Almost everything in life is uncertain – unplanned events, such as redundancy, illness, death and divorce can come knocking at our door at any moment, and it’s hard to know how we’ll react until we have no other choice.
These moments in life will happen, and we will all experience upset and stress. Normally we will carry on, we’ll push through and grow ever stronger.
But when is it time to move on, and when is making a big life change the right thing to do?
Often it feels like ‘giving up is not an option’. But, sometimes, holding on to something can be doing more harm than good. If it’s affecting our health and happiness, it may be time to sit down and consider why we’re not giving up and if it’s worth the trouble.
Life is a balance. We balance education, careers, family life, social life, relationships and so much more, but many of us can forget to include our own health and well-being. The main focus of life should be your own health and happiness, and change shouldn’t only be considered when it’s gone too far and everything comes crashing down.
So when is it time to move on?
Relationships, careers and where we live are big parts of our lives but even these can be outgrown. We may stick with a relationship because we have no reason for being unhappy and we might continue in a job because it pays well, despite being filled with dread every morning. But if you want a change, you shouldn’t have to justify it with a reason – if you’re unhappy, that’s reason enough.
We fear the unknown. So, changing jobs, moving to a new country where nobody knows you or ending a relationship is difficult to grasp and understand. But, sometimes this needs to be done, and whatever life moment has led you here, it has led you here for a reason.
While everyone will be different, there are some common feelings that signal it might be time to move on, including:
- When the situation causes you more upset than happiness.
- When you’re constantly hoping or pleading for a person, place or situation to change.
- When you feel alone, unheard or like you have no purpose.
- If you’ve become bored or resentful toward the person/situation.
- When the situation is holding you back from being who you want to be.
- When you’re crying more than laughing or smiling.
- When you’ve lost your passion for what you used to enjoy.
- When you’re feeling exhausted – emotionally and physically.
- If your physical or emotional health is being affected.
- When you believe in a better life for yourself.
Knowing you want a change, but not knowing how or feeling like you can’t, can be very stressful. You may feel guilty and ashamed for letting others down, but remember that you deserve happiness too. Talk to somebody you trust about how you feel or consider talking to a professional.
We all need a helping hand from time to time, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Sometimes there are things we aren’t ready or able to discuss with friends or family members, so consider speaking to a professional counsellor or life coach. They can help you overcome the guilt you may be feeling, and address any underlying concerns that may have led you down this path. They can also be the support you need to take the step to follow your own happiness.