Nobody likes a quitter. People who give up too easily especially when they’re faced with some level of difficulty or trouble are rarely successful and almost never make it through problematic situations. In other words, they get stuck or simply stop trying. Deservedly so, quitting gets a bad rap.
For many people, however, it doesn’t feel very good to give up. When we go into a new business venture, or start school, or begin a family, most of us expect to do and be good at it. We don’t go in expecting defeat. We don’t anticipate failure. Of course, always in the back of our mind, there is the possibility that this might not work. But we really don’t entertain those thoughts very long.
As much as we do not like to succumb to weakness or to admit that we can’t pull through something, there are some times in which quitting is the right thing to do. In these cases, it’s not really a matter of giving up as it is a matter of realizing and accepting that something is no longer working as you thought it might and that you are better off spending your time and energy doing something else.
If you’re no longer improving or making forward progress.
What you do in life should be meaningful, fulfilling, and move the ball forward. If it no longer serves that purpose, it is time to give that up and move on to something else that will. We are given this life not to stay as we are but to improve and always be making forward progress to a goal.If you’re not progressing, you’re most likely stuck and being stuck is not a good position.
If you’re suffering physically and mentally.
Many times, people don’t give up because they want to; they give up because their bodies and minds simply stop working. The goal might be good but if you’re not functioning healthily enough to actually reach the goal, then what is the point? And it happens to the best people. People work so hard and so long that their health and wellbeing begins to suffer and they can’t really enjoy the success they’ve worked so hard and long for.
If you’re no longer focused on important things.
We only have so much time, so much energy, and so many resources that we can’t afford to spread them thinly. If we misallocate time, energy, resources, and other things like money and people, we may end up winning the battle but losing the war. There are only a few extremely important things that each one of us should focus on in life. If we’re not doing that, it is doubtful we will be successful in other areas.
If outside analysis and feedback makes you second guess your activities.
When you are focused so hard on one project or idea or concept, it becomes very easy to succumb to tunnel vision. Tunnel vision can be both good and bad. At times, you need to limit yourself to one goal or point of view especially when other points of view are negative. But at other times, if you limit yourself to just one view or goal, you run the risk of not even accomplishing that one thing. If other people whom you trust are telling you that what you’re doing is not going to work, it may be time to quit.
If you’re consistently controlled by one thing.
Okay, it is one thing to be tirelessly passionate but it is another thing to be tortuously obsessed. If you have become so overwhelmed to improve something, solve a problem, or fix an issue that you have neglected everything else in your life or are no longer excited about it, it could be that you are merely striving for something but not arriving. It could be you’re justifying doing something out of purely psychological comfort or fear of upsetting other people or perceived safety that it no longer becomes fun anymore or even worth doing.
In the end, quitting is hard. It’s difficult to shut down a business or to go into debt to pay off a loan or to even admit to close friends and family that it just didn’t work out. But the people who stick with you are those who respect you more for trying and failing and realizing that you need to give it up for something else than take the easier path which is to stick with something that’s not working and risk totally crashing and burning.
Worse than failure is the possibility of being stuck in something that is not working and continuing to drag yourself through the mud when you can turn your attention to a different process that is better for you.
I don’t want to look to strict here but remember you don’t have permission to quit just because something is hard or because you run into an obstacle. You do, however, have permission to quit when it simply is no longer working. Life is paradoxical in many ways. Quitting doesn’t always mean you’re weak; sometimes, it means you have good sense.