I’ve written a few posts lately on setting goals, evaluating your life, or dealing with Burn Out. Even if you follow all that advice, or use it to carve your own path, sometimes we still feel like enough is enough and we want out.
It’s okay to feel that way. Think of it like the automatic shut off in a car’s engine. If the engine gets too hot, the car shuts off. If you get too overloaded, your brain raises a white flag.
Give yourself permission to let go.
So, now what?
If you have really, honestly let go of the stress and pressure, you should feel relived. Maybe a part of you feels guilty, but just squash that for now. Pretend that you are on vacation, on an island in the middle of nowhere. Let your mind wander and just relax.
Once you feel no more stress, listen.
What to listen to before quitting
Listen to yourself. You know the truth if you are ready to walk away. Just keep these four things in mind.
1) The voice you listen to shouldn’t be coming from your head.
Remember that guilty feeling? That’s all coming from your head. Your left and right brains will argue until Judgment Day if you let them. Stop listening to your head when you are ready to quit.
Your head will just remind you (in that nasal voice you hate so much) that you have too much to do to quit. That might be true. But it doesn’t matter. It will tell you that everyone feels this way, but you’re better than they are. This might also be true. But this doesn’t matter either.
Listen to your heart, or better yet, your gut. Listen to what drives you, or what your instinct tells you. Your heart or gut will tell you the truth, regardless of time constraints, stress levels, and responsibilities. It is only when you know the truth that you can access moving forward or moving on.
2) What the voice says should be worth it.
Quit or stay, you should feel as if it is a worthy decision. Since you aren’t listening to your head, you won’t feel obligated.
3) It should also be inspiring.
Whatever your heart or gut tells you should be inspiring. It should drive you, passionately, towards whichever axis it deems most important. If your heart or gut tells you to move on, it should be telling you in a way that makes all the guilt and back and forth sound like background noise. Once you are listening to it, you should know, better than anyone, what your path should be.
4) And it should make you feel satisfied.
When you listen to your heart or your gut, you will feel satisfied. Even if you still feel stressed or guilty (depending on if the answer is stay or go, respectively) you will be satisfied that this is the right decision.
Are you sure this works?
I know this sounds super simple and even a little hokey. Let me let you in on a little secret: it worked for me no more than a week ago.
I’ve been feeling way too overloaded lately. The Universe decided that this last week was a great time to pick on me. I won’t bore you with the details, but Friday afternoon I was just ready to quit blogging, quit writing, and just focus on work because it was the only thing doing something.
I let the stress go. I breathed. It was wonderful.
Suddenly I had an idea for a blog post. I started writing it while hanging on for dear life on a standing-room-only commuter bus going up I-5 at speeds that would give your grandmother a fright.
I gave up, but my gut told me I wasn’t done. And that it had something me for me to say.
It works. Believe me.
How many times have you been ready to walk away lately? Give yourself permission. If your heart or gut still wants you to keep doing it, you’ll keep doing it even with permission to stop.