“How did you have the guts to leave when you didn’t know what you would do next?” It was the most common question when I decided to move to the unknown with my career or relationship. And guess what? I didn’t have an idea how to answer that.
In a world that often celebrates commitment and perseverance, the idea of leaving can be seen as a sign of failure or giving up. However, there is a robust case for the underrated act of leaving. Whether leaving a toxic relationship, a soul-sucking job, an unfulfilling routine, or even a workplace that doesn’t align with our values, sometimes leaving is the most courageous and transformative choice we can make.
Letting Go and the Psychology of Leaving
Letting go refers to releasing attachments, thoughts, emotions, or situations that no longer serve us or cause distress. The psychology of letting go is a complex process that involves emotional, cognitive, and behavioral aspects. Since I could always improve at pinpointing and naming my feelings nor have a degree in Psychology, I will concentrate on the cases I have experienced in different roles in different organizations.
In the IT sector, employees often seek opportunities to work with cutting-edge technologies, engage in challenging projects, and expand their technical skills. Organizations that foster a culture of innovation and provide exciting projects will attract and retain IT talent. Understanding the business psychology of leaving can reveal the complex factors that influence career transitions.
Should I stay, or should I go
Deciding to jump toward something new can be exciting and challenging. It can be both exhilarating and daunting. But no, it won’t be painless and easy. It requires self-assurance, adaptability, and a willingness to embrace change. By taking thoughtful steps and being open to the possibilities, you can embark on a new adventure and explore the potential it holds for your personal and professional growth.
7 steps before the action
I mentioned that I had done this a few times. While you’re in the process, you don’t necessarily think these are the steps I need to make, or I didn’t. But afterwards, in my personal retrospective, I noticed similarities, and the process goes like this:
- Find you why through Self-Reflection
- Research and Exploration of the options
- Risks and Rewards assesment
- Goals and Expectations setting
- Plan and preparing
- Seek Support
- Embrace the Unknown
- TIme for Action
It starts from the small, something starts to bug you off more and more, and when you can’t tolerate it anymore, you need to take the time to reflect on your current situation and identify what you desire in the new opportunity. You start considering your values, passions, strengths, and long-term goals. Reflecting on your priorities and what truly matters will clarify and guide your decision-making.
Balancing Uncertainty and Potential
You find something interesting and start conducting thorough research about the new scenarios. You will gain a deep understanding of what it entails, its potential challenges, and its benefits. You start seeking information from reliable sources, network with people in the field, and explore related experiences or success stories to gather insights.
You can already see yourself more often in a new, more suitable situation. Then it hits you; I need to evaluate the potential risks and rewards associated with the new scenario. Whether it is the financial implications, potential impact on your personal life, or the level of uncertainty involved, you need to consider the effect.
This is when you start thinking if your plan was, after all a good idea. I remember that this was the most prolonged phase of my transformation. Trying to balance current reality and situation and new scenarios with identified risks. You either decide to go forward or continue wondering with means for me I either give up or start defining your goals and expectations for the new scenario. It’s like a business plan. You establish what you hope to achieve, both short-term and long-term. Setting realistic goals that could help you to stay focused and motivated throughout the journey.
Planning and Preparation
After bouncing back and forth few times I usually start intense, and passioned planning and preparation phase. I develop a plan for making the jump. I try to identify the steps you need to take, such as acquiring new skills, networking, updating your resume, or seeking additional education. I would even go with drafting a timeline. I have to say that I wasn’t always the best person to follow my own plan 🙂
At this point I also start to talk about my intentions with my friends who could provide guidance and support during the journey. Sometimes I’m looking for just someone to listen my plan and agrument the impossibility of it, and sometimes it’s the kick in the backside what I need.
The painful point of journey is when at some point, you recognize that you won’t have all the answers, you won’t be able to be fully prepared, and that embracing something new involves stepping into the unknown and taking calculated risks.
Over the cliff
The moment of truth. You’re set. This the most ready you’ll ever be. It’s time to take action. You have now evaluated the new opportunity, made necessary preparations, and sought support. Trust your decision-making and have confidence in your ability to navigate the challenges and embrace the new path.
After a few fresh starts, I would give myself one more reassurance: Finding your growth mindset and embracing the opportunities for learning and personal development will come with a unique experience. So trust in your abilities and the process.
The Power of Leaving and Embracing Change
The studies imply that every significant change in your life should teach you something. I have to admit, there has been times when I have had some difficulties in finding the silver linings of the events. But, thanks to the journeys I have recognized things that I have become good at; I have a prertty good skills in making the decision and surviving when jumping toward something new inherently involves an element of innovation. And I have received excellent feedback and results in fostering a culture of innovation and encouraging the pursuit of new opportunities and approaches. The other one is trusting my internal decision-making process and having confidence in my abilities when I step into unknown territory.
What’s the upside of leaving?
Leaving is underrated. It requires unique abilities, including self-awareness to understand our values and desires, courage to embrace the unknown, adaptability to navigate change, resilience to overcome challenges, and strategic decision-making to make informed choices that align with our personal and professional aspirations.
So next time you decide to leave ior leave something behind, do it with pride!