Knowing When to Quit

knowing-when-to-quit

There is truth in the statement, “Never Give Up,” but only for some issues, some people, and for some of the time. It’s important to weigh what is to be gained by your persistence against what you’re losing by not being decisive, cutting your losses, and moving on. 

The prime and most significant loss is time. Regardless of what the issue is – a job, business, relationship, or project – the amount of time you can consume by allowing the issue to drag on well past its “sell by datecan never be reclaimed. 

Wise strategies cannot be created from a place of thinking about the issue as either good or bad, or if making a decision is a reflection of your skills, abilities, reputation, or self-worth. Nor can they be made from a place of thinking that you’ve invested too much time and energy in this issue to quit now. 

How Do You REALLY Feel? 

Life is a rich tapestry of mixed feelings. It’s the nature of all things to feel differently about most things day-to-day. 

But if the feelings about specific issues seem to fall consistently towards negative feelings, it’s important to take a look at what’s going on and take stock of the situation. 

Clarify the Issue 

To make smart, objective decisions you need viable information to work from. Make a pros & cons list about the issue and write down: 

  • What you feel
  • When you feel it
  • What you can do about it. 

What you are looking for here is a balanced awareness of the issue and clarity on what’s really going on. 

Give things enough time. Some things take time, but time alone doesn’t always resolve the situation. 

It’s crucial to get clear on what needs to be done and be decisive about any choices you make. Nothing is going to change until you make a decision and take action. 

Sometimes quitting is the very best thing you can do. 

Some people have no problem at all letting go of things. They see quitting as simply a change in direction. 

Others have a hard time letting go of anything and see quitting as some kind of failure, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that it never would have worked out anyway. 

Knowing when to quit is a very valuable skill to learn, and it’s best learned by practice. 

Life is Short 

Intelligent quitters understand the true cost of opportunity lost. They know that the physical, mental, and emotional energy saved, added to the time and/or money salvaged from quitting, can be redirected into something much more worthy of their attention. 

When this is done decisively, your odds for ongoing success rise dramatically. 

To spend time on anything that doesn’t give you joy, reduce your stress, or make you happy is wasted effort. Letting go of anyone or anything, even though it might be tough, will serve you well in the long term. 

Knowing when to quit is something that all true entrepreneurs instinctively have a good sensitivity for, and they don’t shirk making the decisions required to turn quitting into a positive adjustment on their journey. 

When it gets down to the wire there are only three alternative solutions to most thorny issues: 

1. You can learn to live with it. Many people do, but most live to regret it. It’s not good for your self-esteem to learn to live with something that grates on you. 

2. You can fix it. This can work very well if you have full and total control of the issue. If you have, then fix it and move on. If you don’t and you can’t fix it, this ceases to become a viable option. 

3. You can quit. Move on. Leave it all behind and start again with a fresh perspective, safe in the knowledge that your decisiveness and direct action has removed the issue from your life and you are free to move onwards and upwards without any further encumbrance or delay. 

Avoid thinking of quitting as failing! Sometimes it’s the very best thing you can do for yourself, your family, and the future you deserve. 

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