What does it mean when something serves you?
When something serves you, it elevates you, inspires you and makes you happy.
When something no longer serves you, it stagnates, regresses and upsets you.
Over time I’ve learned that holding onto things that no longer serve me will lead to them being ripped away from me. Whether it’s friends, relationships, jobs and nails (when I cheat on my nail tech), all get taken away at some point. Occasionally, I’ll make the conscious decision to let go because I’ve realised these things are not getting me anywhere, other times I’ll hold on because I want to make it work, give people/things a second chance or not give up so easily. In reality, holding on just slowed me down.
I used to hold on to many things that no longer served me for the following reasons:
- I was scared that they wouldn’t get replaced.
- I was worried about how I would be perceived because I felt that I was being mean and I would hurt the other persons’ feeling – normally at the detriment of my own. Which looking back now, doesn’t even make sense.
- I thought I could handle all the issues that came with it or I could change things
- I had found comfort in these things and people because they were what I was used to
- I hadn’t noticed they were no longer serving me anymore.
Fear of uncertainty mixed with comfort dependency leads to stagnation and wasted energy.
I don’t like uncertainty, so finding comfort in things/people I was used to was usually the reason I held on to them when they no longer served me. I thought I could change things and many situations ‘weren’t so bad’ so I made excuses when really I should have dropped the dead weight and moved on. I kept reinforcing attachments that should have been severed because I didn’t want to look like I gave up easily or be perceived as weak, when in reality there’s strength in knowing when things aren’t working and moving on. Looking back, I just wasted my time, energy and gave myself unnecessary stress for no good reason which is something I try to avoid now more than ever.
Holding on to things I thought were irreplaceable
‘Everything you own in a box to the left’ — Beyoncé
Other times, I held on to things because I felt they were irreplaceable due to the fear of having a void in my life. In reality, some things were replaceable, others were not and over time I’ve learnt to be okay with that. Sometimes what I held onto was replaced immediately by something better, other times there’s a void. At the time that void felt like things had changed for the worse, but that was only temporary ( I didn’t die, so it’s lit🤷🏾♀️). 9 times out of 10 that void was the best for me because often not having is better than having. Although, I didn’t always see it at the time.
How to know things are no longer serving you?
Sometimes we don’t know things are no longer serving us, which is fair, we’re only human. I know things are no longer serving me when I’ve tried my best but:
- They make me upset all the time
- Nothing I do seems to be working in relation to it
- Feels like they are causing me to lose my mind
- Stress me out
- They’re not helping me move forward
I know when things are no longer serving me because they make me upset all the damn time. When something upsets you, you’ve tried to come at it at a different approach and it still doesn’t work , you need to walk away. Certain things I kept trying to make work, but things constantly went wrong, which seemed to always eat at my confidence because nothing seemed to change. In the end God pretty much said, Sarah this is not working, do something else & I did.
It felt like I was losing my mind. I was going through a really rough period a few years ago, I thought I could fix something that couldn’t be fixed, it stressed me, made me so upset and was all I could think about. Not having a clear mind frustrates me to the point of tears and doesn’t make me feel like myself. I remember sitting in a North London Nandos one October evening with my best mate explaining what I was going through. I wanted to let go of the situation, but felt mean because of the timing and how it would impact on other things and she told me ‘So?!’ and she was right but I didn’t listen at the time. I kept trying and gave up just over a month later because it was costing me my peace and when it comes down to it, anything that costs you your peace is too expensive.
I love being alone and reflecting on what’s going right in my life and during some of my alone moments I realised certain things weren’t working and needed to let go so I could move forward.
Letting go hurts but holding on hinders.
Sometimes you have to take the leap of faith. I started a new role earlier this month, it’s closer to home, has higher pay, excellent benefits and in an industry that I’ve been interested in since summer 2014. I wanted to move into this industry after I finished my CIMA exams and come in as a finance manager but God had other plans and I’m grateful. The main reason I got this role was because I made the conscious decision to start looking for jobs that were more inline with my career goals earlier this year. I had been to several interviews in the last few months, some in line with my goals others completely different, the interviews helped prepare me for my new role because the answers rolled off my tongue during my interview because experience is a great teacher. If I didn’t reflect and decide to let go of my old role, I would not have been given this opportunity, the job pretty much fell into my lap, I didn’t even apply — I was contacted by a lovely recruiter via LinkedIn two weeks after I left my last role and the rest is history.
In the end
Letting go of things that no longer serve you can hurt but holding on can hinder. In my experience, letting go and losing helped me move forward and gain better, which is exactly what I want for anyone reading this. Several things in my life have fallen apart for better things to fall together and I am genuinely thankful because it’s elevated me and helped me evolve. Look for the signs there’s no need to hold on to things that stagnates, regresses and upsets you because it will be ripped away at some point.