Are You Holding on Too Tight?

I think most of us have been there. There’s a goal we’ve been committed to reaching–that doesn’t line up with our talents and resources. Or a relationship that we’ve invested a lot of time and love in–that isn’t supporting us back.  Does that sound familiar? Maybe these sentences will ring a bell:

  • I know that someday things will get better.
  • I’ve already spent so much (time, money, hope, love, you name it).
  • What if I let this go and it’s the best I could have gotten?

That last one.  That’s the kicker. Fear can be an incredibly powerful force in our lives.So many of us hold tight to a course of action, a plan, or a relationship–long after it has become an unhealthy part of our lives.  And the thing that keeps us stuck is a deep fear that there is nothing better for us.  That we don’t deserve a fulfilling job or a healthy relationship. Fear that trying will end in falling on our faces. Fear of the unknown.  That fear keeps us trapped in patterns that aren’t paying off.  And at the risk of triggering an endless brain-loop of a certain popular song, I respond to that fear with this:

I have talked before about how important it is to try something different.  But time and time again, in the office, I find myself sitting with someone who is really struggling to pry their emotional fingers off of the less-than-rewarding choices that they are holding in a fear-based stranglehold.

Let me be clear here.  I’m not talking about walking away from something when it gets hard.  Everything that is worthwhile (job, relationships, even adventures) includes some work and sacrifice.  Something being hard isn’t a signal to walk away.  It’s a signal to re-evaluate.  Re-evaluating can mean that you change your approach, that you find a new way to communicate or ignite your passion.

All too often though, I hear people decide that, if what they are doing isn’t working, what they need to do is just try harder.  At the same thing.  At the same job. At the same conversation.  At the same argument.

That about sums it up.

A big part of my work is supporting sanity and sane choices.  So, today, I’m inviting you to consider.  Is there something in your life that fits this criteria?  Is there an area where you are holding on too tight?  Why?  What is driving that choice?

It’s possible that some small changes might make a big difference.  Or it’s possible that you might be facing the need to make a big change.  If you need support in those areas, please feel free to reach out to me.  If you want a cheering section, please feel free to share in the comments.

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