It’s the sad reality of life that there are times when we just have to let go and move on. This is true not only in romantic partnerships, but in work situations, living conditions, professional relationships, friendships as well. Even investments and tangible possessions can be difficult to let go of despite how destructive or demanding they might have become.

Should I stay or go? Buy or sell? Stick it out or throw in the towel? Tough choices. It’s a kind of balance between perseverance and self-preservation.

What often makes the problem worse is that while we may intellectually understand this life truth, it’s hard for us to practice. Oh, we can easily see and readily point out to others when it’s time for them to move on, but when it comes to ourselves, it’s more difficult to recognize when it’s time to say goodbye.

Signs it’s time to move on

1. When you feel disrespected or unheard

Each one of us has a fundamental need to be respected and listened to.

2. When you repetitively give more than you take

Though we should not be keeping score, there has to be a balance of give and take over the long haul.

3. When you think about the past more than the present

You can’t live in the past. If thinking about memories of the past is more pleasant than the living in the present, then either you’re glorifying the past or there is something seriously wrong with the present situation.

4. When you feel mentally and physically exhausted constantly

Life is work, and it’s truly exhausting at times, but that shouldn’t be the norm. If you’re always drained, it’s a problem.

5. When you cry more than you laugh

While we are bound to feel pain, and hurt feelings occasionally, laughter and smiles should outnumber the tears.

6. When you feel anger more often than you feel love

Anger is a part of life. People make us mad sometimes, especially those we care about. And life circumstances can be very infuriating, but love should be the default, not anger.

7. When you find yourself hoping that tomorrow will be better, day after day after day

Hope sustains us; life would be nothing without, but if we are perpetually so miserable that we keep hoping tomorrow will be better, then we need to take a look at how we’re living today.

8. When you find yourself thinking, “Things would be better if only they would change…”

We can’t change other people. Nor can we hang our happiness on someone else’s behavior. We need to accept reality. We are responsible for our own happiness and if we can’t be happy and healthy with the way things are, then we need to move on.

9. When you have to hide who you really are to be accepted or loved

Whatever the situation, if you can’t fully express yourself and be who you truly are then it’s not sustainable.

10. When you are repeatedly rescuing, covering for or fixing messes.

The knight in shining armor gets old eventually. Though you may be the big sister, reliable friend, the go-to one who has it all together, that doesn’t mean that you should constantly step in and fix things. If you let people take advantage of you it becomes and unhealthy pattern.

11. When you have lost all joy and passion that used to be there.

We all go through lulls, periods of dullness or get stuck in a rut, but if enthusiasm and joy is truly gone then let it go.

12. When you are made to feel “less than,” or not good enough.

Never let anyone make you feel inferior, not a boss, a lover, a friend, a coworker or colleague. You are just as valuable as everyone else is. You are inherently worthy and good enough just be being you.

13. When you become perpetually resentful, frustrated, or bored

Resentment and frustration may not feel like an emergency, but if those feelings are chronic, they can undermine your entire quality of life. It’s like living life with a constant weight on your back. You can’t be happy or healthy until you put that burden down.

14. When you find yourself in a situation that causes more pain than happiness

Pain is inevitable, but it shouldn’t overshadow happiness. When pain is a constant companion, or when it’s inflicted on you deliberately, it’s time to let go of whatever or whomever is causing it.

15. When you realize the only thing holding you back is fear of the unknown

Uncertainty is scary and often because of that, we choose to stay in an unhappy situation because we fear what comes next, what’s behind the other door. But if we’re clinging to what we know because we’re afraid of what we don’t it’s a clear sign that we need to let go.

16. When you stop having fun

Life is not always fun and certainly nothing is fun all of the time. But we can try to find enjoyment in every way we can. If he or she or they or it no longer makes you smile, then it’s time to go.

17. When you can no longer grow as a person

Life is about growth. We are continuously changing, growing, and moving forward, learning, stretching who we are and who we can be. If you feel stunted, stifled, caged in a box of sameness then for your own sanity and wellbeing you need to make a change as fast as you can.

18. When you have this persistent niggling feeling that there is a better life for you out there

Are you plagued by the thought that there is something more for you, that you deserve better, that you might be settling for mediocre or a substandard life?  Those thoughts, that underlying feeling and desire might mean it’s time for a change.

19. When you repetitively have to justify to yourself and others why you can’t let go

Justifications, making excuses, looking for reasons to rationalize why you’re clinging to something or someone that isn’t working, healthy, sustainable is never good, especially if your reason is because “I’ve already invested so much time…or money…” That’s never a good enough justification to throw away more.

20. When you can’t be the best possible version of yourself

The right person, the right job, good friends and such should bring out the best in you…not the worst.

21. When you feel a tenacious, nagging ache in your gut telling you something is wrong

Your gut usually knows before your brain does…and it’s also generally more reliable. We can sense things with our instincts that our brains either don’t pick up on or refuse to see. So, if you have a sinking feeling in your gut…listen to it…and move on.

Featured photo credit: Walk Away by lo_lozd via flic.kr

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