Do you know when to quit? Perseverance and finishing strong are important character traits. But there is another positive trait found in the most successful and happiest people: quitting. This means knowing when to stop putting energy and effort into something that is unproductive, unhealthy or out of alignment with our goals and values.
Realizing we are in a bad situation is only part of the answer. How many people do you know who are in a toxic relationship, wrong job or compromising on their goals? Awareness is critical but maybe more importantly, we have to be willing to take action and leave or change directions. Knowing a thing is negatively affecting us and then choosing to do nothing is worse than just not knowing. Think of it this way, we must stop digging a deeper hole that keeps getter harder to get out. Change is hard and it takes a great deal of courage, but if we wait too long bitterness and regret can settle in. Timing our exit or change of tactics makes the difference between thankfulness for the experience or regret for wasting years on a lost cause.
Steps and Strategies for Quitting
- Take Stock – Are your efforts getting you closer to your goals? Are you a better person for being involved? Or is your stress spilling over into other areas of your life? Do you need to admit to yourself that what was once purposeful and good has turned toxic?
- Reframe Your Thoughts – Rather than thinking about what you will lose, focus on the possibilities of change. What do you stand to gain if you stop draining your energy and talents on a lost cause? Seek outside perspective from trusted advisors or a coach.
- Know Who You Are – Have you tied your identity or worth to whatever you’re pouring into? You are not defined by what you do or don’t do. Don’t get hung up on thinking you are a ‘quitter’. On the other side of this experience, you will meet or be reacquainted with the awesome person you are, the one you lost sight of while striving to hold onto something when it was past time to let go.
- Value Yourself – If something did not work out the way we expected or hoped, give yourself grace. Stop simmering on self-doubt and contemplate on what you’ve learned. Then be grateful for the wisdom and personal growth gained.
- Be Empowered – Identify what is within your control and what is not. Own the power of your choice and embrace it. Whether you choose to quit, change course, leave or stay the same – it is YOUR choice.
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If you would like to dig a little deeper and turbo-charge your productivity, check out my 30-day guided journal to take control of your thought life and focus on what matters most. The Journey by Nicole Webb