Holding On Too Long

Holding On Too Long

 “I think the most reliable way to take a good thing and make it go bad is to hold onto it too long. So you’ve got to let it go.” (Louis C.K.)


I think about this a lot – not this exact quote, but this idea.  I think about how hard it is to leave something you love.  I think about how scary it is to give up something that means a lot to you.  And mostly I think about how it requires tremendous strength and a grounding of oneself to do it.  In order to leave something, you have to have faith that something else awesome is waiting for you.  You have to believe you’ll love something else as much as you love this.  You have to know you’ll be okay without this.


It is hard.  I think because when we are wrapped up in love and joy for a place, a person, an experience or an entity, we can’t imagine anything being as good, but later when we think about it and look back on things, we see that so many other things were as good.  Or can be as good.


But, still, it takes strength to make a big change.


I collect a lot of thoughts on this idea:


“In my heart, I know it is time for someone else to have that opportunity.” (Jon Stewart)


“You cannot depend on people to let you know when you need to go to that next level because people love you till you leave.  When you’re walking upstairs, the stair that squeaks is the one you left, and you have to realize that when you’re getting ready to move on, you get the most noise and the most turbulence from the step you stepped away from, not the step you stepped toward.” (Bishop T.D. Jakes)


“Am I really doing what I want to do today because I want to do it or am I doing it because it’s what I was doing yesterday?” (Dr. Phil McGraw)


“I also think it’s possible to be called away from things I have been called to in the past.  I’ve been powerfully called to some things and just as powerfully been called away from them. There are goodbyes and hellos in our callings.” (Barbara Brown Taylor)


“I had come to the point where I had grown as much as I could grow in that space, and I could feel the energy of my life pulling me in another direction.  That’s how you know when it’s time to move: you can feel the energy of your life pulling you in a different direction.” (Oprah Winfrey)


These words do not necessarily make the idea of walking away something any less unsettling, but I think they help create perspective – and I know for sure they help empower me.  These thoughts also help to center me in this intention, despite how hard it may be: I don’t ever want to be the one holding on too long and turning a good thing into a bad.





37 Things I Know for Sure

Another year, another thing I know for sure! Well of course it’s more than one, but I narrowed it down to what I thought was the most important addition for this purpose (I was that surprised it was not already on the list), and I also made a few small edits to the previous 36. Yay 37! 🙂 




37 Things I Know for Sure

  1. “When people show you who they are, believe them.” –Maya Angelou
  2. Be intentional. Know what you’re doing and why – and own it when something does not go exactly how you intended.
  3. Operating out of fear creates stress and tension for you and everyone around you.
  4. Love is in the details.
  5. There are three ways to be when leaving something (a place, a job, et cetera): act like you don’t care/have a screw them mentality; act as if you’re not leaving/so that people wonder, “She knows this is her last month here, right?”; or just be chill, do your best as usual and have only good intentions for what you’re leaving. Choose the third option, please.
  6. Accepting that something isn’t the right thing for you is very hard, but sometimes very necessary.
  7. Using people’s names in conversation builds connection.
  8. If you can do it, do it (whatever it is – for you or for others).
  9. Always take the opportunity to tell someone you’re appreciative, grateful, happy, and/or better off because of him/her. (“Celebrate what you want to see more of.” –Tom Peters)
  10. Validate. Say thank you.
  11. Being truly empathetic is about showing up, listening, hearing, being there; it’s not about problem-solving.
  12. Technology is a tool – for efficiency, for connection. It’s not for exclusivity or rudeness.
  13. Discretion, especially in groups, is a very valuable yet a very underused skill.
  14. Friends made during life-changing experiences are often life-long friends.
  15. When you have an uplifting, escapism, Joy Rising and/or Bonus Day experience, you’re resetting and refreshing. Look for big and little ways you can do it regularly. It’s so good for you.
  16. Self-conscious inclinations limit you; try to break free from them, even if little by little.
  17. Kids whose parents divorce or have some other challenge (in their family or within themselves) could benefit from talking to a professional. There’s no shame in it.
  18. Energy matters. (“Take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space.” –Jill Bolte Taylor)
  19. Showing emotion is real and true; it’s not something about which you need to be embarrassed.
  20. When someone gets cancer (or is going through something tough), say, “That’s awful. I care about you. I am thinking of you. How can I help?” Nothing else is needed. And, you can never say “I’m thinking of you” too much to someone who’s facing a challenge.
  21. Be yourself, openly and with pride and humility. You will encourage others to do the same.
  22. Quality leadership shows itself in so many tangible ways. You often don’t realize what you have until you don’t; try to be aware and recognize it when you have it and try to be a contributor to the positive culture and environment.
  23. Community isn’t a place, but a feeling. It should be synonymous with safety, trust and connection.
  24. Honor your friends’ trust.
  25. Find your person and people – and never forget how incredible it is that you did.
  26. Traditions and inside jokes can be the best. Know when it’s the right time to bring these out though based on who’s around you.
  27. When communicating to a group, operate as if everyone is brand-new to the situation. Thinking this way helps you be very clear with the information. Anticipate what will be asked and address that up front. When people know what to expect, they feel more safe and comfortable.
  28. Manage expectations – for you and for those around you.
  29. Credibility and respect are earned through honesty, being real and having a pure agenda on a consistent basis.
  30. Invest in what matters to you – with your time, resources and effort. (“Actions express priorities.” –Ghandi)
  31. Trust your gut. Go with your instincts. (“Doubt means don’t.” –Maya Angelou)
  32. Give credit where credit is due. (Even to yourself. And when others acknowledge you, being gracious is the best response.) Don’t take credit for something that isn’t yours. Know your role.
  33. Knowing when it’s time to say goodbye or call an ending takes a lot of maturity and self-awareness. It’s important to know when it’s time to give someone else a chance and/or find out what new opportunity is awaiting you.
  34. Be careful with the word “but.” When used, most anything said beforehand is not heard.
  35. We can’t ask people to do things that we aren’t willing to do ourselves, especially as leaders.
  36. When giving a speech, remember President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s words: “Be sincere. Be brief. Be seated.”
  37. Grateful thoughts change my energy, and that means the energy I share with others changes. Gratitude is transformative, and there is always, always, always something for which to be grateful.


Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due: Writing my original post last year about a month after I turned 36 was inspired by Drew Dudley’s “38 Things I’ve Learned in 38 Years”