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When you make the choice to move on

Burning bridges might be the first important step in a different and better direction

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Have you ever really “stepped in it,” as they say? Many of us have had the experience of accidentally-on-purpose blowing up our world. The truth is that it is only a part of our world, even though at the moment it can seem like total planetary destruction. It’s possible to impose numerous emotional gyrations on yourself before entering into a state of acceptance, and you will.

First of all, don’t beat yourself up. When you realize you may have made the biggest mistake of their life, the obvious first thought is “How could I?” But understand there was something driving you, and it probably wasn’t something negative.

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We all have our boundaries and limits, and when they are crossed or you feel burned out, it’s not totally abnormal to do something to get out of the situation, even if doing it includes some self-sabotage. That being said, maybe, just maybe, you did the right thing.

In fact, burning bridges may be the first important step in a different and better direction. If you look at it that way, the transition you are going through will be much easier. It helps when you have something to look forward to, especially when you are in the muck trying to make your life better.

Of course, it will be hard to take a positive view at the start, because you are still grieving for what you left behind. But if you were feeling less-than for any reason, it is best to move on.

An old friend used to say, “Never do anything just for money.” These days, that philosophy may be hard to live by, but you have to try to get something more from life and from your work than just money and what you can buy with it. Having good self-esteem is key to feeling good about life.

Look, if you’re feeling like Howard Beale in “Network” — and you’re as mad as hell and not going to take it anymore — you probably should throw the TV out the window and find something that doesn’t make you feel like you aren’t enough.

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You will find it, but only if you look, so don’t let yourself fall into depression. That’s a deep dive, and you have to “just keep swimming” as Dory sings in “Finding Nemo.” I have been there, as has everyone else I know who is successful, and all of us have used these difficult moments to make our lives better, because we chose not to let them make things worse.

Yes, there will be bad times, but that is to be expected. You are an emotional being and this is an emotional situation. If you were not a person who listened to their feelings, you would not have made the choices you’ve made. Trust that a new door will open. You still have a lot going for you, so keep on knocking.

Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., is an award-winning psychotherapist. He is also the author of eight books, and a blogger for PsychologyToday.com. You can reach him at Barton@BartonGoldsmith.com

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