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It’s Time To Let Go And Move On When You Experience These 21 Things

It’s Time To Let Go And Move On When You Experience These 21 Things

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

More by this author

Royale Scuderi

A creative strategist, consultant and writer who specializes in cultivating human potential for happiness, health and fulfillment.

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Last Updated on December 4, 2020

How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

We all crave constructive feedback. We want to know not just what we’re doing well but also what we could be doing better.

However, giving and getting constructive feedback isn’t just some feel-good exercise. In the workplace, it’s part and parcel of how companies grow.

Let’s take a closer look.

Why Constructive Feedback Is Critical

A culture of feedback benefits individuals on a team and the team itself. Constructive feedback has the following effects:

Builds Workers’ Skills

Think about the last time you made a mistake. Did you come away from it feeling attacked—a key marker of destructive feedback—or did you feel like you learned something new?

Every time a team member learns something, they become more valuable to the business. The range of tasks they can tackle increases. Over time, they make fewer mistakes, require less supervision, and become more willing to ask for help.

Boosts Employee Loyalty

Constructive feedback is a two-way street. Employees want to receive it, but they also want the feedback they give to be taken seriously.

If employees see their constructive feedback ignored, they may take it to mean they aren’t a valued part of the team. Nine in ten employees say they’d be more likely to stick with a company that takes and acts on their feedback.[1]

Strengthens Team Bonds

Without trust, teams cannot function. Constructive feedback builds trust because it shows that the giver of the feedback cares about the success of the recipient.

However, for constructive feedback to work its magic, both sides have to assume good intentions. Those giving the feedback must genuinely want to help, and those getting it has to assume that the goal is to build them up rather than to tear them down.

Promotes Mentorship

There’s nothing wrong with a single round of constructive feedback. But when it really makes a difference is when it’s repeated—continuous, constructive feedback is the bread and butter of mentorship.

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Be the change you want to see on your team. Give constructive feedback often and authentically, and others will naturally start to see you as a mentor.

Clearly, constructive feedback is something most teams could use more of. But how do you actually give it?

How to Give Constructive Feedback

Giving constructive feedback is tricky. Get it wrong, and your message might fall on deaf ears. Get it really wrong, and you could sow distrust or create tension across the entire team.

Here are ways to give constructive feedback properly:

1. Listen First

Often, what you perceive as a mistake is a decision someone made for a good reason. Listening is the key to effective communication.

Seek to understand: how did the other person arrive at her choice or action?

You could say:

  • “Help me understand your thought process.”
  • “What led you to take that step?”
  • “What’s your perspective?”

2. Lead With a Compliment

In school, you might have heard it called the “sandwich method”: Before (and ideally, after) giving difficult feedback, share a compliment. That signals to the recipient that you value their work.

You could say:

  • “Great design. Can we see it with a different font?”
  • “Good thinking. What if we tried this?”

3. Address the Wider Team

Sometimes, constructive feedback is best given indirectly. If your comment could benefit others on the team, or if the person whom you’re really speaking to might take it the wrong way, try communicating your feedback in a group setting.

You could say:

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  • “Let’s think through this together.”
  • “I want everyone to see . . .”

4. Ask How You Can Help

When you’re on a team, you’re all in it together. When a mistake happens, you have to realize that everyone—not just the person who made it—has a role in fixing it. Give constructive feedback in a way that recognizes this dynamic.

You could say:

  • “What can I do to support you?”
  • “How can I make your life easier?
  • “Is there something I could do better?”

5. Give Examples

To be useful, constructive feedback needs to be concrete. Illustrate your advice by pointing to an ideal.

What should the end result look like? Who has the process down pat?

You could say:

  • “I wanted to show you . . .”
  • “This is what I’d like yours to look like.”
  • “This is a perfect example.”
  • “My ideal is . . .”

6. Be Empathetic

Even when there’s trust in a team, mistakes can be embarrassing. Lessons can be hard to swallow. Constructive feedback is more likely to be taken to heart when it’s accompanied by empathy.

You could say:

  • “I know it’s hard to hear.”
  • “I understand.”
  • “I’m sorry.”

7. Smile

Management consultancies like Credera teach that communication is a combination of the content, delivery, and presentation.[2] When giving constructive feedback, make sure your body language is as positive as your message. Your smile is one of your best tools for getting constructive feedback to connect.

8. Be Grateful

When you’re frustrated about a mistake, it can be tough to see the silver lining. But you don’t have to look that hard. Every constructive feedback session is a chance for the team to get better and grow closer.

You could say:

  • “I’m glad you brought this up.”
  • “We all learned an important lesson.”
  • “I love improving as a team.”

9. Avoid Accusations

Giving tough feedback without losing your cool is one of the toughest parts of working with others. Great leaders and project managers get upset at the mistake, not the person who made it.[3]

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You could say:

  • “We all make mistakes.”
  • “I know you did your best.”
  • “I don’t hold it against you.”

10. Take Responsibility

More often than not, mistakes are made because of miscommunications Recognize your own role in them.

Could you have been clearer in your directions? Did you set the other person up for success?

You could say:

  • “I should have . . .”
  • “Next time, I’ll . . .”

11. Time it Right

Constructive feedback shouldn’t catch people off guard. Don’t give it while everyone is packing up to leave work. Don’t interrupt a good lunch conversation.

If in doubt, ask the person to whom you’re giving feedback to schedule the session themselves. Encourage them to choose a time when they’ll be able to focus on the conversation rather than their next task.

12. Use Their Name

When you hear your name, your ears naturally perk up. Use that when giving constructive feedback. Just remember that constructive feedback should be personalized, not personal.

You could say:

  • “Bob, I wanted to chat through . . .”
  • “Does that make sense, Jesse?”

13. Suggest, Don’t Order

When you give constructive feedback, it’s important not to be adversarial. The very act of giving feedback recognizes that the person who made the mistake had a choice—and when the situation comes up again, they’ll be able to choose differently.

You could say:

  • “Next time, I suggest . . .”
  • “Try it this way.”
  • “Are you on board with that?”

14. Be Brief

Even when given empathetically, constructive feedback can be uncomfortable to receive. Get your message across, make sure there are no hard feelings, and move on.

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One exception? If the feedback isn’t understood, make clear that you have plenty of time for questions. Rushing through what’s clearly an open conversation is disrespectful and discouraging.

15. Follow Up

Not all lessons are learned immediately. After giving a member of your team constructive feedback, follow it up with an email. Make sure you’re just as respectful and helpful in your written feedback as you are on your verbal communication.

You could say:

  • “I wanted to recap . . .”
  • “Thanks for chatting with me about . . .”
  • “Did that make sense?”

16. Expect Improvement

Although you should always deliver constructive feedback in a supportive manner, you should also expect to see it implemented. If it’s a long-term issue, set milestones.

By what date would you like to see what sort of improvement? How will you measure that improvement?

You could say:

  • “I’d like to see you . . .”
  • “Let’s check back in after . . .”
  • “I’m expecting you to . . .”
  • “Let’s make a dent in that by . . .”

17. Give Second Chances

Giving feedback, no matter how constructive, is a waste of time if you don’t provide an opportunity to implement it. Don’t set up a “gotcha” moment, but do tap the recipient of your feedback next time a similar task comes up.

You could say:

  • “I know you’ll rock it next time.”
  • “I’d love to see you try again.”
  • “Let’s give it another go.”

Final Thoughts

Constructive feedback is not an easy nut to crack. If you don’t give it well, then maybe it’s time to get some. Never be afraid to ask.

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Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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