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Many of you know that my life has been chaotic lately. In the last six months I have switched brokerages, left my team of seven years, and my 10-year relationship with my husband ended. 

This has been the hardest and most painful season of my life. Yet, all of these life-altering things needed to happen for me to continue to say yes to myself, grow into the leader I need to be, and become the best version of myself. 

I know I’m not alone in this. Everyone is going through something. But as real estate agents, it can be an added challenge to grow through an immense transformation while still showing up at 100% for your clients. After all, they are going through incredible changes too (we all know buying and selling real estate is no joke), and they don’t always care about your personal life. 

So today, I’m sharing some tactical tips, inspired by this episode of Powerhouse Women. This will help you navigate relationship transitions so you can get the closure you need while still showing up for your clients. 

But first, let’s talk about growth and relationships. 

Shedding Parts of Yourself for Growth

It’s inevitable that as we grow and evolve, we outgrow relationships. This is a truly painful part of up-leveling our lives.  A lot of the time what we’re shedding is what we need to leave behind in order to move forward. That could be a connection or relationship that means a lot to you. Maybe you start to realize that your growth is not on the same trajectory. Trying to hold onto that relationship in its current form isn’t always possible while also honoring the growth journey that you’re on. 

Often, we delay having these tough conversations with the people in our lives. But I want you to ask yourself this question: “What would my life look like if I didn’t allow this to happen?” We have to understand that if we don’t have these conversations, we will be stunting our own growth—and also theirs.

The Fear of Outgrowing Relationships

Sometimes, we have this fear of “What does that mean about me as a person? Does it make me a bad person? Or greedy? Or selfish?” 

If you’re finding yourself in this place where everything in you wants to move forward, but you’re feeling guilt about leaving relationships behind, just know that is normal. All big transformations have relationships that evolve and fall away. Not every relationship is going to grow at the same rate and speed that you’re growing, and it doesn’t mean that we have to end every relationship. Sometimes, there’s space for relationships to grow and for that person to stay in your life, but not always.

Now, let’s get into nine steps you can take while navigating outgoing relationships.

Approach with Compassion

Come from compassion in realizing that it’s very normal for a change in any relationship dynamic. Let’s say you’re so excited about this new direction you’re going. Other people may not be on the same growth journey, and they don’t understand why they feel the energy shifting between you. And since so much of our safety is rooted in our connections, when we notice a relationship that is phasing out, it triggers a very real survival fear.

It always helps to bring compassion to the situation. Find grace for what’s going on in their nervous system. Maybe they relied on you to show up in their life in a certain way. It starts to trigger in the other person an awareness that you may show up in their lives in a different way—or maybe they just realize they’re not changing. Now, be careful not to let ego get in the way. It’s easy to think, “Well, I’m changing and evolving, and they’re not. So I’m better.” It’s almost an heir of superiority. That energy won’t be productive. 

Bring it back to “They’re on their journey that is perfect for them. I’m on my journey, and I’m following what my soul is calling me to do to evolve and change.” It may be that the values that the relationship were based around don’t align anymore, and that can be difficult for anyone not ready to move on or let go. So, understand that their self-defense mechanism and self-protection mechanisms are being triggered because they can feel the change.

The Necessity of Loneliness

These moments of transformation can feel kind of lonely. It’s this interesting place where the periods of loneliness in the gap are actually necessary. 

One of the things that I’m sitting with is the realization that certain relationships in my life where I had almost all of my safety and security, were actually grounded in whether or not that person “chose me” or if they showed up for me in a certain way. When I’m alone, it feels very unsafe. 

Feelings of loneliness could actually be pointing us to some of the deeper work that is actually available to work through. We all have different wounds whenever dynamics change in our different relationships. Even in loneliness, those moments have been the most powerful. 

Authenticity in Outgrowing Connections

We’re not doing anyone any favors if we continue to prop up a connection that we have outgrown. Pretending that we’re okay with continuing these relationships is inauthentic. We’re not giving them our full presence; we’re giving them an inauthentic version of our presence. This is a natural part of growth. All we can focus on is ourselves.

So when people expect you to be your old self, it’s because your new self holds a giant mirror up to things that they may not be ready to change. And that’s not actually about you; it’s just the natural thing that happens when someone decides, “I no longer want to continue in the direction that I’m going.”

