By Lachlan Brown
It’s natural to want to hold on to what we have, especially if we’ve grown used to it already.
Holding on for the sake of holding on, however, could impede personal and professional growth.
Staying in a rocky relationship because the single life is terrifying or showing up at work even if it feels like a dead-end job.
There’s a time to hold on, and a time to let go. Knowing when exactly to let go is tricky.
Reading the situation wrong could lead to regret and a missed opportunity.
Take the time and look out for these 12 signs that the universe is telling you to let go.
1. You Haven’t Felt Happiness In Some Time
Going in for the interview, getting accepted, and walking into the office for the first time can be an exhilarating experience.
It’s one of those moments where emotions and satisfaction are high — for a while.
That initial feeling of happiness can only last for so long.
As the days, weeks, months, maybe even years go by, there needs to be something keeping your spirits up.
If not, then the days will drag for excruciatingly long.
If you suddenly start wondering when the last time you were happy was, it will almost feel like a sobering experience.
It’s a moment of clarity, like waking up from a stupor.
If you begin looking around and asking why you aren’t feeling the same feeling you felt on that fateful first day, that may be the universe telling you something.
2. Daily Life Starts Becoming Stressful
When we’re engaged and committed to work that we believe that we enjoy, it can be easy to weather the storms of stress.
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German philosopher Nietzsche did say that “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how”.
When we understand our purpose with something, we don’t sweat the small stuff.
But as the torrent of daily tasks, urgent decisions, and meticulous paperwork begin piling on, it can lead you to feel burnt out.
If things that weren’t a big deal before begin to bother you and cause you mental aches, that could be a sign to step back and refocus on why you’re doing this in the first place.
It’s the universe questioning the authenticity of your dedication and belief.
3. You’re Expected To Be Someone You’re Not
Relationships and our career often have their own challenges that will make demands that are beyond our comfort zone.
It’s in these moments where true growth can happen.
However, it’s also a way for the universe to ask you to look inward. It will ask you to confront who you believe you are and what you stand for.
If your partner begins asking you to change your behavior to suit them, or your position at work slowly begins shape-shifting into something that you know is something that you won’t do, that’s the universe telling you that this might not be the right path that you’re on right now.
4. People Keep Breaking Your Trust
When you’re fully sold on a person or job, it can be difficult to objectively consider the inherent cons — and everything has at least one pro and one con.
But since you’re so into it, you disregard it and continue persevering with your daily routine with that person or job, no matter how toxic it might be.
Your fondness of the person or job sets your expectations of them.
You expect them to somehow give something back to you, whether it be love reciprocated or dependable benefits.
But, you notice that they keep falling short of your expectations. They keep bringing you down.
It can start damaging your sense of trust, which is a sign to reevaluate why you’re holding on.
5. You Begin Getting Frustrated At The Little Things
We often try to force the people and things in our life to conform with our idea of what’s ideal.
The grip might be too tight, however, and an obsession begins to form.
When seemingly small details begin getting on your nerves, it might mean that you’re getting too wrapped up with what you’re doing.
What was once some seemingly minor inconvenience starts becoming the cause of restless nights, there might be something off.
The universe might be asking you to question yourself, asking if it’s all worth the tossing and the turning.
6. You Feel Like You Have To Stay
Often, we do things out of a sense of obligation for someone.
We stay in a job because we were selected by the higher-ups, and we must pay our respects, as a form of gratitude for them doing this for us.
What once was a way to give thanks might morph into the root cause of your stress.
The fact is that no one can force you to do anything.
You can show your gratitude and still remember to take care of yourself.
If your job is taking a toll on your physical, emotional, and mental health, that’s the universe trying to raise its alarm bells.
It’s telling you to look at what the job really means to you, and why you’re suffering in the first place.
7. Your Sleep Is Disrupted
Sleep is the time when our bodies get to recover from the trials of the day. It’s a chance to let your muscles release their tension, to replenish its strength for the next day.
All this can’t happen, however, if your mind is going at 100 miles per hour.
What’s keeping you up at night?
What’s eating at your heart and your mind that isn’t allowing you to get the shut eye that you so desperately need? Is it a rocky relationship? The “passion” project that’s turning into another job?
In those quiet moments, as you lay in bed, pay attention to what thoughts cross your mind: what feelings arise, without any external triggers, and where you mind drifts to.
The universe might be telling you, “Hey! Pay attention to this!”
8. You’re Always The One Making The Sacrifices
Healthy relationships should be two-way streets. There should be a mutual understanding between the individuals, and they should both be willing to compromise.
If you’re in a relationship where the only one who is compromising is you, that’s a major red flag. It’s the universe telling you that this person might not be who you think, and that you should take a step back a bit.
9. You Feel Like You’ve Done Your Best But Nothing’s Changed
One of the only things in life that we can control is our effort. Whether our work is met with praises or insults isn’t up to us; it’s a matter of what we can do with what we have.
This is why, if you’re already exerting everything you have on your job, but still coming up short, that’s a clear sign from the universe telling you to look for another path.
10. You Feel More Anxious Now
Your commitment can lead to further stress and even anxiety if you aren’t careful about it.
You begin dreading Monday morning: another week in the grueling heat of the job.
Or you have to keep looking over your shoulder for your partner.
This is a sign that something just isn’t working out and that you might need to let go.
11. Your Dreams No Longer Excite You
When you start anything — a relationship, a job, a business — the road ahead of you is paved with possibilities. Your mind can race with “What Ifs”.
But as you keep at it, you might start seeing that the dreams and goals you once set for yourself have become an almost impossible task — one that no longer motivates you.
You think about what you have and where it might lead and you’ve grown numb to the wealth of possibilities that could be fulfilled.
This could be a sign from the universe that tells you that what you’re doing right now may not be the ideal path for you.
12. Something Doesn’t Feel Right
It’s that gut feeling you get when you walk into your office in the morning. It’s the less than enthusiastic, repetitive conversation you’re having with your partner.
In the back of your mind, you might be thinking that there’s something wrong going on here.
It can pester you. When our minds encounter a problem, it won’t stop until it finds a solution.
The universe might have shown you this problem to help you think again on your decisions.
There’s nothing wrong with letting go when you believe that it really is your best decision.
It’s best not to let pride or ego get in the way of coming to an objective conclusion about your own fate.
When you decide to stay for too long, it might reveal to you just how bad of a pair you are with your partner or company.
Sometimes, you never really know what you have until you keep holding on.
Nike co-founder Phil Knight had a saying: “fail fast”. If you fail and let go fast, you’d still have time to pursue another relationship or job in your life.