“Do what makes you happy” is life advice that’s easier said than done. Whoever coined this phrase may never have had a miserable job, crappy relationship, or frenemy in his life.
The best advice anyone has ever given me is that if something in life makes you unhappy, change it. Usually, this may mean quitting that miserable job, breaking up with your crappy boyfriend or girlfriend, or cutting ties with a frenemy.
I’ve been guilty of staying unhappy too long. Why? My guess is that I’m afraid of change, and proactively changing situations, even unhappy ones, is daunting. The unknown is a big question mark. Instead of answering the question (Will this change make me happier?), I’ve chosen to let the red flags wave in my face. Instead of walking away, I remained stagnant, frozen at the thought of taking control of my own happiness.
While in these situations, I always knew what I had to do to be happier. The problem was taking action. It was like procrastinating on an essay. It was on my to-do list; I’d get around to it, but the task was unappealing. I’d feel better, relieved, once it was done, but I just couldn’t get started. I waited until just before the deadline.
How do you know when you’ve reached your limit? How do you know when the deadline for quitting your job, your relationship, or friendship is past due? Here’s my list:
You know you need a change…
1. When “We Are Never Getting Back Together” (or any Taylor Swift break up song) is your relationship anthem.
2. When you throw up every morning before work.
3. When your friend gossips so much that you wonder what she says about YOU.
4. When your boyfriend or girlfriend says you need a “break” (you’re in a long distance relationship).
5. When Saturday and Sunday are “recovery” days from the work week.
6. When a phone call from your friend sends you into panic mode.
7. When drugs or alcohol is your boyfriend’s number one priority.
8. When your job gives you nightmares.
9. When you’d rather stay in watching Netflix than go out with your friend…every time he wants to hang out.
10. When the happy moments of your relationship are a thing of the past.
11. When complaining about work becomes a form of therapy.
12. When drama is devouring the friendship.
This list may seem like common sense to some people, but quitting takes courage. Walking away from a relationship you devoted years to is painful. Quitting a job is dangerous if you don’t have a new one lined up. Cutting ties with a friend could leave you feeling lonely. Sometimes we stay behind the closed door because we’re afraid of what’s on the other side. But honestly, I’d rather walk through that door and find out.