Transcript: Giving Up or Letting Go? with Dina Cataldo
Well, hello there. How are you doing today? I want to talk to you today about something we have all dealt with at one time or another. Wondering whether or not we are giving up or whether or not we are truly letting go of something because it's in our best interest to do so and it can feel really difficult to determine the difference between the two because in both cases you are completely giving this. It could have been an opportunity at one time, it could have been a relationship at one time. It could have been your future as you saw it and you were completely giving it away. You're saying it's not for you, but are you just giving up and not trying hard enough or are you letting go because it really is in your best interest?
Do you really do not want with that opportunity or with that relationship had to offer you?
The reason I wanted to talk about this today is because it comes up all the time in my coaching calls with people and I will hear about how they want to give something up because they don't feel that it's serving them and inevitably we get into a conversation about whether or not they really truly believe that or whether it's because they are scared that they can't do it. There's a fear that is holding them back from growing into the person they could become. And I'm a huge fan of personal growth as you already know and you are too. If you're listening to this and when you are struggling to try to figure out whether or not you want to let go of a business venture, whether or not you want to give up a relationship where you've invested a lot of time and energy into it.
Well it takes a little bit of thinking through and I want you to know that if you are ever deciding that you want to leave a situation, you have to be completely okay with it. There's no he leaving your job. You want to leave your job because you feel like you're not getting what you need. You're not getting enough money, you're not getting enough love from your boss. Whatever it is, you're angry about your employer, whatever it might be. There's no hate quitting, okay? You've actually got to love your job before you leave it. Otherwise you don't know what it is that you are leaving. Are you leaving because you are just giving up because you just can't figure out a way to make it work or are you letting go? Are you letting go because you recognize everything that's going on is not for you and you're coming from a place of understanding and compassion for yourself and you'll know the difference when you really think it through.
One example I'm going to give you is a personal example. I started a tea business about five years ago. It was started because I didn't know what else to do, but I knew I needed to start a business. I knew I needed to go in the direction of starting a business because it's scared me and anytime I recognize that I have a fear, I want to look at it. I want to say, okay, why am I not pursuing this dream that I have? And the answer was I was scared when I turned to find out, okay, how can I create a business while being a full time lawyer and exploring this idea of having a business, running a business? What in the world could I do? Well, my first thought was of a physical product. My first thought was of creating a product line in which I could have somebody design the labels and create a website, learn how to market the tea, learn how to blend teas too.
Select teas, go to you know tea conferences. (Yes, they have tea conferences.) And learn all the things that you need to learn as somebody who is the owner of a tea business and I did all of those things and along the way I learned so much, but also I learned that I didn't want to be in charge of a physical product. I didn't want to have that weight to have that time spent sending items out and there are many different ways to do this. I know that they have drop shipping and all of that, but it really wasn't a passion of mine. I loved tea, but the selling of it online, a physical product wasn't what really interested me, what really interested me. We're learning products and I created some involving T, but even then I felt that there was more that I could offer, that there was more that I could do and it wasn't in the realm of tea.
So over this past year, I have slowly been winding down that business and coming from a place of recognizing that I fully love this business. It was my first business, my first opportunity to learn to grow. I invested a ton of time and money and energy and if I look at it from that point of view, I could let this thing run on forever because I invested so much time and energy and money up front. I could just hold on to it. Right? Well the problem with that is is that I knew that that was not what I wanted, but I can come to that decision in a way that really looked at did I want to have this particular type of business coming from another standpoint, looking at relationships, this is often where we settle so much. We stay in relationships for far too long. We hang on tight because we've invested so much time.
So much energy, so much emotion in these relationships that we have and when we get to a point where we finally recognize that we have been in more pain andsorrow than we have in places of happiness and joy, and we recognize that our partner is not someone who is going to be able to work with us in a functional relationship. At that point, you have to just kind of cut your losses. You have to say, okay, I learned so much. I recognize that this person is a wonderful human being in their own ways that I do not want what this person has to offer me, and that's okay, but you have to come to that from a very objective place. If you go into it hating the other person, you're going to create a lot of friction. There is one particular incident that I recognized the where I was really letting something go and it was the first time I had really recognized it in my life.
I went to law school in the first place because I wanted to join the foreign service. I thought, wouldn't it be wonderful if I could learn what I need to learn as a lawyer, learn what I need to learn as a foreign service operative and advise policy advisors in political circles. And that was my original impetus for going to law school in the first place. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 29 I started to really dive into what do I really want? Where do I want to spend my time? Where do I want to spend my energy now? For years I had placed a lot of unfocused energy on studying for the foreign service exam and getting all the dates in order, learning all the books I needed to read, reading all of the books, downloading all the study materials, printing out all the study materials, and I had to ask myself, why wasn't I taking action?
I could have looked at it from two different points of view. The first point of view was, well, I was overwhelmed and I didn't really understand how to approach this large body of work to study and review. But when I really sat down and thought about it and in fact it like came to me as I was going on a walk. It was just one of those things that just came to me. I recognize I didn't want to live as a foreign service operative. I didn't want to be placed in a country like Timbuktu the middle of nowhere and not be in the comfort of my own home, not have the ability to see my family, not have the ability to have regular running water or internet sometimes. It really, it was left up to somebody else to decide where I was going to live, how I was going to live, and I didn't want that.
