From the time we were young the ideals of persistence and perseverance were reinforced as worthy ideals.
Yet, there isn’t as much virtue in staying in unfavorable, miserable, or downright toxic situations as people seem to think there is.
Fundamentally, we are all after a feeling we think we will get when we obtain something. And if we were to accept that as true, following one’s bliss truly is the only thing to prioritize in life.
So, is it time to step away to pursue a new path?
Are You Exhausted?
Push the body to its limits. Drink caffeine. Work 16-hour days. Give up social events. Sacrifice sleep. Anyone who plays the “sacrifice game” long enough will burn themselves out, and it will probably happen sooner than they think.
But the only type of work that truly exhausts you is the work you resist. If you are resisting something, you have one of two options:
- You can change your context for the work and approach it from a fresh perspective (you’ll probably need to step away from it for a couple of weeks to be able to gain a new perspective).
- You can choose something new that gives you energy and step away from what is stealing your energy.
Not everything is guaranteed to go right just because you’re doing something you love, but on balance, you will be resisting less, and as a result, you won’t be exhausted all the time either.
Are You Excited About Something Else?
Just because you’re flirting with the new and exciting doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right path for you. Simultaneously, excitement will always accompany the path best suited for you.
If you’ve been despising your current path for years while taking an interest in other passions or potential business ventures, then you have all the evidence you need already. The time to take a new path is now.
Your new idea will probably take everything you’ve got to execute, so you don’t have the luxury of being double-minded. You’ve got to take a leap of faith to fulfill your new vision.
Do You Have a Hunch?
Perhaps the most difficult aspect of stepping away to pursue a new path is that no one else can tell you when or when not to do it.
Your family and friends want the best for you. Or, it might be more accurate to say they want the safest path for you. So, if you were to ask them for advice, there’s a good chance they will tell you to stay the course and “hang in there” no matter how miserable you might be.
This has proven bad advice for countless budding entrepreneurs who’ve chosen the safer path instead of going with their gut.
The entrepreneurial journey is rarely easy, but it is almost always the more fulfilling.
If you have a hunch you’re supposed to be doing something else, you probably should be entertaining those thoughts. Circumstances may not appear to favor you now, but there is no such thing as perfect timing, and if not now, then when?
Andrew Hitz of The Entrepreneurial Musician says he has yet to find a single example of people who followed their heart and stepped away from seemingly amazing careers to do something else and have ultimately regretted it. They’ve always come out on top.
It’s easier said than done, but there may come a time when you need to step away to pursue a new path. Be open to what shows up.