Have you ever found yourself feeling less and less excited about a commitment, so much so that you ended up avoiding it? Maybe it’s a volunteer activity that just doesn’t resonate with you anymore or a professional development group that used to be exciting but now isn’t. Rather than “ghosting” an activity you’re no longer excited about, being direct about your intentions to move on can help combat any feelings of indecision and guilt.
If you feel like it’s time to make a clean break from something, here are four steps you can take:
1) Instead of skirting an issue and not showing up, communicate your intentions, clearly and kindly, with the appropriate leaders. Find the best mode of communication depending on your relationship. Email is typically appropriate, but if you’re stepping down from a bigger responsibility, consider a phone call or a video chat.
2) Complete any outstanding responsibilities before you leave. This can help you make an exit that’s free from any sense of obligation. If you do plan to leave before completing unfinished tasks, be sure to clearly communicate that in your exit.
3) Once you’ve clearly communicated your exit plans, and the appropriate leaders have taken note, feel free to delete all the excess things cluttering your calendar, to-do lists, and inbox. If related reminders or notifications make you feel guilty, decluttering your digital space can bring a sense of relief.
4) Enjoy the relief. Ignoring and avoiding a commitment is the easy way out. When you are honest and direct about leaving, the other parties involved will likely appreciate the closure. A clearly communicated exit can give you the emotional and mental freedom to move forward.