“In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.” – Deepak Chopra
It was only weeks after graduation when I found myself in the midst of a career that I hated; it seemed my job entailed everything that I was bad at – mulling over minuscule details, working in a fast-paced environment, and snappy verbal communication skills – when I realized that I was headed nowhere fast.
I found it necessary to pull myself out of bed every morning with a groan, chug a quick cup of coffee, and dread the 9 hours I would spend in the office.
The majority of my precious time was spent talking on the phone with rude clients, researching business solicitations and market trends, all while projecting a fake smile on my face. In between every email, phone-call, and research spurt, I found myself counting down the seconds until the clock hit 5:30.
No joy, no passion, no love. All gone. Enough was enough.
It’s ironic that happiness gurus like me who insist “you can choose to be happy” find themselves in situations so desperate, that the only way out is to let go and quit.
People like to view the act of quitting as synonymous with giving up, with weakness, with shame. This societal conditioning causes us to suffer through dead-end relationships, dead-end careers, and good lives gone bad, all for the sake of reputational pride; the ability to scream across the rooftops “we don’t give up!” Because suffering through hardship inevitably shows strength and resilience. Or does it?
There comes a time in everyone’s life when enough is enough: their job pushes them one step to far; their relationship goes one nasty argument too long.
They realize that the life they’re living is out of alignment with who they really are.
They find themselves at a crossroads: to stay in the familiar, safe, but life-less zone or to break out into the scary unknown and risk failure in the face of greater personal happiness and fulfillment?
And that is exactly what the art of quitting entails.
The art of quitting is complete surrender to your true self. The art of quitting is letting go of anything that makes you small, weak, and insignificant. The art of quitting is letting go of the fear voice that tells you to stay in the safe job, in the safe relationship, in the safe life, because you will never be competent enough to achieve anything else. The art of quitting is realizing that no situation is worth sacrificing your happiness.
The art of quitting is realizing that after a certain point, when happiness becomes impossible, it is only through an act of true surrender that it become possible once more. The art of quitting is letting go of the toxic; letting go of all things that stunt growth and personal achievement.
Quitting becomes the only true option, the only real option, and the only compassionate option. Quitting becomes an act of true courage, of self-love, of happiness, and not one of weakness.