Knowing When To Leave: The Power Of Walking Away At The Right Time
You want something. You want it bad. In fact, you’re willing to do just about whatever it takes to get it. You’ll pay any price. You’ll jump through any hoop. You’ll say whatever you need to.
You don’t want to miss out. And that’s the problem. The solution?
Develop the ability to walk away. The end result means that people can’t put you in a compromising situation and that you don’t end up giving up more than you should — whether you’re giving up money, your dignity, or anything in between.
Just walk away.
It sounds so simple, yet you’d be amazed by how difficult it can be in practice.
So let’s get there.
Not Walking Away Can Be More Destructive Than You Think
When you don’t have the ability to walk away, bad things happen. If you’re the buyer and someone else is the seller (literally or figuratively), the seller can raise the price well beyond what something is worth if he or she realizes that you’re never going to say no.
Worse, it can ruin the experience of actually getting or achieving the thing. If you’re willing to achieve something at all costs, then it can leave you in a situation where you’re compromised by the time you reach your goal.
You cheapened yourself to get that promotion or relationship or lifestyle, and it grinds on you over time, poisoning the achievement. You achieved the thing, but over time you find that you really didn’t. That’s called a hollow victory.
Walking Away Ensures That You Don’t Get Stuck With Something Bad
The most common fallacy from people who just can’t say no and walk away is, “Well, it would have been worse if I ended up with nothing.”
Ending up with something bad is much worse than ending up with nothing.
Plus, it also sets a dangerous precedent: If you give in now, then there’s the expectation that you’ll give in next time. You end up having to fend off more compromises because you didn’t put your foot down the first time.
By developing the ability to walk away from a bad situation, you can protect yourself against accepting something subpar. It protects you from being taken advantage of.
Learning How To Walk Away
While this skill sounds easy on paper, in practice it can get tough. If you really want something, then it has a certain kind of power over you. You’re drawn to it.
If you’re not careful, you can get caught up in the moment, and with the right kind of pressure, find yourself giving up way more than you bargained for, only to regret it later.
That’s why you need to come in prepared for three scenarios: wish, want, walk.
Wish: This is the dream scenario. Let’s say you’re asking for a raise or buying a car. What would be your absolutely best-case situation? Start there. Ask for that. You never know. They might say yes.
Want: This is a more realistic-case scenario. This is the number or the price or the thing that you want be happy with.
Walk: This is the bottom line. Anything less than this, and it would not be worth it to you.
Commit these three principles to memory. Never enter a negotiation without firming up these numbers in your mind.
In the heat of the moment, you might have an overwhelming urge to say yes no matter what, so having these numbers squared up ahead of time gives you a guiding light to make a decision.
If someone can’t get above your walk number, then you know what to do. It might hurt, but it would hurt even more if you said yes.