Have you ever been with a group of people (or even one individual) where you know your moves threaten them? I’m talking about the kinds of moves that propel you forward, moves in your personal or professional life that put you at a different level. Things that trigger them and make them feel “less than” because they don’t believe they are capable. One of my mentors/colleagues showed some true colors the other day. This individual has a very different relationship with me than with other people in our circle. She will spend all the time needed with another member of the group, coaching and directing, clarifying, gossiping and having fun, but when I’m around, it’s all business, “figure it out”, “you should know that”, “this person won’t like that”, “well let’s see if it works”, and “we’ll get you training for that” (which never comes).
It took me nearly 4 years to see that this was personal on a different level. It’s taken me another several months to understand that it has nothing to do with me. It’s personal to her, not me. I’ve noticed a common theme with the group is that my ideas are “too big” meanwhile we focus on what people wear as if that is some indicator of how they do their job. Meanwhile when you ask for assistance to do it the way you’re told, you’re met with crickets and promises to do it eventually. This isn’t a lamentation, this is a realization and a sharing of power with all of you. I know I’m not the only one who has had this experience and I’m certainly not the only one who feels the call for something greater and feels stifled or rejected when others don’t jump on.
I wrote last week about knowing when it’s time to go and this is one of the other things I should have written about. When people aren’t for you, leave. When people don’t support you, leave. When people pretend to help but never follow through, leave. When people set it up so you’re left holding the bag (figuratively or literally), leave. I realized with this group of colleagues, that we pick and choose who we help. Those who support each other band together meanwhile a few of us are left on the outside but told we have access even if the doors are literally closed. Any group that benefits from your struggle or seems to relish in it is not for you. It isn’t up to you to make them understand or to continue to beg for what you need, it is simply time to leave.
This is something I’ve struggled with my whole life. I’ve discussed my childhood many times, sharing the experience of literally doing people’s homework or going out of my way only to not be included in the day to day of their lives. It’s amazing how these patterns follow us into adulthood, but the beauty is, there is more autonomy in adulthood and we are more easily allowed to make a shift and leave. We just have to give ourselves permission and understanding to follow through with leaving. Learning to trust intuition and recognize when things aren’t for us is key. Believing you are on the right path and able to discern what IS for us is the other key. Why stay with people who enjoy your failures? Why stay in an environment that bores you and only returns the minimum? Just because that’s what you were told to do doesn’t mean that’s what you have to continue to do.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again: if it doesn’t satisfy, sustain, bring joy, fulfill, create something positive, or support those activities it is time to leave. It is time to trust your intuition and go where you can find those things, even if it means finding those things in yourself first. We don’t always get the support we want from the people we want to see us—and that is usually because they can’t see themselves doing what you do. But that doesn’t mean we can’t support ourselves. We have to be our own biggest cheerleaders first and learn to garner the confidence to direct our sails. Leave those behind who would anchor you. Leave those behind who can’t see past the shore. Leave those who would put holes in your ship hoping it makes theirs float higher. Cast aside the dead weight and let yourself go forward—you won’t miss those who can’t see you succeed. They won’t be happy either way so let it go.