Leave When You're Happy

The truth about endings is that they are always going to happen.

Just like the seasons changing, you’re going to go through seasons of your life that end. The key is to accept that they happen (and are supposed to happen) and to not make them mean something has gone wrong.

When it comes time to leave something behind in your life, only you are going to know when that is. There is no right time to leave.

The more you say no to things that no longer serve you, the better off you will be. You will become more resilient when you don’t depend on things that can change. By allowing yourself to be happy when leaving something, you get to do what you want to do, when you want to do it.

The practice of leaving something when you’re happy becomes easier over time.

In this episode, I show you how to practice leaving when you’re happy. You’ll no longer be leaving jobs or relationships because they’re bad, but rather because they’ve served their purpose in your life and you’re ready for your next level.

Listen to this episode to hear how you can solve any problem you’re having.

Here are more of my favorite resources for this episode:

Full Leave When You’re Happy Episode Transcript

Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life podcast where it’s all about designing your life on your terms and now your host, Natalie Bacon.

What’s up? How are you doing? I am really, really excited to be with you today. As always. It’s my favorite time during the week. I feel like we just get to chat together. I am loving the summer in Chicago. Oh my gosh. If you have not been to Chicago ever, you need to come in the summer. It is amazing.

I am so happy that I moved here. You know, the winter was the winter. It was cold. It was rough. But I love living here and I had to make some really tough decisions last year to make that happen. But I did it and it feels so good. I remember living in my crappy apartment thinking like, why did I create this for myself? This is not what I want. And now I look around at my life and I’m like, this is exactly what I want to create.

So I continue to create it and I continue to create from that future place instead of just repeating the past. So I’m constantly asking myself what I want to create in my future instead of just defaulting to doing more of the same. And part of that means that I have to leave an end things like all the time.

And I will say that it gets easier the more you do it. But in the beginning when you are quitting and ending and you know saying goodbye and all this stuff, it’s kinda challenging, right? You’re not used to it. So I read the book Necessary Endings by Dr. Henry Cloud. I highly recommend this book. It’s so good. I like listening to it as well, really can change your life. But I think what he offers in this book is how to have new thoughts about endings, right?

So your thoughts will create your feelings, which create your actions or inactions. And then those actions create your results. So if you have thoughts about ending things that are counterproductive to the result that you want to create, then you’re not going to create that result even though you intend to do it. So, for example, let’s say you really want to quit your job and that’s like your desire and in five years you definitely can’t see yourself at this job. Like that’s just not what you want your future to look like in five years.

Well, if you have that desire but you have nothing in place to move you in that direction where you are going to take small action to get you to end up there, it’s not going to happen. And along the way, you’re going to have to leave and give up where you are now to get that new job.

Not only just the job, but maybe it’s the city you live in or maybe it’s certain relationships. It can be other things that will come with taking a new job. So for me, you know, I’ve done the quitting the job thing so many times that now I just expect myself to freak out. But I don’t let that stop me from making the decision and taking action.

So I quit practicing law after four and a half years of practicing and it was not spontaneous. I’m actually pretty risk averse. I was freaking out so anxious and nervous about it, but I knew it was time. I knew that although like my entire life I wanted to be a lawyer, I always wanted to be a lawyer, come from a family of doctors, dentists, and I just was never going to be in medicine. Like I always knew that, but I always cared about like justice and social things like government.

I was always really into that. So I always wanted to be a lawyer. I always loved fairness, all that stuff. And so I went into law and I became a lawyer and it was like my identity. And I gave that up and I quit it and it was hard. Right. And I lost a lot of my social circles in that way. Not intentionally, you know, I don’t feel like outed from the legal community, but I became someone different.

I left that career and I transitioned to be a financial planner. So I don’t go to the lawyer events and hang out with a bunch of lawyers all the time anymore. Of course I still have some friends from my previous jobs and from law school, but it’s not the same social circles that I had when I was practicing. So not only did I have to do the actual thing of quitting the job, but I really gave up who I was.

I was talking to a lawyer recently and he said he has had his resignation letter like written for months and he has like the money saved and everything, but he just can’t bring himself to quit. And I just think this is so interesting, right? I’m like, I’m wondering what the thoughts he’s having about this that are stopping him. Right.

Probably something like, Oh, I just can’t do it. Am I really gonna do this? I, you know, worked so hard for this. Whatever his thoughts are, they’re definitely creating the result of him not quitting. And I think what Dr. Henry Cloud does really well in Necessary Endings is he gives you thoughts that contradict what we normally think about ending and quitting. Right? Typically in the media, we’ll hear things like quitting is bad, or do you let your kids quit sports or you know, anything like that.