The Discomfort of Being a Trigger

It’s uncomfortable to be that mirror sometimes. We don’t get to be the hero in everyone’s story. Sometimes, we’re meant to hold that mirror up. But that actually might be the biggest contribution. If we truly want what’s best for that person, our growth might trigger the exact thing that they need for them to decide to make a change for themselves. It’s not easy. I wish that we could be the hero in everyone’s story, but the more that we hold onto the attachment of that idea, the less we’re being authentic in knowing that we really need to make a change and we are delaying it because we just don’t want to disappoint people.

Handling Rejection and Misunderstanding

When growing, you can feel that certain people start distancing themselves from you. Feeling misunderstood and rejected can come in a lot of forms. But when others start to distance themselves from you, if it’s a feeling of rejection or judgment, a lot of these feelings tie back to when we were young and felt rejected previously. Think middle school days. Maybe you didn’t get picked for kickball on the playground. 

Whatever that first memory of rejection is, challenge your feelings. Sometimes, it’s just triggering a deeper wound. Go back to where the wound started, then ask yourself, “Do I actually care about this person’s opinion now?” Consider whether this rejection is coming from someone whose results you admire. Do they have the outcomes you want to emulate? 

It’s crucial to be discerning about whose feedback you let in. We’re always viewing other people’s lives through our own lens, wounds, and perceptions. So, remember to first check-in: Do I actually care about this person’s opinion? Secondly, notice that if you’re feeling rejection or caring too much about someone misunderstanding you, it’s a sign that there’s something deeper to look at and work on.

Seeking Validation

We need to examine where we’re outsourcing our validation. If we’re being misunderstood by someone, it reflects a deeper issue of placing our sense of self-worth and validation in their hands, instead of within ourselves. 

Feeling misunderstood can be messy and isolating. It can hurt when people misunderstand your intentions or character. But instead of spending time and energy trying to explain yourself to someone committed to misunderstanding you, use that energy to focus on yourself, your growth, and those who do understand you. 

Reflect on where you’re outsourcing validation and what it would look like to find it within yourself. When we outsource validation, we give away our power. Taking back that power leads to true magnetism, abundance, success, and the next level of impact. Grounding yourself in self-worth that isn’t based on anyone else’s opinion is key.

Navigating Out of Transactional Relationships Without Going Cold Turkey

If you feel you can’t be your authentic self and be loved for who you are, sometimes you need to end the relationship. This can be tough, especially if you have deep-rooted people-pleasing tendencies and don’t want to hurt others. Not addressing this issue means abandoning yourself. It can be triggering to take that step and have the conversation to break away from a relationship you know you need to end.

You might have the most perfect conversation, but the other person may still be upset. 

Understand that you’re doing the best you can with the tools you have. Sometimes it breaks our hearts, but connect with your own integrity. If you consider ghosting or going cold turkey, ask yourself, “Am I defaulting to this out of fear? Am I afraid to confront possible disappointment, anger, or frustration?”

If you left a relationship and feel you need more closure, you’re still leaking that energy. It’s in your best interest to close the loop. Write your thoughts in an email, but don’t send it immediately. Take 24 hours, reread it, and then decide. Sometimes, cutting cold turkey is necessary, but you can always revisit the conversation later.

Ensuring Closure

Ask yourself, “Did I leave this loop open?” or “Do I actually have closure?” (And maybe cold turkey meant closure.) 

It’s not on us to give the other person closure; they have the ability to seek it themselves. Did you leave things in a loving and positive way, with integrity? If you acted with integrity and communicated with love to the best of your ability, going back to re-engage often stems from old patterns of people-pleasing, trying to avoid disappointing someone else. Understand that moving out of those patterns is essential.

Ending and outgrowing relationships is one of the hardest parts of a gap season. Relationships play a significant role in our lives and often trigger us to address areas we need to grow. Our fears surface, but this also shows us our strength in connecting with people and building relationships. While it doesn’t get easier, we develop new skills and a stronger sense of self, becoming less susceptible to others’ opinions or disappointment. We all play different roles in each other’s lives, and it’s not always the hero. Being true to ourselves and honoring our needs, with the understanding that creating distance can be best for everyone involved, brings peace. Sometimes, we have to accept being the villain.

Evolution of Relationships

As you grow, your relationships must evolve. Keeping every single best friend you’ve ever had in your life just isn’t feasible. You wouldn’t have the time, space, or energy to maintain all those connections. Evolving relationships give us space to deepen the connections we truly value. Remember, not everyone needs front-row access to our lives.