Knowing when to stop

Sometimes we stay in jobs, relationships, collaborations or situations longer than what serves us. Something might have been a really good chance when we first got it offered, or we don’t have an immediate replacement to what we’re in so it feels too daunting to let it go just like that. Last week I stopped contributing to a website that I’ve been writing for the last year or so. Deep down I had felt the need to stop already back in December, but I didn’t really listen to myself, however after having to postpone a deadline twice I had to look inside and see what was going on. It was clear that I had been spreading myself too thin, being involved in many different things had me feel slightly paralyzed in my actions. I needed to cut down on things in order to focus.
 
In the past I’ve definitely stayed too long in things - maybe waiting until someone else takes the first move, until they let me go, or things get so bad that I need to make a change. I’m getting much better at realizing it earlier on and communicating it, but I still see myself dragging it out – a pattern that probably stems from not wanting to let people down.
 
I’m not saying we should drop everything as soon as it gets hard, not at all - but it’s about finding that fine balance where you take your inner nudge seriously as well as stepping up when needed. Only you know when the balance tips.

Image by Esther Tuttle

Image by Esther Tuttle

Tuning into sensations in the body helps me to understand:

  • When I stop something that’s no longer serves me, energy is released - I feel more energetic and light.

  • If I stay in something that doesn’t really serve me, energy is blocked - I will feel heavy and drained.


We live in a world that values doing over being, and we’re repeatedly encouraged to strive for external measurable accomplishments, so no wonder it’s easy to feel guilty when stopping or saying no. Time and time again I've needed to remind myself and others that in the end our own wellbeing is the foundation for our lives. 
 
When we get sick, or during winter when there’s naturally less energy, it might be more apparent what needs to go and what’s still in alignment.
 
Today I ask you: Are you holding onto something that you’d be better off letting go of?