If you find yourself in unproductive relationships that are not leading you anywhere, grab a matches, burn those bridges, and move on.
You may have heard one or all of these phrases: “no man is an island”, “if you burn all your bridges, you would be lonely on your island”, “don’t burn a bridge, and expect them to send you a yacht”.
Normally this is a decent advice for anyone when you evaluate it from the surface. However advisers always fail to add the caveat that refusing to burn unproductive directionless bridges may have a very catastrophic end.
The best way to sum this up is “do not burn your bridges unless you are absolutely sure it is a good idea”, or “do not quit that relationship unless such a relationship is likely to kill you”. If a relationship is killing you slowly, and threatens to obliterate you, burn the bridge, and move on. This is perhaps why Don Henley says “sometimes you get the best light from a burning bridge”.
As an entrepreneur who is just starting out fresh off the corporate world, burning bridges may be very difficult. Sometimes the expectations entrepreneurs have while kick-starting their new venture may not be what they experience in business. This usually creates the temptation to pedal back again. This is not in anyway a strange occurrence, and for such individuals, burning bridges is not advisable. However, if you had the most terrible experience in the corporate world before becoming an entrepreneur burn those bridges, and find your peace.
When you burn that bridge, and quit an unproductive relationship, you eliminate alternatives, and never have to look back. Terrible experiences may include being underpaid, underappreciated, overworked etc. For an individual who is industrious and committed, burning such bridges is the only way to move forward.
Times have changed, and with technological advancement, finding better paying jobs for anyone who is qualified has become much easier. The post-pandemic era has also reemphasized the advantage of remote jobs, contract jobs, and working from home. Staying at a unproductive job will only worsen your situation. Instead, burn that bridge, and seek better opportunities where your talents, and skills will be more appreciated.
Same goes for jobs that tend to create a false sense of job security. An example is partnership with friends where you do what you love, and with people you care about but never get the reward commensurate to the work you put in. You may consider such a job to be too fun to abandon, but you must ask yourself; how has this job helped me to align with my goals?”, “to what extent has this job helped me to be in a better place financially?”. If such an opportunity cannot give you satisfactory answers to these questions, why not burn that bridge, and make greater things off your life.
Apply this philosophy to every aspect of your life. Toxic relationship and associations will only truncate progress. Toxic associates share only negative energy, they complain about almost everything, and will never see good in your ideas. Such individuals suffocate motivation. They are people who influence you to make very terrible decisions, and will only enforce stagnation on you. Burn such bridges, and never look back.
This same mind-set will help reinforce the lifestyle improvements you desire. If you have chosen to live healthier through dietary changes, or drop a bad habit, identifying and avoiding your trigger will help you make it work.
Certain individuals spend a lifetime talking about what they want but never take action. The fear of the unknown, the delusions of a comfort zone stops people from taking bold steps that will transform their lives. Create a six months safety net through savings, and take the entrepreneurial leap. Burn any and every bridge directly or indirectly restricting you from realizing your full potentials.
Most people stay at their miserable nine to five because it is hard to leave their comfort zone. This may include your wonderful colleagues, the established routine, and the security of a job that rewards you at the end of the month. However this can never give you compensation equivalent to what you have to pass through. This may include terrible work conditions, bad supervisors/managers who ruin the chances of job satisfaction.
If you seek fulfilment, move on. It is important to do this with a plan. Do not just burn that bridge without being prepared as this may force you back to the undesirable situations you ran away from. Have a side hustle, save up, and take action.
The truth will never be overemphasized. An unproductive, directionless bridge will take you nowhere. Burn that bridge and find your way.
As originally reported in (https://www.entrepreneur.com/growing-a-business/dont-be-afraid-to-burn-bridges-that-lead-you-back-to/280959)