How To Know When To Stay Or Go

gutsy glorious living


So you think you want to leave.

how can i know whether to stay or goBut you can’t.

Because you’re in it too deep.

And for too long.

And yet… this is absolutely not how you want to live the rest of your life.

How do you DO it?

What do you do?

STEP 1, and this is non-negotiable: STOP SAYING YOU “CAN’T”

Of course you can leave. And saying you can’t will only leave you feeling powerless. Believing you can’t do something, even at the grown-ass-woman age that you are, is disempowering, self-defeating, and simply not true.

So, say it with me… ” I can leave. I have the power to leave. I can leave if I want to.”

STEP 2 (this is also non-negotiable): Ask yourself, “DO I WANT TO? DO I REALLY AND TRULY WANT TO LEAVE?”

You can’t say, “I don’t know” forever. If you’ve been telling yourself “I don’t know” (and some people do it for years) and settling for that answer, that is also disempowering and self-defeating. And it’s probably not true. You know. The problem is… you don’t like the answer because it leaves you feeling damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

But, hang on a second. Remember? You’re a card-carrying adult woman. You are able to find your way. You may not know what to do in this moment, but I’d bet dollars to several dozen donuts (as long as they’re oozing in glaze and have no calories) that you have the ability to figure out what/how/when to do it.

So, when you ask yourself if you really and truly want to leave, you must accept your answer. Because it’s the truth.

STEP 3: You don’t have to leave, even if you want to.

Ok. Pause. Deep breath. Part of the reason we don’t explore what our options are is that we’re afraid that we’ll have to DO something… that we’ll have to leave.


Confused? Don’t be. This is about owning your decision.

If you stay, when you want to go, you must forever stop complaining, blaming, and resenting why things aren’t going the way you want them to. You can no longer blame someone else for your unhappiness. 

Understand that if you’re not happy it’s because you’re doing something you don’t want to do… staying.

This doesn’t mean you can’t be happy, even if you choose to stay, but it does mean that your happiness can only come from you. It is not dependent on anyone else changing.

This is a tough one to accept and it’s the reason why so many women feel miserable in their relationships. They choose to stay AND keep complaining AND believing that their unhappiness is caused by the other person. 

Having one foot in the door and the other foot out is a recipe for unhappiness.

STEP 4A: If you choose to stay.

If you choose to stay do it with love. Take responsibility for your own happiness and stop trying to change the other person. Instead, change who you are. Change what you think. Change what you say. Change everything about how you think-feel-do your life.

No one has to change for you. Adults get to be who they choose to be, even if that adult is someone you’re in a relationship with and is someone who has no intention of changing. Ever. Not even for you. Give it up. Let them be who they choose to be. No one is required to change for you so that you can be happy. 

In other words, love that person for who he or she is. There is no upside to not loving them. There is no upside to complaining about them and to them. If there were an upside you would be happy by now.

STEP 4B: If you choose to go.

If you choose to go, do it with love. I know, that may sound crazy, but there’s no other way for you to find peace within yourself.  Decide to love that person for who he or she is and let them be. Leaving someone from a place of love, knowing it’s what you want to do because it’s what truly is best for you, is far better for you than leaving someone you “hate.”  You don’t love them for their sake, you love them for yours.

THE BIGGEST STEP: Choosing love, first.

This really is the hardest part… loving someone and setting them, and yourself, free, whether you choose to stay or leave.

Love makes your life easier. I know, it sounds cheesy, but the proof is all around you.

Love people for who they choose to be, despite what you may think about their potential.

See people for who they are… the good, the not-so-good… without judgment. Instead, think of it as information that you can use to determine what YOU get to do with your life.

And that brings us back to your decision… to stay or to go.

This requires knowing yourself and loving yourself enough to go through ALL the steps before deciding what’s best for you. The decision becomes easy when you accept who YOU are and also accept who HE or SHE is. 

That’s when you will know what to do.

No more blaming. No more anger. No more resentment. And no more wishing things were different!

Acceptance + Love = Your answer.

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