Why Sometimes it's Okay to Walk Away

This blog post has been weighing on me all day. I had no idea what I wanted to talk about and the clock just kept ticking. Finally, it dawned on me that I have notes and notebooks and pages of one liners and text that are supposed to inspire musings on days where I feel I have nothing to say. This blog is inspired from one of those lines.

The first thing I did was look up the definition of a “yes man.” I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t using it in the incorrect context. Stupidly, I started with Urban Dictionary.

“your party counterpart that will agree to *anything* regardless of how crazy or stupid - and sometimes illegal - it is, who can meet or beat your intoxication level and still remain as coherent as you are”

Not really what I was looking for. So I took a shot (not a party pun) in the dark. I turned to regular

“a person who, regardless of actual attitude, always expresses agreement with his or her supervisor”

Once again, not really what I had in mind. So I kept scrolling. Lo and behold, five results later, Urban Dictionary gave me what I came for:

“A yes man is a person who agrees to every opportunity they come across, no matter how crazy it may seem and they do not weigh the consequences. Some people believe they are living life this way by opening up every possible gate to a better future”

That was the positive definition that I could jive with.

There are lots of times I’ve written and/or spoken about the importance of embracing spontaneity or taking a leap of faith or jumping blindly into the unknown. But this post is going to be a little different.

The leading line that led me to searching for digitalized definitions of the aforementioned phrase was “write a blog post about how you shouldn't be afraid to walk away from something that is clearly bad for you.” I have no idea where that note came from or what the logic is behind it but I’m going to go a step further with it right now.

This is a post about how you shouldn’t be afraid to walk away from something that is clearly not right for you.

Listen. You know yourself. You know what makes your heart sing and spirit soar. You know your favorite foods and your favorite season and you know exactly how far you can push yourself on no sleep before you crash.

Sure you might have no sense of a five year plan. Hell, you might not even know where you’re going to be in five weeks. But you know you. And because of that, you know when something isn’t right for you.

Some people call this listening to your gut. I think it’s more important than that. Just as you can feel a good thing with those stereotypical butterflies bouncing in your stomach, you know when things aren’t ideal just as quickly.

And if it’s not right….what are you still doing there?

I know things aren’t that simple. I know you might think you have a good plan or that you’re just “making the most of a bad situation.” Most of us will just romanticize the idea of taking off, only to fall back on the age old, “I can’t.”

I read a business article today that was all about word choice…the tiniest bit of word choice. The article talked about how it’s better to ask for assistance as opposed to help because assistance shows that you are capable. The one that stuck with me the most was transitioning from saying I can’t to I won’t.

Think about it. Nearly 100% of the time we use “I can’t” in our daily lives, it refers to something we can do but simply choose not to.

I can’t go near that beehive. Actually, I can. I’m just really afraid of bees so I’d rather not.

I won’t go near that beehive.

Life’s not a game of Sims. If the chair is blocking the oven, you don’t just stand in front of the chair with question marks over your head. If the oven bursts into flames you don’t just look at it. You toss that chair to the side, grab an extinguisher, and address the issue.

Stop being a pixel person and staying in traps of things that make you unhappy. You can see what’s not going right. Fix it. Move the chair. Turn off the oven. Stop saying “yes” to things you don’t want. It’s okay to say no. You don’t owe anyone an explanation.

I get it. It’s scary. I took my first job out of college over 4,000 miles away. I got to see amazing things and meet incredible people. But I know me. And I knew it wasn’t right for me. And so I did the hardest thing in the world and quit. I walked away and for the first time in 21 years had no idea where I was walking to. And that’s really, really scary.

And yet somewhere in that silence as I jumped from city to city with two wheeling suitcases, I found exactly where I needed to be.

No matter where you are, no matter what stage of life you’re at, and no matter how stuck you feel, I promise you can always start over tomorrow and do whatever it is you’ve always dreamed of.

Say yes to the dreams. And say no to everything else that stands in your way.

Love always,