Cut Ties To Get Away From The Negative Sooner Rather Than Later

Leadership Lesson: For your own benefit, and that of your stakeholders, you need to monitor what’s working for you — and what’s not — so that you’re not utilizing a disproportionate amount of your resources in an area with a low rate of return on your energy, value, and effort.

Do you hold on to the negative for too long? Do you keep such a long-lasting grip on things that aren’t working out, whether they’re in your personal life, work, or leadership?

After ongoing discussions in sessions, too many coaching clients discover – and then admit — that they put too much time and attention into the wrong areas of their lives. They begin to see that they tend to wait too long to walk away from situations in their environments that either don’t add value or siphon it off. This also may apply to some of the people around them who have an adverse impact on them.

Related: The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck (Podcast Episode)

Such self-realization and awareness by clients can be achieved by merely asking them the right questions. At a certain point, this outside inquiry triggers internal self-discovery. In their heart of hearts, they realize what they’ve been doing — or allowing.

Whether it is working with people or projects, we need to be aware of the value we’re putting into something, while monitoring the value we’re receiving. Do you have a sense for what the opportunity cost is in anything you’re doing – meaning what you’re losing out on by not doing something different which could provide more value? It’s important to Monitor Your Tolerations (Item on The Self 60).

Some people stick things out for the wrong reasons. They feel compelled out of a sense of seeing things through, or they don’t want to let people down, or they have a never-say-die competitive spirit, or they don’t want to look like a quitter . The list can go on and on, the reasoning varying from one person to the next. But what’s worse — perceiving these feelings now or actually seeing where your current, uncertain path is going to take you? It’s important to Pick and Choose Your Battles (Item on The Self 60).

Related: There’s A Difference Between “Quitting” And Doing What’s Best For You

We only get one life. And in that life we can do whatever we want (within reason…and the law). And throughout that life, at any given moment, we’re given constant opportunities and access to change our story, shifting the narrative and altering our course. There is too much out there to be discovered for us to sit and settle in an environment that’s not delivering the kind of happiness or satisfaction we deserve or want for ourselves. So, keeping that in mind, be sure to consider everything and…

Listen To Your Gut

It’s important to monitor how you feel about the situation at hand. We have to break down what our gut is telling us and weigh it against the facts in the environment. Depending on the situation, we tend to get a good or poor sensation in our gut, and it’s usually – if you look back at your own life and experiences – a good indicator of the way things are bound to go. That sensation is usually a great barometer of how things will play out.

Be Selfish

This doesn’t mean take everything – all the value, benefits, and advantage – for yourself. But you need to avoid what is either a detriment against you or what is slowly costing you value, whether it’s being taken from you or its value you forgo somewhere else. You can’t deliver for others if you’re not delivering for yourself, depriving yourself of the optimum position to achieve your best.

Look For Other Opportunities

Keep your eyes open for situations or people in your environment with which you can partake in a solid, value-exchanging relationship. Life and career should always be about improving, whether in huge leaps or small steps. You should always seek to work toward a better position, whatever that may mean specifically for you.

You should continue to assess and reassess on a regular basis, to make sure there isn’t another, better opportunity out there waiting to be taken by you. The move to that better opportunity benefits everyone. You yourself gain better value. Your next relationship(s), partnership(s), or environment(s) also gain from your value. The environment you leave will also have a better opportunity to gain, since something in that environment is limiting you, restricting your efforts and what you can contribute.

Don’t Play It Comfortable

Some people may say this one should read Don’t Play It Safe, but that’s not really this point’s intent. You should play it safe, assuring your life and work’s own stability, strength, and security remain firm. In that process, you monitor your environment and safeguard your resources. There’s nothing wrong with that.

What you can’t do is play it comfortable. You can’t become complacent with where you are. You can’t not move forward because of how comfortable you feel in your current spot. Complacency and failure to act will only yield you as much value as the effort you put in, so that path is a dead end. You need to realize what it is you want, what kind of fight it requires, and determine, after reconciling the two, what kind of commitment you’re ready and willing to make to it.


Don’t wait too long to make changes in your life, work, or leadership you feel or discover are needed. The world is too big, and there are too many people and opportunities in it to anchor yourself to something that is not allowing you to deliver your best self.

People may see this shift in priorities as a lack of loyalty. But loyalty is one thing, while avoiding detriment to your growth is quite another. You should be fair, balanced, and reasonable to both yourself and others. Deliver for others but not at the expense of your own health and viability.

People may also see this shift in strategy as a lack of grit and resilience. But grit and resilience should only exist when you’re working toward the right goal and in the right environment. It makes no sense to work your hardest in a toxic environment.

You need to keep the correct path to your goals in sight.

If you hold on to the wrong type of situation for too long, you’re losing sight of yourself and forfeiting your best future.


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