Have you ever been at work sitting at your desk? Everything seems like a normal routine day at the office. But, something inside of you feels off. The gnawing feeling has been growing since you clocked in and has only gained momentum after your lunch break. The intensity of this internal chaos gets so loud until it bubbles to the surface in one life-altering phrase: “What am I doing here?”
When you hear the words leave your lips, it’s all the fire needed to get your legs moving. And in that instant, you are up, out of your seat, cleaning out your desk drawers, packing up your belongings and making a beeline for the door. Your fellow coworkers believe that you too are heading to the company’s annual holiday party. But no, you’re headed to the parking lot to get into your car and leave. This time you’re out for good, no turning back.
This was the exact scenario in December 2016 when I left my job as a financial aid advisor at a community college. I enjoyed the students I interacted with and helped on a daily basis, but that was where the buck stopped. In every other aspect of my job, I was overworked, underpaid and underappreciated. On that fateful day in December, I had reached my breaking point and there was no turning back.
Understanding Breaking Points
But here’s the deal with reaching the point of no return, you literally can’t go back to what you left. Realizing that truth after I walked off my job was liberating and later scary. What had I done?
For one, I had finally stood up for myself and affirmed my value. But at the same time, I had sent off alarms to the little voice in my head that was in full panic mode after my departure. That side of my brain had so many questions. What are you doing? What are you going to do? How are you going to make money? What will people say? What will your boss and coworkers think? What will your family say?
Question after question bounced around in my head until I reached another breaking point and put that annoying voice to rest. I mustered every truth about myself, capabilities, value, strengths and determination, and launched a verbal attack. I threw every quote, scripture and bible verse about being the head and not the tail, above and not beneath, the lender and not the borrower, blessed going in and blessed going out, that day. I had had enough of living in fear and that day I escaped its grip.
The Breaking Point Aftermath
After that final battle with fear, I promised myself that I would never sell myself short or allow others to define my value. That power was mine alone. Fast forward to January 2018, and I am still a proponent of this promise. I define life on my own terms, and anything that doesn’t resonate with the truth of my definition has to go or be left behind. I approach every crossroad with this same promise. It helps me decipher what’s for me and what isn’t. I always ask myself is this task, relationship, deal, opportunity, etc. undervaluing or valuing my presence and potential? From this space of questioning is how I make all of my decisions.
Stages of Breaking Points
So as you have read, there are stages we go through when we reach our breaking point. The first one is realizing there’s a problem. That gnawing feeling was my internal alarm cuing me in to the unrest in my spirit. What signs, alerts or warnings have you noticed in your own life?
Secondly, there is always a pivotal, question that we ask ourselves that initiates the avalanche of momentum we need to get moving. Mine was what am I doing here? And when I asked myself the question I knew the answer was wasting my time, efforts, value and the best years of my life. What question are you asking yourself that brings perfect clarity to your situation?
Lastly, asking the question and knowing the answer led to immediate action. I was up and out in less than half an hour! Truth has a way of not only bringing light to a situation, but lighting a fire that gets us moving immediately. Where do you need to act and take action in your life?
Purpose Of Breaking Points
I believe breaking points are a very necessary experience in our lives. They help us realize that we’re carrying too much weight, making too many excuses, living outside our means or undervaluing our time, presence and potential. They are the alarms we all need to get out of ruts, take action and get out of our own way. If you have reached your own breaking point and want to better understand your next step or plan of action, I can help. I’ve done the work successfully and can help you do yours.