It’s just kind of frowned upon. And when I want you to do, and what Henry Cloud does in the book is that he gives you new thoughts that flip that on its head. So instead of thinking that quitting is bad or that endings are bad or that something has to go terribly wrong for you to quit or leave something, I want you to just leave when you’re happy just because you want to leave.

So I think that when you leave, when you’re happy, or at least from a place where you’re not waiting for it to get to be so bad, you will actually create so much less resistance through the process and you will embrace endings as a normal part of life. I love the analogies of thinking of your life as having different seasons, right? You’re like in school as a student for 18 to 30 years of your life, then you’re in your thirties maybe you’re getting married or having kids into your forties you’re raising kids, building your career along the way, right?

And then you have like a midlife and then you have later in life, these are all seasons of life. And there is no one moment where, Oh, this season ends, but it flows and you develop into the next season. We see this in the calendar year, right? Most obviously it’s the summer now, which is amazing. But then we’ll have fall and I love fall and then there’s winter, right? And it’s cold and, but there’s snow and every season is different. And then spring, it’s like the rebirth of everything.

So every single season, whether in the calendar year or it’s of your life, there’s like this start, this middle and this end and I want you to start looking at things in your life. And I say things, but what I really mean is like every single area of your life and decide intentionally whether you want to end, how you’re doing something right now or end that relationship or end that job so that you can create a different result in the future and you don’t have to wait for it to get bad.

It doesn’t need to be miserable. You can just leave when you’re happy. You can leave your job just because you want to. When I quit financial planning, it wasn’t because financial planning, you know got so bad that I just had to quit. I just decided that for what I wanted to do in my lifetime. I wanted to do my own business and that was the direction that I wanted to go in and that meant giving up my identity and my job as a financial planner.

It was not easy, but I wasn’t miserable. I you know, didn’t create a lot of tension and friction like I just did it right. I was, you know, scared of course, but that is okay. I want you to know that you can leave when you’re happy. When it comes to your job and when it comes to your relationship.

Because what I see a lot is that people think that happiness will be on the other side of changing around the circumstances. So it’s like, Oh, if I just get my new job I will be happy. Right. And you kind of see this from people who will bounce around from jobs like every three years or so. And it’s kinda funny cause they think like, okay well the happiness wasn’t in this job but it’s probably in this other job or I thought I wanted to do this, but then no, maybe I’m going to change course and do this and I am all for intentional change. Especially if you feel like you’re on the wrong corporate ladder, like get off that ladder and get on a new ladder. That’s like definitely what I did. But I never once thought that I would be happier because of it.

So just notice if you’re doing that and practice thoughts and work on your own thought work and coach yourself listen to that episode so that you create a life where you are happy. You know when you want to be happy and you are responsible for your own emotions and then just do things in your life because you want to do things.

You can just be with someone because you want to be with them instead of expecting them to make you happy. You can just be in a job just because you want to be in a job and not expect your job to make you happy or you can decide to quit because you just want to quit. It doesn’t have to get so bad. You can just be ready for a new season. And I think that the way that modern society is there is just going to be an overflow of opportunity for you at all times.

And this is amazing, right? It just makes this time that we live in the absolute best time to be alive. I truly believe that, especially with the internet. That said, it makes it even more important for you to be really good at the skill of saying no and ending things and quitting.

And the more that you say no, and the more you don’t make it mean anything, the more you will create the exact life you want because you won’t be saying yes to what other people want you to do. So you can just leave the job when you’re happy. You can leave your relationship and say that this just wasn’t for me and unhappy, but this is not what I want to go forward and then be happy. It’s crazy, right? You think that you have to like hit quote unquote rock-bottom, like whatever that means.

You don’t have to do that. You can just decide to leave. I love, um, thinking about how I can just do like whatever I want. And I say that not because I run my own business. I say that because any adult can do whatever they want. So you could just do whatever you want, right? You could leave your husband, you could leave your kids, you could leave your job, you could leave all the things.

So by staying in them, you actually want to be in them. So remake the decisions in your life that you have made in the past all the time. Like I do this annually. I’ve talked about this before with my business. Would I recreate these courses? Would I recreate this coaching program? Would I rehire these people? Would I rechoose these friends? So it’s letting go of that history bias and what has happened in the past so that you don’t create more of what you don’t want in the future.

You will have so many more opportunities that you can take when you do this, when you leave and when you end things. Because if your plate is full and you’re saying yes to everything and you’re in a job you don’t like and maybe a relationship you don’t love, you are going to have way too much going on.

