Last month I was happy to share the celebration of my 10-year marriage to Scott. Yet marriage is only one example of making commitments. This month I’ll share another type of situation where I had to make a hard decision. Some of you may be able to relate.
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Deciding to move on can be just as difficult as staying. If the decision only affects you, it may not be that hard. But what happens if your action impacts others…especially people who have come to depend on you? For example, one problem business owners face is finding workers who commit to their jobs. Some employees simply stop showing up. Volunteer work has no pay so people can be even less committed. Or how about ghosting? Texting paves the way for people to simply opt out of any interaction. Think about it. If someone ends a commitment that involves you, it can really hurt.
Recently I had to make a decision that was difficult. For almost two years, I had been doing a volunteer activity that was starting to feel non-productive. At the time I made the commitment, it was the right thing to do. I was helping others and at the same time, it helped me connect with others and grow. Unfortunately, the dynamic within the situation had grown stale. I knew we could make some changes to better accomplish our aims. I did bring this up, more than once, and offered suggestions of how we could do better. Unfortunately, I wasn’t being heard.
The thought of moving on was hard because when I commit, I mean it. I also understand that when I feel a need to make a change, others can be impacted. This is where Boundaries has been so valuable.
As I wrote two years ago, saying “no” to a situation was extremely difficult. I was afraid of what others would think and how they would react. And what would they think about me?
Does this sound familiar?
Another issue is failure. If I quit, am I a failure? The fear of failing often keeps people in places where they really shouldn’t stay. Yet failure is feedback. It helps you determine what success can really be. So how do you choose to move on? Here are a few questions for self-reflection and to help you make your tough decision.
First, understand what has changed…or not changed. In other words, what is happening in the situation, and how does it continue to align with your priorities?
Second, how is this impacting your relationship with those you committed to? Is the dynamic between you still positive, negative, or simply stagnant?
There’s a big difference between getting to do something and having to do something. If pleasing others is making you miserable, it’s time to evaluate what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. People tend to succeed faster and better when each day is an opportunity – rather than a task.
Be sure not to fall into the “blame game.” We are the common denominator in our lives, and we need to do our part. If the reason you want out is due to someone else, you owe it to them to let them know. If they don’t change, then it’s probably time to move on.
Don’t forget that you still have a responsibility to step away without leaving those affected in the lurch. This isn’t the time to simply not show up. Make sure you do it with dignity, both for yourself and for the others who might be affected.
In summary, making a commitment is serious and should be a win-win situation. If that changes, it’s important to understand what is happening and see if it can be altered. However, after doing your soul searching and trying everything you can to remedy the situation, make sure you give others the opportunity to absorb your loss as early as possible.
Have you had, or are you in a situation where you need to make a choice? Maybe you know someone else experiencing this. Please feel free to pass this on and as always, I’m available by phone or text at 480-684-2866.