Episode 67: At What Point?
Have you ever found yourself asking, “At what point do I…?”
At what point is enough enough?
At what point do I leave?
At what point do you quit and walk away?
I hear it all the time from clients that are at their edge and feeling exasperated, discouraged, and frustrated. They NEED something to change, but they’re not sure they want THAT change, so they ask me, “At what point do I…?” and I tell them all the SAME THING, and every single time they’re able to move forward CONFIDENTLY, having their own back, and best of all feeling good about their choice. Want to know what I tell them? It’s pretty profound – tune in! If you’ve ever found yourself asking that question, spinning in confusion and indecision, then you’ll want to join
I’ve been thinking about this topic for a while and wanted to put it out here because it shows up in so many ways. This question shows up in your home life, in your relationships, “At what point should I leave or be done?”, “how much should I put up with?” “how long do I hold on to hope that they’ll change, and this will all be different?”. This question shows up when deciding on moving or buying a new car. It can show up in callings and positions you hold.
Any time you’re thinking about making a decision that feels big to you, this question might pop up, so I want to help you out with the “At what point” question so you can cultivate confidence and feel good about your choice.
When people come to me with this question, it’s really because they’re unhappy with how things currently are, they want relief and change, they want something or someone to be different, but they don’t really know if they want to change. They don’t know if leaving is the “right” answer. So what generally happens is they go back and forth from one side to the other, indulging in indecision and confusion, and it just makes even more thought drama.
When they come to me like this, I always tell them they’re not ready to make that decision, and I’ll tell you why in case you find yourself in the same boat. Your brain loves an either/or choice. It keeps it simple, clean, helps you to constrain, and you tend to make a choice without expending a lot of energy. But the reality is there are 1000’s of choices, alternate paths, options, and creative venues that you could explore. Your brain doesn’t like that because one of its main jobs is to conserve energy. You only have so much mental energy, and your brain trying to keep you alive and save some of that brain juice in case you need it likes to constrain.
So in times like this where you’re faced with a big decision, or where you want a big change from something or someone, we don’t always see the 1000’s of other options. We only see the should I stay or should I go?
But when you ask that, it feels scary because it’s a big decision and you don’t know if you really want that decision. You just know that you want something to change.
For a lot of us in that boat, the “at what point” question isn’t relevant yet. It’s not the next question to be answered in part because there isn’t a set point, and there’s a bit of work that needs to happen first before you even start to entertain that question.
First, you need to acknowledge why the question is coming up in the first place. You’re unhappy with how things are, and you want something or someone to change, right?
The “at what point” comes in when really you’re not asking yourself if you should stay or go – you’re really asking yourself just how much should I tolerate? It’s really, “at what point is enough enough?” And that’s a different question entirely. So the first step is to look inward and do some digging.
What do you think is the problem?
What do you think you want to be different?
What change are you thinking/dreaming of?
Basically, why is this question coming up at all? I had a calling once that I really struggled with. I struggled with the people I was working closely with. I didn’t like being in that setting. It was pre-coaching, and I was a total mess because it required a lot of thought work and mental energy to be in that space that I didn’t know how to give at that time. But it’s a calling, so how do you say no to a calling? Or at least that’s what I thought then.
So I spent a ridiculous amount of time dreaming of a different or alternative to what I was currently living. I asked myself this question a lot, “at what point is it enough that I go and ask to be released? At what point have I had enough? At what point have I done my duty, and it’s okay to be released?” I had these thoughts swirling in my head, and it was taxing, and I felt miserable.
I knew I wanted a change. I knew I wanted – at the time, thought I needed something and those someones to be different. I was constantly dreaming of other callings, other areas that I would thrive in, and all of that just made where I was even more difficult. I wasn’t ready for the “at what point” question yet because I wasn’t even sure what I really wanted.
If you’ve been with me for a little while, you’ll know these two golden questions:
1.) What do you think you want? like, what would be the ideal?
And at that time, it was to be released, to not have to work with certain people, to not have that calling anymore
That’s really what I thought I wanted, and the second question is even more prevalent than the first because it gets to the heart of what you truly want:
2.) If I had that, how do I think I’d feel?
And looking back because I didn’t have these tools then but looking back, I think what I’d have answered with is valued. I wanted to be valued and I didn’t think I was. I had a lot of thoughts and feelings at that time, and I felt underutilized, unappreciated, but mostly, I didn’t feel valued.
So many of us think that changing the circumstance will change how we feel.
If we leave the relationship, the house, the friendship, the job, the calling, then we think the negative feeling goes away as well. And it does at first.
