Learning when it’s time to walk away

Whether in your personal or professional life, determining when you should walk away can sometimes feel overwhelming. The constant back and forth of should you or shouldn’t you can affect all aspects of your life including your health, productivity and focus.

So what are some of the warning signs you should walk away?

You feel taken for granted.

This has to be the one feeling I hate the most. When you begin feeling as though your partner, friend, coworker or boss see you only as a commodity whose value is to serve them, you should seriously consider whether you should remain in that relationship. Regardless of the circumstances, everyone has the right to feel appreciated for more than what they can provide.

There should be fulfillment, at some level, in every relationship. If you feel under appreciated and taken for granted, it’s time to consider walking away.

The relationship is unequal.

There are times in every professional and personal relationship when things can feel out of balance. Perhaps one party is going through something in life or business that requires you to give more but this should only be a season, not the norm. If your career demands everything out of you but does not give you anything back outside of a paycheck, do you really want to stay there for the rest of your life? If someone in your life demands everything out of you and is not there to support, care for or love you back, don’t you feel you deserve more?

Sometimes finding the right balance in life is understanding which person or entity is depositing as much as they are withdrawing out of your life account.

You’ve lost that loving feeling.

Again, there are highs and lows in every aspect of life, so you should not make a permanent decision based on temporary circumstances. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you or the other party seems to have lost the passion, you may consider walking away. Sometimes there is just no more energy in the tank left to revive something that is dying.

This circumstance is most likely the hardest for those of us who are driver minded. We tend to stay in situations because we do not like giving up and are loyal to a fault. My challenge to you is to remind yourself of your value over your loyalty. After all, loyalty should be given and received in equal proportions.

So what now?

Speaking from experience, the decision to walk away will be hard and fraught with anxiety, especially if you care deeply for the other person or the company. I have found that shifting your mindset from being anxious toward growth helps tremendously. So as you go through this difficult transition, here are some things to remind yourself:

  • You are valuable and there is someone or something that will see that value and reward it. Push through.
  • The road less traveled is often lonely but it always results in growth, transformation and self-discovery. The rewards at the end of that lonely road will surely outweigh the pain it takes to get to there.
  • Stay the course. You will be tempted to go back to the disfunction you are used to because it feels safe. Many times, we stay so long in the wrong relationships or companies that we get the Stockholm syndrome. Avoid returning to the situation that has taken so much from you and stay the course.

Sometimes walking away has nothing to do with weakness, and everything to do with strength. We walk away not because we want others to realize out worth and value, but because we finally realize our own. -Robert Tew

I hope my advice helps you during this time. There are several books I have read and would like to share with you as you begin your journey.

Published by Trent Cotton

I joined the HR industry in 2004 after working as a sales leader in the Financial Services Industry for eight years. After spending his first couple of years in HR trying to fit in, I found my voice. Now I leverage all of the things I once hated about HR to become a consultant and invaluable partner to the businesses I support. My passion to lead, innovate and engage the HR industry. I use my blog at NakedHR.me to reach thousands of readers and provides unique insights into a range of HR and business topics. I currently write for NakedHR.me and SprintRecruiting.com. I contribute to the HRGazzette and to DataDrivenInvestor on Medium. WARNING: my writing style is raw and in your face, not what you would expect from an HR executive. Connect with me on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/trentcotton or on Twitter @TrentCotton.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: