WHEN IS IT OK TO QUIT?
Unless it’s ditching a bad habit like smoking, eating sugar or gambling, there seems to be a lot of shame in ‘quitting’.
“Quitters never win and winners never quit,” they say.
Whether it’s in our work, our relationships or health, we’re led to believe that perseverance means success and quitting is synonymous with failure, cowardice and laziness. That if we “keep on keepin’ on”, we’re making progress and if we stop, push back, say no, drop out or give in — we’ve been defeated.
For sure, tenacity, persistence and endurance are admirable traits worthy of celebration, but in some cases, not quitting can be detrimental to our wellbeing, our careers, our loved ones — and our priorities. Sometimes (and after careful consideration), quitting can be a more positive choice that will serve your highest potential.
Osayi Emokpae Lasisi, author of Impossible is Stupid, puts it this way:
“Quitting is not giving up, it’s choosing to focus your attention on something more important. Quitting is not losing confidence, it’s realising that there are more valuable ways you can spend your time. Quitting is not making excuses, it’s learning to be more productive, efficient and effective instead. Quitting is letting go of things (or people) that are sucking the life out of you so you can do more things that will bring you strength.”
Today we’re considering three common situations where it is OK to quit whatever it is you’re doing and why you shouldn’t beat yourself up about it.
IT’S OK TO QUIT WHEN…
It doesn’t align with your values..
Values are the things you believe are important to the way you work or live and should ultimately determine your priorities. When you’re not living in alignment with your values, life can feel out of whack or off-purpose.
The beauty of living a values-based life of intention means that when it comes to making some of life’s big decisions, the answer is generally more black and white.
The point is, that when it comes to knowing when to quit, you just need to ask yourself this:
“Am I honouring my values right now?”
If you value family time, you might need to reassess your 80-hour work week.
If you value your creativity, it might be time to outsource those time and energy-sucking business admin tasks.
Get the idea? Make a conscious effort to identify what’s really important to you — it could be freedom, your children, safety, wellness or your marriage —and you’ll soon see it’s OK to quit the habits, commitments, actions and choices that are negatively impacting or dishonouring those things.
When it won’t support you in getting to your end goal..
Quitting can at times be a positive, forward-looking action, because when we’re talking about big picture stuff, it can make space for bigger and better outcomes.
Doing and saying yes to it all is in our DNA — but bidding farewell to the things that are keeping you stuck or playing small will open up you up to more energy, more resources, more ease, flow and time to focus on the actions that will get your closer to your larger vision.
Keep your eye on the prize and quit the stuff that’s slowing you down. If there’s another option that will support you more, take it.
When your gut tells you to..
If you’re feeling a little icky or off-kilter about something, know that that powerful little niggle inside is the only sign you need.
Your intuition (your inner knowing or internal compass) will always, always, know when something isn’t supporting you — so learn how to tap into it and take heed.
Beware that resistance is a common sensation when you happen to be out of your comfort zone — so be sure not to confuse fear, your ego or limits with your intuition. There’s an important difference. Marie Forleo has some useful insights on how to tell the difference between fear and intuition, here.
What do you want to feel OK about quitting? Share with us in the comments below!