Last month, I reached out to the Healthy Path to Love community and asked you to share you questions relating to the subject of ‘should I stay or should I go?’.
I also asked what your biggest challenge is and what’s stopping you from making the changes you want to see in your relationship.
One of the most common challenges I received was, “My biggest challenge is being fearful of making a mistake in should I stay or go.” And here’s what I have to offer on this topic.
Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay
Some relationships are easier than others to leave. I don’t think it’s ever easy, but when there’s physical and/or emotional abuse, it’s less difficult to ‘justify’ that you have a good reason to leave.
On the other hand, if there’s no abuse, but you’re just not feelin’ it with your partner, you might find it far more challenging to validate the lack of connection as being a strong enough reason to go.
I’ve been in both of these situations. And even though I stayed in the abusive relationship for a longer period of time, when I finally made the decision to go, it was much easier. I knew that it wasn’t going to get better, and I owed it to myself to leave.
Later, when I attracted a much healthier and more loving relationship into my life, what started out as a strong connection in the first few years of our relationship faded over time.
We did our best to keep the connection going…we went to counseling, had dozens of dedicated conversations about what we could do differently, tried new things together, etc. But even with all of our efforts, it eventually became clear that we were no longer meant to stay together as a couple.
Because there was no abuse, neither one of us was doing anything wrong, and we still cared deeply for each other, it made it much more difficult to go. And yes, I definitely questioned whether or not I would make a mistake by leaving.
What if Fear of Making a Mistake IS the Mistake?
One of the women who shared her challenge said, “My husband is a great guy, but I just don’t feel connected to him at all. I feel like I want to start over and be happily married and start a family but with the unknown future, I’m afraid.”
I heard her loud and clear…fear of the unknown is a big obstacle!
In the situation I described above, I found myself asking questions like: What if I didn’t find another man who I could share a loving relationship with? What if I changed my mind later on but couldn’t get him back? What if I never found the level of connection I truly desired?
What if? What if? What if? What if fear of making a mistake is the mistake?
John C. Maxwell said: “The greatest mistake we make is living in constant fear that we will make one.”
This is so true! When we hold ourselves back from what we really want because we’re afraid of the unknown or that we might make a mistake, we limit the potential for the amazing quality of life we deeply desire.
For me, it was a bigger mistake to stay in the relationship due to fear of the unknown than it was to take a chance by believing in myself and staying true to my feelings. Staying in a relationship that doesn’t feel quite right is a disservice to both people.
Having the Courage to Take A Chance on Yourself
Thankfully, I had already learned the hard way that not being true to myself would do me no good. Yes, making the decision to leave was still an incredibly painful experience to go through, but I knew that I would get through it and, as a result, grow even stronger and more in touch with myself than I ever had before.
And because we both handled this difficult situation with love, honesty and integrity, we both made it through, and we still remain good friends today, for which I am grateful.
When you have a strong and loving relationship with yourself, it helps you gain the courage you need to let go of what no longer serves its purpose in your life.
This could be a job that you no longer enjoy. Maybe you discovered a new passion that you didn’t have before.
This could be a diet that you used to be okay with, but now you’re not because you gained a new awareness around how much better it is to fuel your body with healthy nutrients.
This could be a relationship that used to be awesome, but no longer gives you what you need to feel happy and fulfilled.
If something significant in your life is not bringing you joy, it’s time to ask yourself why you’re holding on to it.
Now It’s Your Turn
So now, back to the challenge of being afraid of making a mistake, my question to you is this: what if the biggest mistake you could ever make is not being true to yourself?
What if your fear of making a mistake about whether to stay or go is keeping you from the relationship you truly desire?
What if you miss out on what you really want because you’re afraid to take a chance?
Mistakes are not a bad thing! We wouldn’t learn if we didn’t make mistakes. And we wouldn’t grow and evolve without learning more about what works and what doesn’t work in our lives.
You have one life to live and it’s your life. You and the life you truly want are worth taking the chance of making a mistake. All you have to do is believe in yourself. You can do it!
Next week, I’ll be answering the most commonly asked question I received, which was along the lines of, “I don’t know what to do anymore…what can I do? Should I stay or should I go?”
And later this month, I’ll be talking about setting standards for yourself in your relationship and the topic of avoiding pain.
Stay tuned for more mindful messages. Giving you helpful tips and exercises to improve the quality of your life and relationships!
With love and support,
Healthy Relationship Coach
P.S. If you’re looking for extra guidance and support, feel free to contact me. I would love to connect with you and help you however I can!