Dear Human: Stepping forward and letting people down

Dear Human, 

I have amazing news – I’ve taken a job, working with someone who I look up to not only as a businessman but also as a person. I’m extremely excited, and f**king nervous to begin such a new chapter. 

But my happiness and excited nerves are being clouded by the sadness of needing to let down my current employer. I feel like a really bad person. I feel like an absolute shit actually for having to sit my boss down and tell him that I’m done; not to mention being “done” at the worst possible time for business itself. 

I hate letting people down. How do I tell them I’m leaving because this opportunity is so much more than a job and I refuse to let it go? How do I not let them down, but still look out for myself?

I hate the idea of being hated. I have formed a friendship with the business owners… and now I’m going to turn my back on them. Will I be disliked for taking a step forward in my life? How do I do it properly? How do I do it and still maintain a friendship? When will I get to start being truly excited and happy about this AMAZING opportunity without the guilt? How do I rip the bandaid off so I can start to celebrate? 


Someone who is seeking permission to take a step forward

Dear Stepping Forward,

Congratulations. Just stop a moment and breathe, breathe again, and let yourself be congratulated. It sounds exciting. It sounds good. It sounds right. 

Smiling? You should be.

Okay, now you can spin again. No – don’t spin. We all spin. About all the things. It’s not helpful.

When you feel like this, first thing you should do is meditate. I don’t know if you do, or you have, or how you feel about that, but do yourself a favour, download the Headspace app or Smiling Mind or just Youtube Deepak and do it. Morning. Night. Any time you spin.

Now let’s get into this fascinating question.

If I asked you if you were a people pleaser, how would you respond? How would you feel? 

Are you a people pleaser? 

Sounds like a nice quality in a person, but it’s not great. Mostly because most of the big decisions we make in life end up impacting others, and not always in a good way. It just is that way. Life. In my experience. 

I had a big year of hurting people last year. I hurt my wife, my kids, my co-founder, my team, my best friends… 

Because I chose love, and my own happiness. It had an impact, a big impact. But you know what – it wasn’t that I chose love that actually caused all the damage. It was my attempt to not hurt anyone with this love. It just ended up hurting everyone. 

I wish, had I my time again, that I had stood firm in my truth, taken a deep breath, and shared this love with the world, right away. And let everyone feel that truth and take ownership themselves of how this would impact them. 

Here’s the thing – this was always going to hurt someone. But it wasn’t wrong. Brutal, but not wrong. 

All we can do, if something is right for us, is to stand in our truth, and step forward. 

And you know what? Everybody works it all out. Sure, your current employers will be disappointed. Maybe they get upset with you. That’s okay. But that’s their shit. If they are friends, and if you’re honest and open and heartfelt with them, they should understand and be happy for you.

Perhaps there’s a way you can ease them through the transition. What would being a good person in this look like without compromising yourself, or your future?

Do you dislike yourself for making this decision? If you do, then it’s the wrong decision. If you don’t, if it fills you with secret joy and excites you, then it’s the right decision. 

Take a deep breath, fill your lungs, step in. Be truthful. Arms wide. Heartful. But convicted. 

Look forward. And step. 

It’s your life to live. 

X. Human.

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