Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Don't Give Up 5 Minutes Before the Miracle

"Don’t give up 5 minutes before the miracle"
--12 step program saying

Believe me when I tell you that I know what it feels like to want to give up on something. There have been so many times that I have felt that I could hardly bear to go on when it seemed like there was no hope left in a situation. The above saying has gotten me through many circumstances, when I truly believed in my heart that I was meant to complete something. Or Not. I have walked away from some things in life and though it was excruciating at the time, I knew in my soul that it was simply going to be it, or me. If there is one thing I know by having learned the hard way ... never, ever, EVER, sacrifice yourself for anything or anyone.

So how do we know when we should consider giving up on something because it’s for our own good?

For me, the answer is simple. If it is a circumstance that is harming me financially, emotionally, or physically, then no doubt, I need to change it, or give it up. It is always easy to tell when you’re at a breaking point because the stress you attempt to sweep under the carpet, will always play out on your health. For example, when I fight changing things that need to be changed, I will feel perpetually exhausted, or find myself in a lot of pain. Headaches are my true indicator. When this happens, I know it is time to take action and eliminate the source. If this is also you, then commit to make an action plan, and stick to it with dogged determination.

Six years ago, a client of mine had bought a hair salon in Manhattan. He had invested a lot of money and time in it. Within a year, it had begun to drain his finances, his joy, and his life force. His entitled employees did not treat him with respect. They did not treat the business with the care and loyalty he expected from them. In fact, everyone was making money but him.
I reminded him that the greatest predictor of future behavior is past behavior. He would have had to fire them all and start over. In my experience, unless it is a deep spiritual seeking, people do not change. Did he want to even do that (let them all go and find new people, spend time training them, only to find out only the faces had changed)? Was he up to it?

His dream was lost in his stress. He came to me for coaching on the situation. After a three consultations, it was clear to me that he was over it. He wanted out, but was stuck on frustrated because the money he had invested would be lost. When I asked him what was more important, the lost money, or having his personal well-being, his peace, and his joy back, his answer was swift. The money took a second place. So he closed the doors and never looked back. It took him a good while to pay debts but he was so happy to be rid of bummer employees, and walking through the doors of a place that brought him nothing but resentment, that he didn’t care.

Another option would have been to commit to it, but it was clear to me, he wanted it over. He just needed permission to be okay with it, and not feel like a quitter. Like him, I did not see any miracles on the horizon. The financial and personal commitment would be huge, and the risk was also huge. I blessed his decision and he immediately looked like the world had been lifted off of his shoulders.

That was six years ago. The other day he called just to check in, and reported that he eventually started a new business that brought him the outcome he had come to realize he deserved.

Being in a bad business (or any other) situation is like being in a bad relationship. It will not get better. You can only do your best. It has proven itself.

So if you know you have done your best, and yet you still feel as my friend had felt, then you might want to take the leap of letting go. The miracle might just well be somewhere else, with new circumstances, armed with the mistakes of the past, as a loving and learning guide. When the door slams shut, take a break, ask yourself these questions (and write down the answers) and then feel your way through it.

1. What’s the best thing that can happen if I change or let go of this situation?
2. What’s the worst thing that can happen if I change or let go of this situation?
3. Can I live with that?

Remember, like any bad relationship, stop trying to think your way through it. You’ve most likely worn yourself out thinking about it already. Your heart will almost always screw you over, but your gut will save you.

Now take a nice deep breath. You deserve it. Sometimes the miracle is right around the corner, in a new circumstance. Have courage, you are an amazing being with smarts and strength and a razor sharp intuition. You just forgot!

Love For Sure,

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