, the voice that says that you expect too much…
It reminds me of a favorite saying of my, now deceased, stepfather: “Don’t be a quitter.” He was convinced that once you choose a course of action, you must stick to it. Entire countries do this – beginning a war and not being able to pull back.
Walking away from a situation that is not, or no longer, good for you requires insight, courage, and trust. Have you done what you can to change it? Without losing your integrity? Then turn around and walk away. Yes, it will hurt. Yes, you are worth it.
What voices hold you to situations that are not or no longer good for you? How do you deal with them?