At first, what you feel isn’t what you really want or need. I wanted to feel valued, and I didn’t feel valued when I left. I felt relieved.
That’s what you feel at first. Relief. But that relief has a short shelf-life. It doesn’t last long, and then you’ve created a new dilemma and new thought drama.
I’ve shared this before, but it’s so profound. Pema Chodron says, “Nothing goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.”
This is why many times you’ll leave a job or relationship only to find yourself back in another one with the same problems. You might move across the country, and still you find your problems follow you. That’s because the problem was never with the circumstance in the first place.
The problem isn’t your friend, your spouse, your job, your house, or your calling. The only problem there is in your mind, and once you’re able to sort that out, then you can make sound decisions, confident decisions, and move forward into progression.
I have a general rule of thumb when it comes to changing things – especially big things. It keeps you from making rash decisions that you might regret later. It’s simply this:
Before you leave it, can you learn to love it first?
Say whaaaaaat??? I know for some of you in this boat right now you’re like, no thank you. Why would I want to love something that I’m at my breaking point with?
And that’s really it. Making decisions from your almost breaking point isn’t a great place to be making big decisions from because it’ll almost always be fear-based and out of scarcity or lack. This isn’t a space you want to operate from or decide your future from.
Coming from love allows you to see the whole picture, realize you’re not missing anything. It’s abundant – this is where you want to make big decisions from. This is really where you want to make all decisions from.
So before you leave it, your work is to learn to love it.
I know that’s difficult to hear for a lot of you. You’re in so much pain that the notion of loving something or someone first is almost unbearable but let me explain before you turn me off. This love doesn’t mean you’re condoning anything or endorsing anything.
It means that you love yourself enough to create your own relief now, your own peace of mind first, that you’re invested in the relationship you have with you first. This looks like asking yourself those two questions and understanding what you really need and what you’re really seeking.
In a relationship, it’s never the other person that makes us feel anything but rather our thoughts about them.
I struggled with that calling so much because I thought the other people “should” be different. They shouldn’t talk about the things they talked about or handle situations the way they did. I had a lot of should’s and shouldn’ts, but really, all that was was my expectations and thoughts about them.
My thoughts about them created how I felt about them and my calling.
My thoughts created how I felt.
It wasn’t the calling I needed relief from but rather my thoughts about it.
It’s not your marriage you’re struggling with.
It’s not the area that you live in.
It’s not your boss or your friend or family member.
You do need relief, but it’s not from anything outside of you.
You need relief from your thoughts. You need relief from the inside.
And thankfully, this isn’t something you ever have to wait for. You’re the only one that has that power to change how you feel, and it starts with your thoughts.
Get to know yourself. Listen to all your complaints. Ask yourself those two golden questions and discover what it is you really need.
I needed to feel valued, and I tried outsourcing that to these other people who just aren’t capable of giving that to me, so no matter what I did, how hard I tried, how earnestly I showed up, nothing mattered because they could never make me feel what I needed to feel. It was an inside job. It had to start with me.
When you look inside and listen to yourself, listen to your needs and acknowledge them, change starts happening. When you ask yourself those two golden questions and start working on that need, how can I feel valued now? – your world starts changing.
When you don’t need anything from them anymore, it makes the decision to stay or leave so much easier. You’re no longer operating from fear or seeking relief. You’re not in a hurry to leave it – that’s a tell-tale sign you’re not ready to leave btw – but rather that You’re able to see it all as a whole. You’re able to appreciate things that before were blocked from you.
You’re able to learn to love it and then decide to leave it.
There doesn’t have to be a reason why you leave something or someone. A lot of times, we mistakenly think that there needs to be something big or catastrophic that happens, and then you’ll know, now it’s okay to leave! But this isn’t true. You always have the option to stay or go. Always.
There doesn’t have to be a reason – sometimes, we think it needs to be understood or validated, but it doesn’t. You don’t need people to understand you or your decision. You can love it and still leave it.
I had a beautiful friendship for many, many years. I loved this soul with all my heart, and on countless occasions, I felt hurt that that love wasn’t reciprocated. There were times that this person would pop into my life and be amazing, and I’d feel so connected to her until she got what she wanted, and then she was gone, and this pattern happened again and again and again.
And at times, I thought, for sure this time I’m done. You know, at what point is enough enough? I wanted to make the decision to be done, but I didn’t really. I wanted relief. I wanted to stop the painful track in my head that said she’s just using you. I was in a hurry to change my relationship status with her so that I could feel better, but none of that is necessary.
