No one wants to give up on something that they have been pursuing for years. No one wants to leave the person they have always envisioned their future with. No one ever really wants to admit defeat.
But sooner or later, life starts throwing obstacles at you. These obstacles are not here to hurt us. They are here to help us grow. These obstacles are signs that we need to see, to hear, and to experience in order to move forward in our lives. We need these signs so that we can learn how to truly live.
If you are experiencing any of these signs, it might be time for you to take a step back and reevaluate your current situation. It might be time for you to start all over again.
1. You Can’t Remember the Last Time You Were Happy.
When was the last time you felt true happiness? Do you just wake up and follow your routine, day in and day out? Does that make you happy? Or are you just doing what you can to get through each day? Are you just doing what you can to make it until the end of yet another shift or to the end of yet another date, all while your inner monologue is screaming that something isn’t right?
You deserve to be happy. If where you are right now does not bring you happiness anymore, it’s okay to leave. It’s okay to admit when something or someone just isn’t working anymore. It’s okay to put yourself first.
2. There Is No Spark Left Inside of You.
When you look at photos of yourself, is there any light left behind your eyes? Does your soul still ignite when they reach for your hand or when you start on a new project? Passion is the fuel we all need to keep going in our lives. Without it, we start to lose ourselves. We start to lose sight of all of the things we always dreamed of doing because the major reason we wanted to do them has faded away. What was once a raging flame is now nothing more than a slight flicker, and no matter how hard you try to rekindle it, you just can’t create that same fire. You cannot find your original intensity. That “aha!” moment that made you realize that you finally had everything you had ever wanted now seems like nothing more than a distant dream.
Maybe you had that job or that person or whatever it was that you always wanted, and now, they are no longer what you want or need. Maybe they were there to guide you to something or someone else. Maybe this is your time to finally say goodbye so that you can move on and reignite your spark. Do not let yourself fall back into the shadows when all you have ever wanted is to burn so brightly that you never look back to the darkness of your past.
3. You’ve Exhausted All of Your Options, and Something Still Doesn’t Feel Right.
Listen to your gut. It knows you better than you think it does. That sinking feeling you get when their name comes up on your phone isn’t for nothing. There is a reason why you two keep breaking up and getting back together, again and again and again. There is a reason why you are still so uncomfortable at your job. There is a reason why you cry yourself to sleep at night because work didn’t go well again.
You will sometimes get to a point in your life where nothing you are doing seems to be making things right. You will feel like a failure. You will feel like everyone is disappointed in you. You will be worried that you will never fall in love again or that you will never find another job or that your current situation will be the best that you will ever have. But I promise you, this is only the end if you allow it to be. You can hang on to the things that are hurting you because of your fear that you will never find anything to replace them, or you can let go of what is bringing you down and finally let yourself breathe. You can finally allow yourself to shake off the negativity and the hurt and the anger. You can finally allow yourself to live the life you have always wanted because you will finally have stopped holding yourself back.
Change is terrifying, but so is staying in a situation that makes you feel worthless. Allowing yourself to be okay with being treated terribly because you have been made to believe that is what you deserve is not the life that you or anyone else deserves.
You have been tirelessly working to mend your broken relationship, while the other person won’t even meet you halfway. You have been pouring your entire heart and soul into a job that has made it so clear that they do not value you the way you deserve to be valued.
There is no shame in choosing to move on. There is no shame in finally realizing your own value and wanting to do everything in your power to invest in that. You never needed this relationship or this job to make you whole. You have always been everything you have ever needed. You are enough. And it is okay to finally accept and believe in that fact.
4. You Are Mentally and Emotionally Drained.
It is impossible to think that you will ever make it through this life without being tired. Late nights and stress are inevitable, but what shouldn’t be inevitable is a constant feeling of being completely mentally and emotionally drained.
We have all been there. We have all had that moment where we have no choice but to succumb to our breakdowns. Maybe you have cried on your office floor or spent your only break of the day crying in the bathroom at work and wishing it would all just go away. Maybe you worked for weeks to surprise them, only to have them ignore you, once again. Maybe you have to let them go to bed first so that you can cry and cry again, until it seems like you have nothing left inside of you. You are exhausted, and this exhaustion is so much deeper than you even realize.
You are not sleeping well. You can’t focus throughout your day. You are always on edge. You cannot fathom one more conference call or silent dinner. You just can’t.
If you are at the point where each day leaves you feeling so drained that you cannot even remember what it is like to feel alive, you need to reevaluate your current situation in life. You need to sit down and really take the time to think through all of the things that are making you feel this way. This sort of mental and emotional exhaustion is no way to live your life. You deserve more than this. When we have to put so much time and energy into keeping up our “happy” facades, we rarely have anything left to give to ourselves. We have poured everything we have into keeping up appearances and have exhausted ourselves reaching for something that isn’t even trying to reach back towards us. That is not a healthy relationship. No one person should have to give everything they have to make something work.
If you have given every part of yourself away, what will you have left to live with?
Please don’t be afraid to start all over again. Please don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself in situations that scare you. Please don’t see reaching out for help as weakness. The world needs you, and you deserve to live the life you have always wanted.
Do not settle for less when there is so much more out there for you. You are so much more than what you see yourself as. There is no shame in admitting that something or someone is not working. You owe it to yourself to start over if and when you need to.
You owe it to yourself to try again and again and again because this life is not a linear line where all of the answers to everything we need are laid out easily in front of us. Life is never going to be easy, but there is always going to be a chance for you to grow and live the life you have always dreamed of.
There is no rule that says that we are only allowed one dream for our entire lives. Would each day be so different if we were not allowed to change our minds?
Don’t ignore the signs that appear within your life. I promise you, they are here for a reason.
And so are you.