It’s Absolutely Okay to Be a Quitter
Quitting has gotten itself a bad rap.
In my own life, I’ve quit jobs, hobbies, habits, and relationships that no longer served me and who I wanted to be. Each time, there was a minuscule, pinprick of doubt posing this question: “Am I simply giving up? Or is this the right thing?”
Our cultural obsession with not giving up can have some far-reaching consequences. We can be unintentionally encouraged to stay in situations, relationships, or jobs that are damaging to our health, spirit, or mental state.
Sometimes, it’s not only okay, but necessary, to be a quitter.
“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.”
― C. JoyBell C.
Spiritual teachers and mental health professionals have long recommended the practice of “letting go” for things that no longer serve us.
“Letting go” is, of course, just another way of saying “quitting.” It’s telling that the phrase “letting go” tends to be associated with strength, while “quitting” or “giving up” is almost always connected to weakness.
Truth be told, sometimes it is much harder to let go, than it is to hold on.
So how do you know when quitting is the best choice for you?
Every situation is unique, of course, but I’ve found these tenets to help me when I’ve struggled with the question of whether or not I should give up on something or someone.
Gut feelings are there for a reason. 99% of the time, I really do know what is best, I’m just not ready to accept it.
Along the same lines, try reframing your dilemma in terms of “letting go”, instead of the disappointing, “giving up.”
For example, try this:
“Should I let go of this friendship, which always feels so one-sided, and doesn’t bring me joy anymore?”
“Should I quit this friendship, which always feels so one-sided, and doesn’t bring me joy anymore?”
You’re essentially saying the same thing, but if replacing “quitting” with “letting go” feels more authentic, makes you feel less guilty and gives you a clearer answer, then you probably know what you should do.
A telltale sign of a situation you may want to quit is a feeling of being trapped, restless, or perpetually unhappy.
Despite your upbringing, mistakes in the past, or lies you tell yourself, you really do deserve a happy, fulfilling life.
Obviously there are consequences to your actions, but if a job, relationship, or other commitment is making you miserable, that’s a great sign it’s time to get off the ride and try something new.
Along the same lines, sometimes you know the next best thing is waiting for you, if you could only make the space to allow it to come to fruition.
Understanding, deep within you, your best life is yet to come can be a powerful motivator to quit something that’s no longer working for you.
If you find yourself continually justifying your partner’s behavior, your working hours/conditions, or the demands placed on you, it could be a sign that letting go is the right decision.
Our friends and family, at least those who have proven in the past to have our best interests at heart, can sometimes be more objective, and see things more clearly, than we can.
Fortunately, we often have a sense of when an environment is toxic to our health, happiness or peace of mind.
Any environment which is dangerous to your well-being is one you no longer should feel obligated to justify. When you feel unsafe, belittled, or undervalued, it’s a clear sign quitting may be your best bet.
“In the process of letting go, you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.” -Deepak Chopra
It’s absolutely okay, and sometimes even necessary, to be a quitter. Disregard our society’s antipathy with giving up, and look within yourself to determine what’s best for your health, happiness and well-being.
Your future self will thank you.
It’s Absolutely Okay to Be a Quitter
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