Do You Know When It’s Time to Leave?
Sally (not her real name) attended my Do-Over! mini-retreat in mid-May. She just sent this update, which is a great reminder to all of us why it’s important to step away from organizations and people who don’t encourage or energize us:
“What resonated the most for me during the Do-Over mini-retreat was the concept of habitat–the environment and conditions to best support you. While exploring this more in-depth that day, I realized I needed to surround myself with peers who understood what I wanted to achieve and who were capable of supporting me intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.
I had recently attempted to network with some professional people in my field but found they “took” what energy, guidance, and volunteer hours I gave them but did not reciprocate in kind or attempt to support my fledgling business. I struggled with the disappointment of having expectations of people who proved to be incapable of this support and exchange. I found myself almost paralyzed by it. Thus, the main goal I had for the retreat was to get me “unstuck.”
Let me tell you what happened the very next day after attending the retreat. I received an e-mail announcement sent to the 600 members of the professional group in which I had been involved. It was a poorly worded litany of excuses as to why they were postponing the annual gala and other events. It confirmed to me I needed to move on from this entire group.”
As soon as Sally made that decision, she met Karen, a fellow businesswoman who was aligned with and excited by Sally’s enterprise.
“That was four weeks ago. I am now on Karen’s board of directors and have started lining up grant money for her. Our businesses should complement each other well. I have scheduled a meeting of my foundation’s board of directors with renewed motivation and clearer direction.”
Thanks, Sally, for sharing your story. It’s a vivid reminder that an important part of reinventing our life is clearing out the deadwood. Sometimes that’s a challenge, because the deadwood is a person or group we’ve been attached to for a long time. Knowing when to leave is not just an essential social skill; it’s a Do-Over! talent, as well.