Necessary Endings By Dr Henry Cloud Book Review

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So many times, in our personal lives, relationships and businesses, we yearn to end certain situations. These situations may make us feel stuck or stagnant and make growth difficult.

Try as much as we do, we never get to liberate ourselves hence, we stay glued to the current stage hoping that things will eventually fall into their right places. But a walk with Dr Henry Cloud in his Necessary Endings book; the Employees, Businesses and Relationships that all of us have to give up in order to move forward reveals how waiting and hoping for situations to change will only worsen the case. In this book, he guides one through practical ways to end toxic situations that hinder one’s growth. 

Dr Henry Cloud is an acclaimed American leadership expert, psychologist and bestselling author. He has authored many books including the boundary books (Boundaries in marriages, Boundaries in Dating, Boundaries with Kids, Boundaries: Workbook, Boundaries: When to say yes, how to say no to take control of your life). Also, co-authored some books with Dr John Townsend, an American Christian self-help author. In all his books, Henry Cloud predominantly seeks to lead people out of situations that could endanger their lives and help them be the better versions of themselves. 

The Necessary Endings book contains 13 chapters of content through which one is systematically guided to liberate themselves from circumstances that render them stagnant in their personal lives, relationships and businesses.

In the first chapter of the Necessary Endings, he employs the use of a story to help the reader realize how good things cannot happen unless the bad ones end. He revealed that before something changes around a person, there must first be an inward change for it is the changed you that brings about the change one desperately yearns to see around them.

Life itself is full of seasons or stages, thus as humans, we should agree that these seasons are a part of us so that when it’s time for us to move to the next stage or season, we could do that easily to embrace growth in every facet of our lives. Indeed, the old has to end for a better new one.

6 Things I’ve personally learned from Necessary Endings

1. Fear is no fear when one decides to deal with it.

Throughout Necessary Endings, I realized that for most people, the reason they are unable to do what they have to do is fear. Notable among the causes of their fears is the fear of the unknown, fear of confrontation, afraid of hurting someone and afraid of letting go and the sadness associated with an ending. I also noted I had challenges with the previous point upon reading this but I had to deal with it anyway, thanks to the Necessary Endings book.

For so many reasons, men fear. But thinking through it, this negative emotion could be dealt with in all aspects of our lives if we decide to. Once you decide and find a workable solution to confront it and act towards it, you’d realize the problem isn’t fearful, rather you are. So many times, the good old book (Bible) admonishes us to fear not. Let’s pay heed and detract the energy with which we fear and invest it into finding how to deal with our fears and act on them.

2. Growth doesn’t just happen, one needs to be intentional about it

As established in Necessary Endings, once you desire a change or growth, make it happen. The fact that you are working hard doesn’t mean growth will just pop up; you could remain stagnant for years if you keep waiting. You can actually drive the changes you want to see in your life, business or relationships by being intentional about it. How do you get intentional? Take the necessary steps to get things done, if you have to end a thing to do the next, just do it. This book tells you more about how.

3. To be effective, you need to let go

Reading the Necessary Endings book, you’d realize how important pruning could be in one’s life. This implies that, once you have a purpose and you know where you are headed, you wouldn’t have to accept everything that comes your way. It is true that “when numbers are high, quality suffers.” Life really produces more than we can handle at a time therefore it is necessary that sometimes, we call it to quit and move forward. Don’t just do that; know that the time is right for you to quit than move on to be your best. This book guides you to know when and how to do that impeccably.

4. Don’t be eager to fix what can’t be fixed.

Due to so many reasons people try to make it work when it’s so clear that it won’t ever work. In this book, you’d realize the kinds of people there are and how to deal with them differently. Once you get to know the one you are dealing with is wise, you’d know that the problem is worth fixing.  Also, immediately you realize your partner; be it a business partner or a beloved is foolish or evil, you know you need not fix a thing, since fixing it could be very deadly. Necessary Endings helps you to know how these kinds of people (Wise, foolish and evil) behave and how to deal with them.

5. I’m sorry doesn’t mean it won’t happen again

So many times, we’ve heard people say this to us and we probably have told this to others too yet the issue that got us saying it is repeated every now and then. Don’t be misled, this is true. So the question to ask is, when can I have hope that a person is going to be different in the future than he is now or was in the past? You need a reason to believe when people say they are sorry in order to give them another chance to either prove you right or wrong.

6. Direct your energy to that which is working

Have you considered what you really want in life, out of that relationship or that business? Is it feasible? Then what is preventing you from attaining it?  A fundamental truth established in the book says “You have to be able to face losing some things you might want in order to be free to do the right thing”. If what you want is the right thing for you, direct your energy into it and get away from toxic situations that limit you. To do this, allow Dr Henry Cloud to guide you.


Reading the Necessary Endings book has really enlightened me and has instilled a kind of energy that makes me conscious. Especially of the changes, I need to see in my life and easily create them. Most importantly, the time for this change is necessary too. If not now, when do you intend to break through, let urgency be your new normal? I recommend this book to all who are stalled out and really need to move on, if you find endings impossible, this book was written for you, do get a read.

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