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When It’s Time to Let Go: The CEO Approach to Breaking Up.

I’ve been speaking to many people on this topic recently so I hope it helps, or it may help someone you know who may be struggling.

In the realm of personal relationships, the idea of comparing friendships to business transactions might seem cold or transactional at first glance. However, when we dig deeper into the principles of mutual respect, growth, and energy exchange, this comparison contains deep insight about the nature of our connections.

In my second book, You Always Have a Choice, I discuss the concept of being the ‘CEO of You.’ Adopting this mindset for evaluating the value of relationships can significantly simplify the process of determining who should remain part of your tribe at any given time.

Recognising the Need for Change

First, it’s crucial to acknowledge that people change, and so do our relationships with them. Some friends might have been perfect companions during a certain phase of our lives but now seem to misalign with our values or drain our energy rather than replenish it. This misalignment isn’t necessarily anyone’s fault; it’s simply a part of growth.

As the CEO of your life, it’s your responsibility to assess these connections with a clear eye. Would you keep someone on your team who consistently depletes the company’s resources without contributing value? The same logic applies to personal relationships.

Many I have spoken with find this incredibly hard. Especially if it involves a life long friend or business collaboration. It is tough because feeling are involved. Here are six steps to help guide you to gradually distance yourself with kindness and empathy:

  1. Evaluate the Relationship: Take stock of the energy exchange in your friendship. Is there an equal give and take over time? If not, it might be time to consider a change.
  2. Set Boundaries: Begin to set healthy boundaries. This might mean saying no to invitations that don’t feel right or limiting the time and energy you devote to this person. Boundaries are always not walls; they are the gates that allow for respectful and meaningful interactions.
  3. Reduce Frequency: Gradually reduce the frequency of your interactions. This doesn’t have to be abrupt but can be a natural tapering off, allowing both parties to adjust to the new dynamic.
  4. Shift Your Focus: Invest your time and energy into relationships that are fulfilling and align with your current path. This positive focus will naturally create a buffer between you and the friendships that no longer serve you.
  5. Communicate Honestly, If Necessary: There are situations where a direct conversation is needed. In such instances, it’s crucial to approach the discussion with kindness and honesty. Express your feelings without casting blame, focusing on your own growth and needs. It’s important to recognise that the issue may not be about wrongdoing on the other person’s part; rather, they could be reacting to the changes they observe in you with fear or uncertainty.
  6. Let Go with Gratitude: Reflect on the good times and what you’ve learned from the relationship. Letting go with gratitude rather than bitterness paves the way for positive growth on both sides.

Embracing Change

Remember, it’s perfectly acceptable for relationships to evolve or fade. This doesn’t diminish the value of the connection you once had; it simply acknowledges that life is a series of growth and changes. As the CEO of your life, making these tough calls is part of ensuring your personal ecosystem is thriving and that you are surrounded by a tribe that supports and grows with you.

This is a great quote to keep in in mind: “In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, relationships we were afraid to let go of, and the decisions we waited too long to make.” The choices you make about who you keep close are pivotal to your personal growth and happiness.

Being the CEO of You means making decisions that are in the best interest of your personal growth and well-being. It’s about hiring friends slowly and firing fast when necessary. The goal is not to create a transactional nature in your relationships but to ensure a mutual exchange of energy that contributes to both parties’ growth. Sometimes, letting someone go is the kindest thing you can do for yourself and them, allowing both of you the space to evolve independently.