One of the hardest decisions we face in our lives is knowing when to quit. We humans are creatures of habit and, thus, we have a tendency to cling to outdated concepts, routines, relationships, and believes; a comfort zone that we do not want to leave even though it has grown toxic to the extend that we only hurt ourselves (and possibly others). This applies to any sort of interpersonal as well as professional relationship, and most importantly, our relationship to ourselves that we tend to neglect and abandon repeatedly in an effort to please others. When things start to grow sour, i.e. toxic, we need to step back and reflect on the situation as well as on ourselves.
Questions to consider:
- How do I feel emotionally, mentally, and physically in the current situation?
- Do I loathe waking up in the morning and start the day?
- How do I feel when I look in the mirror?
- What are my (long-term) needs, goals, and wishes?
- Am I able to reach my full potential in the current situation?
- Is the current situation holding me back otherwise?
- What are my boundaries and deal breakers?
- Am I or other people getting hurt under the current circumstances?
- Have issues been addressed and changes been made accordingly or am I trapped in a vicious, unchanging cycle?
I am frequently reflecting on these things and decide which new route I should take. Our mere ability to change, reach our full potential, and live a successful and happy life frightens many, while it is tempting at the same time.
People remain in toxic situations at home or at work for many reasons. It can be our societal pressure to succeed, the belief that common obligations such as a marriage, children, or a work in progress force us to stay, or previous conditioning that led to a perfectionist or undeserving mindset; all of this has truly nothing to do with us individually though and so we get stuck in our comfort zones that are nothing but uncomfortable.
The mistake many people are making is to compare “quitting” and leaving an unhealthy situation out of strength to “giving up” and leaving out of weakness. It is the push-and-pull of yearning for independence and relying on the safety that co-dependency brings with it. At one point, however, most people reach what is known to be a breaking point. It is when their level of exhaustion leads to inevitable change and awakening. Why not reflect on it today?