You won’t have the space for the opportunities that would come your way if you were leaving space for them and you to trust that from that place of abundance from the place of moving in the direction that you want to move in, those opportunities will come to you. I talk about my lane a lot, I don’t have another way to explain it. But I talk about like what’s in my lane, right? Or what lane am I in for my future? And it’s like thinking of a highway and getting off at a certain exit and then getting in another lane.

Like what lane are you in right now? Do you want to be in that lane and are you just letting everyone in that lane with you or are you being intentional about who’s in your lane? So I don’t believe that there are toxic people, right? There’s not this like toxic potion that was poured into someone’s body and now they’re a toxic person. They are a person who has thoughts and feelings and those thoughts and feelings cause them to do or not do certain things. And then they have the results in their life.

So for me, if there is someone who would I like to say is not in my lane, I just like to think of it as like, okay, that person makes it hard for me to be my best self. So instead of saying they’re toxic, I say, okay, that person, just being around them, it’s hard for me to be my best self.

So I don’t want to continue in that relationship in the way that I have in the past. So either the relationship needs to end completely or we have to have a different sort of relationship going forward. But I like to think of it as like, I want to keep people around me who are in my lane who are kind of vibrating on that level frequency. If you want to get into all that manifesting language.

But think about this, think about your job. Think about your relationships with people you know, your spouse, significant other, your friends, and your coworkers. Who are you including in your life? And what are you saying yes to you saying yes to everyone and everything, or are you being intentional so that you make space for the right people for the right opportunities, for exactly what you want to create. Now, what I like to do is I like to think about endings as something that I expect.

So expect that there will be endings. Expect that at some point you will want to quit your job or you will want a new job or you will want to do something new and different and quit something that you’re currently doing.

Instead of thinking that everything is forever. If you start to think about endings as a normal part of life, then you can start to have thoughts around endings like this is totally normal. Of course this is supposed to end. Endings are normal. Instead of having all the negative thought chatter like, Oh, I can’t leave like this is bad. I should wait until it gets bad. It’s not that bad. Maybe I shouldn’t leave. You know all that chatter that’s just so unnecessary. Instead, notice what you’re making it mean. So if you’re thinking about leaving a job, I think that it’s important for you to not only, you know, of course save some money and know how you’re going to live.

But I think more importantly is think about who your future self is and who you want to be and are you doing right now the things that you would be doing as that new person and if not, how can you move direction to do a little bit more of what moves you a little bit closer to that goal and what can you say no to and what can you leave behind that will help you shift and to move in that direction of what you want.

Because just intending and desiring something does not mean that it’s going to happen. You actually have to do things and move in that direction. So what you make ending something mean will make it easier or harder for you to do this. And of course, how you grew up will have created thought patterns around this. So if you struggle with ending things a lot, it might be because you are repeating thoughts and you have a really strong pathway formed from how you grew up.

And maybe endings were really, really bad when you were growing up. And so now you think all endings have to be bad. And I just want you to know that they don’t have to be bad. You can just leave when you’re happy just because you want to leave. The more I do this, the easier my life is.

My life is not easy. So I just, I say that, um, just to let you know that it’s totally a thought option available to you, instead of waiting for things to get really, really bad, you can just think about what your desire is and your intention is for your future. And if something isn’t in your lane for it right now, just decide to leave and still be happy doing it right. And some endings, you might not want to be happy. You might want to be a little bit sad, but you might know that it’s the right thing to do.

That’s very different than what I see, which is like people just waiting for it to get so bad. Like why do we do that? I don’t know before they want to leave. And I think this can be really, really unnecessarily harmful to you. You can kind of cause yourself some unnecessary suffering.

Earlier this year I was working for my business mentor and coach part-time. I loved it. It was such an opportunity. I learned so much. I felt like I was providing so much value to her business. It was really, really cool to be in her business. But I decided that my future seven figure self in my business was not someone who also was helping build someone else’s business because of the time and energy it took, but also who I was in that role. So, you know, I didn’t do that work for the money at all.

It was, it was definitely not enough money for that. Um, I did it for the experience to be in that business, but I got to a point where I realized like my, you know, seven figures, CEO self is not working part time for another business. She’s just not.

When you become that person that you’re trying to be ahead of time, you realize that there are so many more endings that you need to make. And this is when it gets really easy to do the endings. And I will say like even quitting that job, I felt, you know, nervous and anxious a little bit, but I was never unsure and I never wavered in my decision and I was really clear about it. Even though I was nervous to actually do it and live through it, I knew it was the right decision. So when you get clear about where you’re going and you have this idea of who you want to be, you can practice becoming her.

