If you’re anything like me, knowing when to say when is often a challenge. I mean, if you love someone shouldn’t you be able to make the relationship work? If you believe in the vision, shouldn’t you stick it out until that vision becomes a reality? Good people, virtuous people, inspiring people never quit.
Or do they?
When is quitting, walking away, crying ‘UNCLE!’, the most loving thing you can do?
And when does staying, toughing it out, pushing through it become an act of self-sabotage and self-torture?
Enter: my daughter’s brand spanking new public Montessori charter school.
The vision? Amazing.
The teachers? Exceptional.
The parent community? Inspiring.
The reality of the day to day life for my daughter? Terrifying. (Really.)
I remember sending her off for her first day of kindergarten in the Fall of last year. She was so filled with enthusiasm and glee. Here we were being pioneers, hopping on board the maiden voyage through uncharted territory in such a diverse community. The seas started getting rough when her head teacher ended up on medical leave before the holiday break. Her classroom filled with kindergartners, 1st and 2nd graders began to spiral out of control. Behaviors began to escalate, kids were acting out, work stopped getting done and teachers started looking like the walking dead. Things were getting unsafe for our daughter.
So what did I do? I enrolled my inner activist, my inner fixer, and organized volunteers. We had parents in the classroom to help every day and I myself started volunteering multiple days a week. Before I knew it my life had been hijacked…it was all consuming. The organizing, the email chains, the meetings with the principal. Not to mention the sleepless nights, the sheer anxiety, the feelings of sorrow for the kids that were acting out in crazy ways (think throwing stuff, kicking teachers and running out the classroom) and the pit in my stomach when I dropped off my daughter not knowing if she was going to be in harm’s way. (Please note that this account is specific to my daughter and her classroom at the school. Other classrooms I hear are doing fantastic, so please take my experience as just that…mine.)
Perhaps you can relate? Maybe you’re in a relationship that you KNOW isn’t right anymore? Or you’ve remained one year (or ten years) too long at that “golden handcuffs” job? Or you’ve outgrown the city you live in like 20 years ago?
So how do you know when to say when? What are the signs that it’s time to yell “I QUIT!” at the top of your lungs? Here’s what I’ve discovered on my own journey and through coaching lots of clients over the past 13 years:
It’s Time to QUIT
|It’s Time to STAY
When you think of leaving, you feel relieved.
When you think of leaving, you feel regretful.
Your trusted loved ones look at you like you’re crazy.
Your trusted loved ones feel inspired by you.
You’re pretending not to know it’s time to leave.
You’re pretending not to know it’s time to trust.
You feel worried, anxiety ridden & hopeless.
You feel nervous, excited and optimistic.
Leaving feels loving.
Leaving feels like sabotage.
You need permission to quit.
You need permission to stay.
Staying feels insane.
Staying feels brave.
Please note: you may fall into the It’s Time to Stay category today and 3 months (or 3 days or 3 minutes) from now find yourself in the It’s Time to Quit place. This is about following your Inner Wisdom!
For me and my husband, once we found out that our head teacher had resigned, we immediately knew it was time to leave. So we did just that. Annabella started a new school yesterday, and as we sat there observing her sing “I’m a Little Teacup” with her classmates, I felt choked up. Ah…this is what kindergarten is supposed to feel like. Like a fuzzy blanket on a chilly morning.
And then I went home and sobbed for the kids in this country who will never have that experience in their public school (or even at home). I will keep supporting a major revolution in public schools in this country and her old school’s vision,, following my Inner Wisdom, making the biggest difference I can. While still putting my daughter’s needs and well being first. What I know is that I can’t BE the change if I’m filled with anxiety and panic, can I?
In the words of Kenny Rogers, “You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away, know when to run.” (Insert fabulous dance break here.)
What about you? Where do you need permission to quit in your life? Where do you know in your heart it’s time to stay? Let me know your thoughts below 🙂
Filled with peace of mind,
P.S. Especially for all HIGH ACHIEVING women and women aching to break out of the GOLDEN HANDCUFFS, join me TONIGHT at 5pm PT/8pm ET for my special tele-jam with my soul sister, Christine Arylo:
“Trading your Golden Handcuffs & Achievement Junkie Habits for a Golden Life”
This call will inspire you to really GET the golden keys to breaking free and setting up a life that truly nourishes you.
GO HERE to register now to attend live or grab the recording.