I always wanted more freedom than that, but that was something that took some time to think about. It took some time for me to really start to marinate on what it was that I wanted and when we don't give ourselves enough time to think about this, when we're not in a really good place, when we make this decision, we can end up holding onto something that doesn't serve us for way too long, like the relationship that you've invested so much time and energy with and you just keep hoping that guy's going to turn around and figure things out. Or when you are investing time and energy into a business and you realize that the way you have designed your business is not serving you, in my particular instance, it had to do with having a physical product in your particular instance. Maybe it has to do with designing systems that make your life easier.
Whatever that decision is, whatever thought process you go through, what is most important is to make sure that you have your thoughts clean about whatever it is you're thinking about. You're not coming from a place of anger or hate or dislike or anything like that. You're coming from a place of understanding of yourself and maybe of the other person, some compassion in there. You're going to feel much more open about the decision and when you make that decision, when you decide that enough is enough and you're going to let go of something that doesn't serve you because it's no longer part of who you are, it's no longer part of your life plan, how you want to live your life. You are your identity. When you decide that that particular job or business or relationship, whatever it is, is no longer serving you, then you're letting it go.
You're saying, thank you, but that's enough. I want something else. I don't want this anymore. And just because you've invested a ton of time, money into energy, into whatever venture it is we're talking about here, whatever it is specific to you, doesn't mean you have to hold on to it. It doesn't mean that you have to be all in. I know a lot of lawyers who say to me, you know, I'm all in. I have so many loans. I just can't see a way out and there are other ways out. There's a book called big magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and I'll link to it in the show notes ay dinacataldo.com/75 and she talks about this, you can have other outlets and not expect those outlets to pay for you, like to fund you and you can still bring amazing energy to whatever job it is that you are doing and just maybe one of your passions will amount to something that takes over that income that replaces that income.
But you know what, you can incorporate things that bring you joy into whatever situation you are in. Doesn't matter what kind of job you have. And I know y'all have lawyers listening who are working their 70 hour plus weeks, they're working on the weekends. They are barely able to get by. And when I mean get by, I mean it's like have a life, but you know what? I was talking to my friend recently, she's in exactly the situation and she makes time to go horseback riding. That is what brings her joy. She goes out of her way on two nights a week, sometimes really late at night. So that she can go horseback riding just so she can have a few hours when she's not thinking about work, where she's able to really feel connected and grounded, she has created an opportunity for herself to feel that joy.
So no matter where you are or how many hours you're working, you can always find those little opportunities to find that piece and you always need to find that piece before you make that big decision to let go, to say, you know what, I'm done next. So giving up, when you're thinking about giving up, that is something where you know you have a dream and you know that you can picture it. In fact, you are probably the only one who can picture it because everyone else thinks you're crazy. Everyone thinks that you're investing your time, your money, your energy into something that isn't going to work, but you know it's going to work. You're determined, you're clear, you know exactly what you want, and then you get scared. Something happens. Maybe you get a bad review on Yelp. Maybe you get some bad feedback and an email from somebody and you let that one person, maybe two voices talk you down.
Then you're giving up. Then you're giving your power away to somebody else. Now, all of this that I'm talking about really relies on you maintaining a hundred percent responsibility for your life and you feeling completely solid in your decision. Now those decisions to leave an unhealthy relationship to maybe change, pivot a business that isn't in a area that you want to pursue. That's one thing that is letting go and changing because you understand that what you're getting isn't serving you or the plan you have in mind. When you give up, you have a plan in mind and you give up on yourself. You're saying, I have a plan and I'm going to give up on it. I have a plan and it's not worth pursuing because I'm probably not going to do it anyway. I'm probably not gonna make it. I'm probably not going to have what it takes.
Isn't that sad? Like even me just saying those words out loud doesn't that kinda hurt your soul a little bit? Because when you're giving up, you're going to feel that in your heart. You're going to feel that little bit of sadness and you're going to understand that that sadness is connected with giving up and giving into a circumstance rather than letting go from a place of feeling really solid in what you believe in, what you want to create in your life. So I want you to really think about this. If you're in this position where you're not sure if you're letting go or you're giving up on yourself, I want you to really get in touch with your feelings on this. I don't want you to make any rash decisions. I want you to come from a place where you are 100% okay with this.
You understand 100% that this decision that you're making, it is going to be in your best interest moving forward towards the goal that you have. So I want you to take that into consideration when you go through this. Okay? I think I've said enough here. I think you get it. I would love to hear from you on this if this is something that resonated with you. Come talk to me on Instagram at @dina.cataldo Come and say hi to me on Facebook. I would love to hear from you any of your experiences. This is something that we all deal with at one time or another, and so when we get really connected with ourselves, when we get really connected with how we feel about the situation, then we can move in the right direction. I will talk to you soon. I hope you have a great week.
If you love this kind of work and you're not sure what the next step is on your path to get what you want out of life, if you want help navigating, overwhelm, and basically just make your life easier, let's work together. It's easy. Go to Dinacataldo.com to learn how you can get started today.