I am currently listening to a very insightful audio book: Necessary endings by Dr Henry Cloud. The title says it all and whilst endings of any sort are not comfortable, they are necessary.
Endings (as Cloud points out) are a natural occurrence (or they should be) and whilst we are often conditioned otherwise, understanding the reasons for why we all need to embrace endings at some point in both our personal and business lives, begins to open us up to endless possibilities.
I particularly like the analogy that Cloud uses comparing endings to pruning a rose bush. He explains why like rose bushes, we need to prune relationships to remove the dead or diseased branches so that new buds can be triggered to grow. Makes sense doesn’t it? Will a rose bush survive without pruning? In most cases yes, but it will become a poorly shaped plant with smaller blooms. It will look neglected and become prone to pests and diseases.
Not hard to see the comparison then between pruning and some of our stagnant, dead end relationships or life situations right? The reasons why we stay in the status quo can however be complex. We are human after all and as creatures living through our beliefs, values and emotions, we all have blocks. Things that hold us back and keep us stuck. These stop us from ending situations or relationships that are well past their sell-by date. Two of the most common factors that hold us back are: loyalty and fear of the unknown.
We can all identify to variable degrees with these two factors and it’s important to remember that they are not always playing out negatively either. In certain events or times in our lives they are extremely important to our survival and wellbeing but at other times, they hinder and hold us back when we should be going full steam ahead. It takes courage and perseverance to work through the ties that bind, and which restrict our growth and to arrive at a point where we are ready to shift, cut and prune.
If we do the work and stay the full course, the fruits of our labour will appear. This is a given. It may not be an overnight occurrence, but if we stay focused on the new course that we have chartered for ourselves, in time, positive results and more importantly growth will happen!
So, as I prepare my pruning shears today, I encourage you to do the same. I know it won’t be a pain-free, nor comfortable growth exercise but I am committed to do the work because it is necessary. I have arrived here because it is exactly where I need to be…for now!
I leave you with a closing quote which summarises this topic perfectly and simply: “You can’t enter a new season, until you’re willing to leave the old one.” Joe Dawson