What Is Your Necessary Ending?

Yesterday, I had the chance to hear Dr. Henry Cloud speak about Necessary Endings. He urged us to eliminate the things that keep us from taking an extra step forward in our lives. Cloud wants us to let go of the things we do not value anymore. Sounds like minimalism, right? There’s an extra step we tend to forget; Cloud reminds us to embrace endings.

We are always excited about new beginnings, but we overlook the things that need to end. We’re so focused on creating that we forget about the things we have to let go. We fail to remember that a beginning cannot happen without an ending. We tend to think of endings as something sad instead of viewing them in a positive light.

With that in mind, Cloud asked us at the beginning of his speech, “What is present in your life today that’s not in line with what you want for your tomorrow?”

How would you answer that question?

Is there a friendship that needs to end?

Do you need to eliminate anything from your diet?

Are you in need of a different job?

Is there something in your schedule that needs to be removed?

Do you have an ugly shirt that just doesn’t belong in your wardrobe anymore?

What’s present in your life today that doesn’t align with what you want for your tomorrow?

You need to cut ties. You need to move on.

You need to let go of things that are keeping you from being the person you want to be.

What needs to end so you can have the life you want?

What is your necessary ending?


19 thoughts on “What Is Your Necessary Ending?”

  1. Oooooh I like the idea of necessary endings, but it can be tough. I mean, really tough. There is a huge societal stigma against endings.

    It’s finding that beauty in the ending. 🙂

    1. It is tough to create endings, but I believe it’s necessary for progress. And of course, I’m not saying that everyone needs to end everything in their life right now, but rather, re-evaluate what is present and see if there is anything that needs to change.

  2. Hmmm… What do I have that needs to end? I think I’ve been waiting for my new job to start but still have not let go of my current job. I think it’s fear of stability that holds me back? So… Instead I’ll be doing both jobs. I think I’ll come back to this in a month and be able to pinpoint my necessary ending!!

    1. I think the best way to approach it is to figure out what you want, and then think about what you need to eliminate or change to get there. And fear, oh fear is the reason so many of us hold back. Only action can cure fear. I hope you won’t be overwhelmed with both jobs, though! Hopefully in a month, you will figure out exactly what needs to end (or not). 🙂

    2. I just read a blog…I think it was Ev Bogue…in which he talked about the idea that “back up plans are bullshit”. He even put it in the context of a job and keeping one while trying to move on for the same reasons you are. It’s natural. It’s a process…knowing you Meg, you will get to where you want to be!

  3. not enough confidence to go out and do what i want to do.  I always have this fear that I shouldn’t set a goal in case I can’t reach it for I don’t want to be disappointed.  This lack of courage affects my communication with people (or want to communicate) and the fear of failure really holds me back. I think my necessary ending is to let go of fears and the emotional baggage that drove me to these fears. 

    1. It sounds like you have some heavy thoughts, my friend. You might benefit from reading this article by Leo Babauta about striving for no goals. I also highly suggest focusing on one thing at a time instead of focusing your energy on all your fears and necessary endings. It can get overwhelming. If you want to talk, don’t hesitate to shoot me an e-mail!

      1. thanks for your reply.  I have been trying to keep things calm and out there and trying not to give into my insecurities. Its a rough road but its working 🙂 

  4. I definitely have ugly shirts that need to go!

    And lots of other stuff… Thanks for the reminder. Its not that I don’t want to do the letting go I just haven’t committed the time and focus to follow through on it.

    Time to untether…


  5. Thanks for this Laura! It is a good reminder to take a good look at what you want and need in your life and that in order to achieve those things, we need to make room for them. Holding on to things/people that are no longer in line with our intentions keep us from moving forward. So glad you shared.

  6. I have been making index cards with quotes on them and hanging them all over my window sill above my desk. They help me get focused on what’s important and keep me inspired. I am making one now…”What’s your necessary ending?” 🙂

  7. Hi Laura!

    Just wanted to drop by and say thanks for the comment on my blog about my minimalist wardrobe – I love lists and numbers, so if you ever get a wild hair to post about what yours, I’d love to read it (or if you already posted one, send it my way!) 🙂

    I just found your blog, but absolutely love it. As I was scrolling through your archives, this one especially stood out… I can’t quite pick out what my “necessary ending” is, but the more I think about it, that’s just a great way to approach everything in life. If it’s something that could potentially end up as a “necessary ending” then it’s best to realize that and avoid it, then move on with only pursuing those things which benefit our lives in a positive way.

    Anyway, just wanted to say hello. Looking forward to reading about where your new year takes you!

    Best wishes,

    1. I have not actually counted my possessions, but I did do Project 333 for awhile; you can see the posts here where I list the items I wore during the project.

      I’m glad you enjoyed this post. I am constantly referring back to this to remind me that sometimes I have to let go of things. And this helps me realize what I really value and want to hold onto.

      Have a wonderful new year! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

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