When You Want to Leave but You’re Afraid to Lose it All

June 3, 2015
When You Want to Leave but You’re Afraid to Risk it All

by Deborah A. Bailey

Back when I was in corporate I had a 4-hour round-trip commute everyday.

One day I was on the express train into NYC. Surrounded by other commuters, there were so many people in my car that I couldn’t lift my arm up to read my book.

Unable to move or do anything but endure the 40-minute ride, I made the decision.

I was done with this commute and done with corporate IT. After years of wanting to leave,  but being afraid to make the step, I was finally ready to quit.

I picked a date on the calendar, and made the decision, That day would be my last day as a full-time corporate employee.

By that point I was fed up and disgusted with my job and the lack of advancement. I didn’t care what I was giving up. I just wanted out.

A lot of the time we don’t call it quits until we’re too tired, too fed up, or too exhausted to do anything else. Instead of making a decision to make a fresh start, we wait and think, and wait and think, and think again.

We ask our friends, talk about it with anyone who will listen. We suffer through it and hope that things will get better without our having to change anything.

If you decide to go, what will you have to give up?

After I’d made my decision to leave corporate IT, a lot of emotions started coming up. My identity for a lot of years had been tied to my work as a computer programmer. What would I be once I walked away? How would I define myself?

It’s always better not to get to the point where you’re ready to run away screaming.But the fear of losing everything is a good motivator to stay in place and take it. Not to mention, if you’ve got possessions and responsibility, walking away isn’t so easy.

I’d like to say you can make a fresh start and it’ll be painless. But it won’t be.

Photo Credit: Chris JL via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Chris JL via Compfight cc

And you won’t realize just how attached to your situation you are until you’re forced to leave it. Even if it sucks, there’s a strange comfort in knowing what to expect.

Making a change doesn’t have to mean throwing everything out the window. Can you take it slowly? Take one step, then another and another.

Even if you take it slow, you will have to get used to a new normal. Things will change. But change doesn’t automatically mean losing all the things you want to keep.

However, some things you want to keep right now aren’t serving you. You just might not see that yet because you’re still attached.

Are you going to have to give up some things to let other things in? Most likely.

Will it hurt? Possibly. Depends on how ready you are to let go of what isn’t working anymore.

And you won’t know that until you decide to make a change.

Copyright © 2015 – 2018 Deborah A. Bailey


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Deborah A Bailey

Deborah is a writer, writing workshop presenter and published author. She's host of the Women Entrepreneurs Radio podcast.

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