Why being a quitter may not be such a bad thing after all

Loser?
Drop-out?
Failure?

What words come to mind when you think about giving up? Can you quit and still move forward? In today’s post, I’m going to talk about what it means to quit and how doing so can inspire new beginnings.

When to quit?

If you subscribe to the idea of ‘types’, then my own Belbin team role is that of ‘completer-finisher’. That means you can give me a project and I’ll see it through to the end. I’ll cross every ‘t’ and dot every ‘i’. Tenacity is my middle name.

However, something I have learned to do over the years is to quit when it’s time to go. This usually means moving on from a job. Resigning from a role you have been doing for some time is a very hard thing to do, especially when you feel reluctant to leave your lovely colleagues behind. However, there comes a point when you finally listen to your inner voice that’s been whispering to you for some time.

Why quit at all?

You quit to move on. You do it to move forwards. You choose this option to move away from a situation you found unsuitable *or* you do it to move towards something better. Perhaps you do it for all of these reasons.

Quitting takes courage

In the final two podcasts of An Uncluttered Life, Warren and Betsy Talbot* took the bull by the horns and told us why they had decided to close their business of which the podcast was a part. Having adopted a ‘no BS’ approach since they transformed their lives to travel the world, they were frank about what had led them to their decision to quit. I admired their courage to say to others, “This particular plan didn’t work, so we’re moving forward towards new opportunities.”

Quitting can apply to people, situations or circumstances. It can also apply to behaviours.

Maybe there are aspects of your life that are no longer serving you. Would quitting them make you a loser, failure or drop-out? Of course not!

It might be hard to change, but the rewards ahead are worth the challenge.

Become your authentic self

In quitting, you might be giving up bad habits, thus moving towards a healthier and more prosperous future. In giving up, you might relinquish something that has been holding you back or preventing you from:
– spending time with loved ones
– looking after yourself
– being truly authentic

Listen to your inner voice

Earlier this year, I wrote about a moment of clarity when I decided to give up a compelling and time-consuming hobby that I had enjoyed for more than 14 years.

Looking back, I still feel that it was the right decision, even when I have twinges of wistfulness as I see my pals move forward without me. My decision, however, has reaped other benefits: more time to give to my family; feeling less pressured; and having the time to write, read and simply be.

So, quitting has closed one door but opened myriad others.

Think about your own life. What might you decide to give up, in order to move forward? Then ask yourself if being a quitter might not be such a bad thing after all.

*Authors of Married with Luggage and Dream, Save, Do

6 thoughts on “Why being a quitter may not be such a bad thing after all

  1. So true! We thinking of quitting as a negative but actually it can be a hugely positive move. Perhaps it’s an issue of semantics: quitting for when we ‘fail’, but ‘moving on’ or ‘letting go’ when it’s something we frame as a good thing. From the small (books we’re not enjoying) to the large (jobs, relationships), it’s definitely a skill we need to nurture!

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  2. It’s funny, few people would think of quitting smoking as a failure! But I know what you mean, quitting is vey often viewed negatively. When I quit my job to be a full time parent, I felt a lot of people viewed that negatively – I’d given up cos I couldn’t hack the pace. I couldn’t hack the pace, but mostly because I didn’t want to hack the pace. I’d entered a different phase of my life, my values and priorities had changed, I wanted to move on.

    I can so relate to this post. I’m quite like you, in that once I have committed to something I really feel I must follow through with it to the bitter end. This is often long after it serves me. I am getting much at identifying when this is happening now and doing something about it, but I do find saying no, saying no more, quitting etc extremely difficult. Knowing it’s right, that it needs to be done, still doesn’t make it easy.

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    1. Maybe as we get older, we build the resilience and strength to be authentic, which allows us to have the courage to walk away. I agree that it’s not easy, but my experience is that people will respect your decision, especially if you are able to set out your reasons and deliver the message with kindness. It also helps if you convey your understanding that they might feel shocked or even a little rejected or hurt.

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