Quitting feels awful.
Well, most of the time anyway.
While we don’t want to continue flogging that proverbial ‘dead horse’, we have it drummed into our heads from a very young age that quitting is anathema to success.
According to Seth Godin:
Quit or be exceptional. Average is for losers.
I don’t entirely agree with this quote. On most occasions, if you keep plugging away at something, and have the determination and drive to want to see it through, you will get positive results. And it takes a lot of work to become truly proficient at something.
At other times, you’ll get results too…
The adverse kind.
The frustrating, throw furniture around the room, scream at the world kind of results.
This doesn’t sound pretty, does it?
So why continue the torture? Don’t believe that quitting is just for ‘losers’ – sometimes it is the best thing you can ever do! You just need to honestly assess when it is time to pull the plug.
Are you ready to discover when to cut your losses and run for the hills?
Beware the signs…
1. It constantly feels like you have failed
Correct me if I’m wrong, but if you try to persist at something, you should be feeling great at the progress you are making or at least impressed with your levels of willpower. But if you are constantly feeling low and disappointed at the end of it, then something is wrong. Effort should make you feel good afterwards, not grim – you don’t want to end up destroying your confidence!
2. Things can’t continue the way they are
You are at your wit’s end. Things are seriously wrong and you are utterly miserable. You are reduced to walking around with a permanent rain cloud over your head and you know with a clear clarity that continuing with this situation won’t improve anything – you are stuck with a depressing status quo. You need to stop the madness!
3. Your priorities have changed
Priorities change quite regularly. What may have been important to you a few months ago, may not be so now. That’s not saying to be fickle and flit aimlessly from one project to the next, leaving a trail of unfinished things in your wake. But say you have multiple exams in a short space of time from each other (I know, it’s absolutely awful!). Say you already studied for X and taken the exam for it and Y is in two days. What is the point in still studying for X in those two days?? Change to Y!!!
4. What you are doing is having an adverse impact on your life
Who wants to sink? I don’t think anyone really does, but this is the effect continuing with some situations can have on you. Indeed, it is rather like having an anchor tied to your physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing. If prolonging an activity or relationship is constantly making you ill, sad, anxious, unworthy or lack confidence, back out now!
5. You are prolonging the agony for the wrong reasons
I am guilty of this occasionally. Sometimes you might cling on to something just to prove a point to other people despite of the detrimental impact it is having on yourself (like in relationships). Sometimes you are determined to try and make something out of the time and money already invested in a project. Other times you are reluctant to quit because you are scared of change and your current situation is all you have ever known, or have known for a long time. But ‘better the devil you know’ doesn’t always work – forget the devil and find something benevolently angelic to occupy your thoughts and time!
6. Short-term benefits are eclipsed by long-term costs
You put in extra hours, days, weeks, months into your project to see minimal improvement. The only results that are (adversely!) spectacular are your destroyed relationships as you have constantly neglected the people that love and care for you; a possible breakdown from the toll it has taken on you that might take months to recover from; and huge debt that your project won’t be able to turn around. Don’t let negligible success lead to spectacular failure in other areas of your life!
Recognise any signs? Remember: not everything is worth the price paid. Quitting can free yourself up for bigger and better things. Don’t prolong the torture if you don’t have to – cut that cruel commitment chord and start living again!
What did you give up that was making you miserable? How did you feel afterwards?
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