You don’t need anyone or anything to be different for you to feel how you want to feel. Instead of thinking things need to change on the outside for you to feel better, you need to look inward. Looking inward, asking yourself what you need, what you want, and taking care of yourself is what creates that solid ground. It’s how you create and cultivate confidence.
I learned that I could love this friend and still choose to leave it. She didn’t need to be different. Terrible words didn’t need to be said. No contention or confusion needed to take place. The only thing that changed was my thoughts.
When I stopped needing things from her and turned inward; instead I could want things from her but not be distraught when it didn’t happen. I could see her for who she was and appreciate her and her uniqueness. I could appreciate her struggles and her triumphs.
And here’s the beautiful thing with this process too – when you love something, you never really leave it. You just morph into something more beautiful. The roles change, so in that sense, you’re leaving, but you’re still able to hold onto beautiful thoughts about them and about what you had together.
When it comes to the “at what point” question – the answer is there isn’t a set point. There isn’t a specific line that once crossed, you’re done. You get to be done with something whenever you want to be.
So I guess the answer to that is when you want to be. When you decide to be. But I invite you to learn to love it before you leave it that way, there’s no regrets. That way, you’re operating from your highest self and making decisions from an abundant space and not a needy, scared, fearful, on the breaking point space.
If you can’t get to love, if you can’t love it before you leave it, then you need to stop and question why.
With my friend, I was so upset and hurt for all the time and years that I put into our friendship and how disappointed I was that I felt she was just taking and leaving each time that I got coaching on it, and my coach was able to show me something I wasn’t able to see myself, and I’m so grateful for it. This is why coaching is so invaluable. There are often times things that you can’t see for yourself that are holding you back – get coaching. It’s life-changing, and it was in this case too.
I was so focused on her needing to be different, to reciprocate in some ways that I didn’t see how that friendship was really happening for me. I was so focused on all that was happening to me. I needed someone to love during that time. I needed someone to serve and do kind things for. I needed someone to help me become the person that I love.
I love serving. I love sharing. I love being able to love hard on my people. She gave me that. I thought I needed her to reciprocate for it to be valid and for me to feel valued, but I didn’t. I needed to see my efforts and appreciate my efforts. I needed to value me. The more I focused on that aspect, the more I could appreciate her and our time together. I just needed to slow down and widen my perspective, so I could get to love, find my way to love, and how beautifully abundant love is.
Love is always an option. Always.
You can love the house and still want to leave it.
You can love the relationship and still choose to go.
You can love your career and still decide to change it.
You can love your calling and still ask to be released.
Here’s the thing to think about though, you have to make sure you really like your decisions and thoughts about leaving. The more you like your reasons why, the easier it will be to let others not understand you – because they won’t understand you, and that’s okay. When you understand you, you don’t need them to understand you.
When you’re making a decision or thinking about making a decision for the change, you need to watch out for these warning signs:
1.) are you in a hurry?
2.) are you seeking relief?
3.) are you needing someone or something to change so you can feel better?
4.) are you worried or afraid?
5.) are you looking for a “right” or “wrong” answer?
If yes to any of those, you’re not ready to make that big decision yet. Pause. Breathe. Look inward. Go back to the two golden questions and find out what you really need first.
If you can answer these questions, you’re ready:
1.) Do you love it (or them)?
2.) Do you want to leave it because you want to and not because you need to?
3.) Can you look back and see how this was all for you and not happening to you?
4.) Do you really like your reasons for leaving?
5.) Are you able to make the decision without needing to justify it to anyone else? In other words, are you able to let people be wrong about you?
This is how you know when you’re ready to address the “at what point” question. It’s such a beautiful and liberating space to be able to love something and then still decide to leave it, and a lot of it is because you’re not really leaving it. It’s still a part of you. You love that season, that place, that job, that person that helped you become who you are today, the you you love so much.
Coming from this space leaves no room for doubt or fear. It’s coming from certainty – from confidence. When you’re confident in your decision, you’re able to let people be confused, to not understand, to argue with you, and tell you you’re making the wrong choice. When you’re certain, you can love them anyway.
You don’t ever have to be in a hurry to change something. You have all the time in the world. Leaving something can be a beautiful thing and can lead to growth that could only happen this way but also learning how to stay until you love it is one of the most refining experiences a person can make because you’re asking yourself to be a bigger person, one who wants what’s best in the long run and not what they want right now. Take the time to do the work, so you’re not getting to your breaking point – breaking points are not the place to leave from. There never is a set “at what point” it’s all up to you. You are the catalyst.
Okay, you guys. That’s what I’ve got for you this week! Have an amazing time, and I’ll see you next week!