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Should You Stay or Should You Go?

     I have to admit that musically I’m stuck in the 80s.  I know it was like a million years ago, but there’s just nothing like a good Clash tune.   And this one is perfect for anyone who is languishing in indecision.

     Maybe it’s indecision about a relationship you are in.  You know it needs work and you’re growing more distant from your partner, but you hate to start a fight.  It’s easier to fantasize about someone else.  So the distance grows further.  Maybe it’s your career or your business.  I see many business owners stuck trying to decide if they should invest what it would take to remain competitive or just get out.  Their facilities get shabbier and shabbier and they lose more and more market share while they do nothing.  Indecision is no strategy.

“Darling you gotta let me know

Should I stay or should I go?”

     Here’s the deal – no one is going to let you know.  Eventually something might change – your partner might leave or you might go bankrupt.  Or things might just continue their slow slide into oblivion; a dismal place where you forget what love is or how good professional success feels.  A place where you realize your dreams are dead and you have officially settled.

“This indecision’s bugging me

If you don’t want me set me free.”

     Do us all a favor and set yourself free.  There’s no prison other than the one you’ve constructed for yourself.  If you are in a relationship that’s not what you want, either take steps to fix it or get out.  Waiting for the other person to change, leave, decide; is ridiculous.  It hasn’t worked so far, has it?  The same thing is true for your career.  Not happy where you are?  What are you doing to make yourself worthy of a raise or a promotion or another job?  Are you even looking for other opportunities?

     And what about your business?  Walmart is killing you?  Are you just sitting around complaining or are you fighting?  Do you have a great store where people want to shop?  Awesome employees who are good both at sales and customer service?  And if you believe you really can’t compete, then get off the dead horse and close the business.

 “If I go there will be trouble,

An if I stay it will be double.”

If you stay and do nothing, it will get worse.  You’ll resent your partner more and more.  You’ll fall behind your professional peers who are sharpening their skills and finding new opportunities.  Because you hate your job so much, no one will want to work with you and maybe you’ll wind up getting fired.

 “Exactly whom I’m supposed to be,

Don’t you know which clothes even fit me?”

     It is not up to anyone else to tell you who you are.  That’s what the purpose of life is.  You’re supposed to try different things, get to know different people, and through living, figure out what works best for you.  Your only job is to be the best you that you can be.  No relationship is going to be the same forever.  If it stops bringing out the best in you and your partner, maybe it’s time to make a change.  Maybe the career path that made you happy 20 years ago now makes you dread getting out of bed in the morning.  Do you really need someone else to tell you these clothes don’t fit you anymore?

     So what do you do?

1.  Decide.  Commit.  Stop making excuses.  Are you in or are you out?  Are you ready to fight Walmart and rebuild your business?  Investing time and money and whatever else it might take?  Yes?  Get re-energized and do it!  You built it from nothing, you can rebuild it.   Or are you tired and burned out?  Then start looking for a buyer.  Take a loss if you have to.  Get out and do your employees, customers and yourself a favor.  Be in 100% or be out.  Same for your relationships.  Assume the other person will not change – at all.  Are you willing to not only accept that, but embrace it so you can be happy?  Yes?  Awesome!  Let go of your resentment and focus on and expand all the good stuff.  Stop waiting for them to change.  Can’t do that?  Walk away.   

    To help you decide – consider these:

Is there more pain or joy in my current situation?

If things never changed, would I regret staying?

Why am I afraid to give more or to leave?

If you consider giving more or leaving, which seems more exciting?

2. Get out of your own head. 

“One day is fine the next is black,

So if you want me off your back

Well come on and let me know

Should I stay or should I go?”

Stop thinking and thinking and thinking.  Rumination is one of the main causes of depression.  You keep thinking about how awful your situation is.  You focus on all the things that aren’t working.  You think about what you really deserve, but aren’t getting.  You can’t go, but you can’t stay.  You obsess, you blame, you rationalize doing nothing.  You catastrophize – if I leave I’ll die alone.  If I sell the business, I’ll have nothing.  Wah, wah, wah.  Poor me.  I should stay here and do nothing and blame my partner, Walmart, my boss, the economy, my parents, Congress, and The Clash.

3. Look for clarity.  When you are agonizing over something, it’s not right.  The Quakers say to look for clarity.  When you are on the right path, it’s clear. You’re not fighting trying to change someone’s behavior.  You aren’t dreading going to work every day.  Your bad feelings and indecision are signs that something needs to change.  Look for what feels clear and good.

4. Take action in the direction of your dreams.  If you are letting go of something that’s not working, there’s going to be a void.  Fill it up!  Get out there and meet new people or spend time getting reacquainted with yourself.  Plan a cool adventure.  Send out resumes and start looking for that dream job.  If you are staying, do something special for your partner.  Redecorate your office.  Draft the beat Walmart business plan. 

 Your destiny is in your hands – no one else’s.

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Melanie Williams

Denise,
Your words are always inspiring. You just spoke at our Dental Meeting in Myrtle Beach. We love you! Thanks so much, See you on the flip!
Melanie

Nancy Haddock

You have written the story of my life over the last decade. For me, the ending is that I did go. After 40 years of marriage to a guy everybody else loved, I finally realized that I didn’t. I’ve just moved into a home of my own, and I feel like I’m in college again – those were fun times. I have returned to some old hobbies and interests that had been shelved forever, and I’m really enjoying fixing up my new nest. For a reasonably smart person, it certainly took me a long time to come to this conclusion.… Read more »

Leticia degaetano

Thank you, Denise,
I just need to say Amen to this. I just came back from a missiom trip and that’s what exactly was all about. You not only aply it to your work but to your spiritual life as well.
WOW!
Thanks again.
Blessing going your way

Len R. Gehl

As usual you are right on target! I agree with what you are saying, but I have called it being a victim. Victims blame everyone or everything else for the problems in their life. Winners see a problem and go about finding a solution they can implement. It’s just like a sports team, regardless of the opposing team’s talent, skills, etc. you have to find a way to win. We all love it when our team is an underdog and they find a way to win. When they do not win we are calling for the coach to be fired.… Read more »

Karin Cousineau

Thank you, Denise for your encouraging words. They have come at a time in my life when there is great change for me. I have been diagnosed with Sjogrens Syndrome/Lupus and have been trying to cope with this disease. My family life has taken some drastic changes in the past few months and somedays there just doesn’t seem much light at the end of the tunnel. You are so right, it’s so unproductive to sit and think about all of it and turning it over and over in my mind doesn’t make any difference. The sun is shining and a… Read more »

Brenda Bogle

Amen. This is great advise and information. The economy has really pushed a lot of folks to the point of being zombies, just going through each day and not looking to see what they can do to change the situation. A preacher once told me that if you find yourself unhappy in a situation
or in a position, it is God’s way of pushing you to move. I think this is great, Posting this
so all can see….
Thanks Denise.

Warren Brown

This is great information. I have a some retailers I am going to send this to in order to hopefully jump start their thinking. I see so many folks walking around wonder when things are going to change yet they are doing NOTHING different from what they always have.

Have a great Easter.

Douglas Caudle

Denise: As usual you are right on target! As I mentioned earlier Angela and I are in the process of selling our business. We have signed with a business broker and they are currently marketing it for us. We were living all of the things that you described! We did not want to be “like a river that don’t know where its flowing I took a wrong turn and I just kept going” See you are not the only one stuck in the 80’s……. All my best, Doug

Jill Coy

I cannot even begin to explain how timely your words are! Thank you so much! Denise, you have inspired me to look for clarity, and to take action in the direction of my dreams!