There are moments in life when you will decide enough is enough.
It may be a job, relationship, hangovers, smoking, being a doormat or not taking care of yourself.
Usually, when we have reached the end of our tether, or, our health is in crisis, we make a decision that changes our destiny. We sometimes call this an awakening, an epiphany, a wake-up call.
Whatever you want to call it, sometimes in life, that feeling of “ENOUGH” is not to be ignored.
There are times, however, when, despite the feeling, we have to; suck it up, not cut off our nose to spite our face, think about the big picture, be strategic or grin and bill it!
“Grin and Bill It,” is a favourite expression of mine I learned in the UK many years ago working with a dear friend. We had a challenging project to deliver with lots of egos and we took all the crap and sent in our invoice, knowing that this would be over soon. We called it; “Grin and Bill It!” I’m sure you’ve experienced this yourself at times.
"I’ve had a few enough is enough moments in life, and I’ve also had to suck it up many times."
Three years ago, I decided enough was enough when my health was failing and I had a wake-up call whilst dressing my eldest daughter for her first day of Kindy. I’m reminded of this moment as I dressed my youngest in her Kindy uniform this week as we practised getting ready for school. In that moment three years ago, I decided I could not carry on with life feeling as I did. If I didn’t change something, I would not be around to see them finish school. This feeling was an intense epiphany, like a freight train bearing down on me and I could stay on the track or jump off the edge.
I overhauled my health and my life in the months that followed, and I’m so glad I had that epiphany.
So, what is the trick to knowing when to suck it up, and when to call time?
Here are five things to help you understand if it really is enough, or you owe it to yourself to stick it out?
1. Rationalise the Costs.
Our decisions have costs associated with them, whether we like it, or not. Not necessarily monetary, but time, effort, and so on. Understanding the costs associated with your choices and decisions will help you be more strategic in your decision making. Your work-life, home-life and relationships are part of the cost analysis. Sometimes the financial incentive to do something doesn’t make up for the added stress, responsibility and life that you will lose. On the other hand, if you have a goal that you desire to achieve, and you are working towards something, you will make sense of your sacrifice and know that the short-term pain for long-term gain may actually be worth it.
Here’s 3 practical examples;
• I once worked 7 weeks straight without a day off in order to have the money to renovate my home. I sold the home a few years later and made a good profit.
• I once took a job that was much lower in salary and skill-set than my previous role, so that I could work within myself and progress in other areas of my life.
• I gave up my gym membership, having my nails done and my house cleaned so I could use the money to send my kids to the school we chose. I rarely miss the three things I’ve given up, seeing my kids happy and safe is reward enough.
2. Recognise the impact on your Health.
Your health is the most important thing. Don’t compromise it, negotiate it away or take it for granted. As a 46-year-old, I’ve learned a few hard lessons. Here is what I know, and have seen in others.
In our teens and 20s, our bodies are still young and fairly resilient and we lead a more active social life. In our late 20s and 30s, we progress more in our career, start having a family and probably earn more money. We then become more sedentary; we eat more, drink more and sit more. In our 40s, this becomes an issue as we develop typical middle-aged health problems, possibly even heart attacks and other serious conditions. Once we’ve reached that point, it’s harder to go back, as our bodies are not as resilient. We then spend our time and money being treated and taking medication. If you see yourself headed towards this, then you need a wake-up call sooner rather than later. Don’t let your “enough is enough moment” be in a Dr’s waiting room.
3. Compromising your Integrity.
We each have a set of values, and hopefully, a moral compass. If your work, relationships or social circle compromises your integrity, then it’s probably time to think about calling time, before enough really becomes enough. Your integrity is important for your well-being and we often ignore our integrity, living and working to the values of others at the expense of ourselves. Over time, your compromise affects you physically, as well as mentally and emotionally. You may have a bitter pill to swallow, or be constantly wearing a mask, not showing your true self. Repeatedly compromising your integrity can make you become very sick. When in doubt, refer to number 1, Rationalise the Cost.
4. Safety and Security.
Your safety and that of your family is primary and if you feel it is compromised in any way, then it’s time to call enough. Don’t wait around for one more apology or to be rescued. Ask yourself; “Is this safe?” If you have doubts, then there is no doubt.
A good reputation is important, and I don’t mean in an old fashioned, prudish way. There’s an expression which says; "You are only as good as your last job". And also, as a working parent you have an enormous sphere of influence, and it’s often overlooked as a consideration. If your reputation (being a good role-model) is important to you, then it’s going to feature high on your “enough is enough” radar. Aligning and associating yourself with causes, people or work, who do not care about your reputation (or others), is not doing you any favours in the long run. When in doubt, refer to number 3, Compromising your integrity.
Here are some other valuable things I’ve learned;
• Sometimes the hardest things end up being the most rewarding.
• Personal growth sits way outside our comfort zone.
• All beginnings are hard.
• Sometimes you need to put on your big girls’ pants and face the music or stand up for yourself.
• If you don’t advocate for yourself, no one else will.
All of this is so important, but sometimes you will feel desperate and you may not have many options or choices available and you, and you have to make it work. In these moments, just know that a lot can change very quickly and in a few months or years down the track you will look back and think, “Wow, that was so hard but I’m in a totally different place right now.”
Sometimes you will cut off your nose to spite your face!
Sometimes you will Suck It Up.
And Sometimes you will pick up your purse and just go home, knowing that there is nothing more you can do.
There is nothing more empowering than picking up your purse and saying, “Let me go home and think about things!”
As you grow, learn and make mistakes, your tolerance will change, as will your experience and expectations.
Enough may not come soon enough sometimes. And in other instances, you can never have enough.
Just be considerate to yourself, practise self-awareness, consider the five points above and never feel alone.
Nearby is someone else just like you!
Love and Health,