And by doing that you will get to a point where endings aren’t something that you’re putting off. It’s like so obvious because it would have become increasingly uncomfortable for me to be in that role because I so identify as this like seven fingers CEO, right? But there’s still a little bit of me that doesn’t, right.

Or else I would have the results. And you’ll know that you’re identifying with who you’re trying to be if you have the results that you want. So if you say that you want to make six figures and you say you really believe it and you’re being the person who makes six figures, well I’m going to ask you, well, how much do you make? If you’re telling me your business is making $500 bucks a month, I’m going to tell you that there’s a part of you that doesn’t believe it yet and you might want to believe it.

But wanting to believe it is different than actually believing it, right? It’s like people want to want to do something, they want to want to get married, but they don’t actually want to get married. There’s a different and that difference is everything.

The best advice I have is to um, you know, listen to those future focus episodes where you’re, um, gonna practice becoming that person ahead of time. The alter ego episode will help as well, but really notice how much you’re going to have to change. And with change means ending things and saying bye to things and remember, circumstances are neutral. So you quitting a job is neutral. Now you will have consequences, right? You know, the mortgage still has to get paid, but there is no other meaning to you quitting than the meaning you give it. And no one can make you believe anything.

You get to decide what you want to believe. You get to make quitting your job mean whatever you want, you get to make ending your marriage or ending a relationship mean whatever you want. Even if people say the nastiest things to you. And you don’t have to believe that.

I think there’s so much freedom in this because like I said, decide whatever you want, do whatever you want, just like your reason. And if you like your reason, you have you and you do it from a place of certainty. And confidence and other people’s opinions will not affect you because you won’t believe them cause you’ll believe what you think. So start to expect endings. Start to know that they are part of the seasons of your life and of the journey that you’re on and that nothing’s gone wrong and that things are supposed to end.

Relationships are supposed to end, right. Even, I mean even marriages that lasts a lifetime, someone still dies, right? It’s kind of morbid, but it’s true, right? Your life will end also very morbid. Sorry. I also think of like technology.

Remember My Space were you on My Space? I was totally on My Space. My name was like Sunshine or something. So ridiculous, but it ended. There’s no more My Space, right? Facebook. That’s what we’re on now. BlackBerry’s. That was a thing. I remember BlackBerry’s, no one has a BlackBerry anymore.

So things just end. And I think that when you think of life in this way and you do it in your personal life and you do it in your business and you do it in all areas, you will be so much more resilient because you won’t be dependent on other things. So it’s like when an industry is struggling, instead of being so tied to the industry, it’s like you’ve developed yourself enough to know to be resilient, to quit that job and then move in the direction that the world is moving in.

I like to think of taxi cabs, you know, it’s like, all right, if I’m a taxi cab driver, I see the writing on the wall. I, I’m figuring out Uber and all that stuff. Or you know, other industries I think of like coal miners or anything in the past. It’s like the reality is that change is constant and there will be change.

So the more adaptable you are, the more resilient you are, the more you will be able to design the life that you want. Design your dream life despite what’s going on in the world. And it takes practice and it takes being able to let go and it takes being able to end things just because you want to. The more you do this, the more your life will like skyrocket in always. And it’s hard, but I’m telling you, it’s so, so worth it.

And the more you do it, the easier it gets. So if you just start practicing thoughts of, you know, I’m going to leave when I’m happy, I’m going to leave just because I want to. This just isn’t working. Nothing’s gone wrong. This is just done. You make it hard for me to be my best self.

But I do not recommend saying that to someone’s face. But you can. No leave when you’re happy. I think that it has served me so well when I quit working for my mentor. When I quit financial planning, I was really focused on like leaving when I was happy and it made the whole process so much more enjoyable for me. And I continue to use this strategy in my life and other areas. Um, and you don’t have to tell people, right? If it’s friends that it’s not just going in the right direction for you.

You can just, you know, make choices that align with going in a new direction without telling that person that you don’t want to spend as much time with them or you can, it’s totally up to you. Remember, just like your reason. So leave when you’re happy, lead from a place of abundance, start to expect things to end and that nothing has gone wrong and it’s totally okay and you can just leave when you’re happy because you want to.

So this week I challenge you to say goodbye to something in your life that you’ve been wanting to say goodbye to and do it from a place of positive emotion and think those thoughts that this is the right thing for me to do and I’m just going to leave because I want to. And there doesn’t have to be a bigger reason than that. All right, I’ll talk to you next week.

Thank you for listening to the Design Your Dream Life podcast. Subscribe to the podcast to get the latest episodes sent directly to you. To learn more about designing your dream life visit NatalieBacon.com.