What Needs to End So You Can Thrive?

What Needs to End

Most of us, when thinking about our future, dream of where we want to go – what we want to add to our life to make it more of what we’ve always dreamed of. However, there’s another side to the story.

Yesterday I started reading a book, Necessary Endings, by Dr. Henry Cloud. Honestly, it was difficult to put it down. In it, he talks about our need to end some things in order to get to the good things we see in our future. He points out the fact that our culture is not good at endings. We view endings as negative, rather than the opportunity for new beginnings.

For example, think about your reaction when you were laid off or had to move to a different position in your organization, even if you were tired of your current position and wanted to do something, anything other than what you were responsible for in the organization. This, of course, got me thinking about how this applies to Personal Branding. I say repeatedly that each of us has a personal brand already and we have to discover and develop it.

So what do endings have to do with personal branding? A great deal, it turns out. Using the metaphor of pruning, Cloud points out that in order to move forward, we must first have a vision of what the future looks like and then prune away things that don’t fit.

Before you start pruning, it’s key to have a vision of what the future looks like. If you start pruning without a vision of what the plant will look like when it’s done, you’re not going to have the beautiful, productive plant you want. “When you prune a plant, it’s a process of proactive endings. It turns out that a plant cannot reach its full potential without a very systemic process of pruning.”

He contends that there are three types of pruning one must do in order to reach the vision of your preferred future you have in your mind.

  1. “Healthy buds or branches that aren’t the best ones.
  2. Sick branches that are not going to get well.
  3. Dead branches that are taking up space needed for the healthy ones to thrive.”

Over the next three blog posts, I’ll address each of these pruning types and how they apply to the necessary endings we need to develop our personal brand as we reach for our dreams for the future. In the meantime, I invite you to think about how you respond to endings in your life.

What is your reaction to necessary endings?

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