When to Let Go

Sometimes, no matter how many times you try, whichever way you try it, it’s just not meant to be.

or not?

I’ve written about this before.

I’m not talking about giving up drive or not believing in yourself. I’m talking about those things where you know deep down it doesn’t work and you keep trying anyway. Out of frustration, lack of quit, or because you think the outcome should be different for someone else’s reasons.

Previously I called it forcing the puzzle piece. Finding those puzzle pieces that look like they fit, should fit, and they just don’t. And you try them every which way. And. They. Just. Don’t. Fit. Puzzle pieces are supposed to be easy!

Maybe it has to do with your job. Or your relationship. Or a living situation. You keep paddling and going nowhere. All that energy that could be used to propel you- being wasted away, and exhausting you in the process.

Well, I bring this up because I had to let go of something last night. For the past two years I have been on the board of directors of a homeless shelter in downtown L.A. and last night I resigned. It wasn’t a spontaneous decision- I had been thinking about it for months… you see, my gut –as I’ve also blogged about before– was quietly sending me a message. I heard it, but I told it to hang on, just while I could figure this out.

But I the second I did it, relief washed over me and I knew it was the right decision.


So, how can you tell when it’s the right time to let go of something and walk away?

1) Your #1 indicator is your gut. If you have an unease about whatever/whoever it is- do not ignore that.

2) Alternatively, if it feels forced, it probably is.

3) Timing can be everything, however, time is not on your side in these things. Whatever it is that is happening will only get worse over time. Better to identify it, think about it, and walk away. You can minimize casualties the earlier you end things.

4) Make the decision. Decide that this is not good for any party involved and make the decision to leave. No one is going to do it for you.

5) You may feel relief, guilt, sadness, or remorse. All normal – and all temporary. If it is the right thing, the decision will hold. If it’s the wrong thing, it’ll come back around again.


I know this was the right thing for me to part ways, although it wasn’t easy. I will still volunteer with them. And I have volunteerism in my heart so I will be looking for my next project… it was just time to move on from this one and walk away.


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