Want to be happy? Just Quit!

Don’t quit.  Stay the course. Don’t give up. 

Persevere. Stay committed. Just do it.

Finish what you start.

You’ll see these phrases and quotes on your typical Motivation Monday on your Instagram feed, because if you quit… well, maybe you’re just not motivated enough. I see the sentiment in these motivational quotes, but they often lack context.

Want to be happy? Just quit! | Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOM

Consider this: Ballet was something that my daughters seemed really passionate about and striving to do better at. I enrolled them at the tender age of three in the best academy in town. They learned discipline, poise, and art appreciation. They did really well and I was very proud of them, and happy to see that my efforts – and theirs – were paying off. You know that behind every successful kid recital, game, or presentation is a mother who drove, waited, encouraged, purchased gear, paid for lessons, lost sleep, and put her own needs, wants, and dreams aside.

One year, my daughters decided to audition for The Nutcracker. It is our family tradition to go see it on opening night and this time they would be a part of it! They were so excited to be casted – that is until they realized the rehearsals were brutal. They had different parts, so that required extra hours waiting for one another until practice was done. They performed three nights in a row to a raving crowd and they felt really accomplished. It was an exhilarating experience for sure, but they were exhausted and didn’t want to do it again. They didn’t even want to do ballet anymore!  They wanted to quit because it no longer made them happy.

If it no longer feels right, if you are not doing it wholeheartedly, if you’re not excited about it and, in fact, you avoid and dread it, it’s time to quit! Just quit!

Others may have the perception that you are quitting the perfect career, the perfect relationship, or the perfect opportunity, but trying to keep up the fallacy of picture-perfect is one of the most toxic behaviors you can adopt and one that can contribute to greater sadness, depression, and brokenness. 

Have you ever heard your intuition tell you that you don’t want to keep walking the path you’re on? You feel like you’ve achieved a certain status, you’re comfortable, and you’ve invested so much. Plus, you promised that you would do it, and you take your word seriously. 

The thing is that when you do something and your heart is not in it, you are in disservice of the organization or team and a disservice to yourself, because you are not contributing from a generous place. You may think you are helping them by sticking around, but are really sabotaging their goals, as well as filling up the space that someone else would be an excellent fit for and who needs and wants (and will appreciate) the opportunity to contribute to them.

Winners only quit when they win. 

Quitters never win and winners never quit.

If you are a quitter, you are a loser. 

The difference between winning and losing is never quitting. 

You only fail if you quit. 

If at first you don’t succeed, try again.

Just do it.

Because of the negative connotation of the words loser and quitter, we want to avoid these labels at all cost. At our spiritual core, we were designed to win, achieve, and progress, so it is natural that we do not want to fail and may choose to keep going rather than quitting when we very well know we should. 

I’ve learned that quitting can be the best thing you’ll ever do. Sometimes our hesitation and resistance to quit keeps us stuck. We allow ourselves to be unpaid, unvalued, and unappreciated, we package it as loyalty, courage, and persistence, and put a fancy bow of self-sacrifice on top.

What if you stopped being loyal to what doesn’t work, what doesn’t serve you and what, simply put, just makes you miserable? 

Thinking back, my biggest regrets were not things I didn’t do, but activities I hung onto that led me no where, and actions and reactions I put up with way longer than I now think I needed to. 

I clung to unhealthy relationships, events, and situations that caused me a great deal of stress, pain, and suffering, because I feared that by letting them all go, I would be labeled a loser, a quitter, or a slacker. I was running the childhood operating system that taught me I would be in big trouble if I didn’t finish what I started.

I understand now why even when I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, quitting was not an option – at least not one that came without stigma. I heard a voice in my head telling me the horrible things others might think or say of me. 

Have you considered that quitting could make life a lot easier, more meaningful, and much more fulfilling?

As I have given myself permission to quit that which no longer serves me, I’ve gained the freedom to have more intentional experiences in both the personal and professional areas of my life. Like when I quit cleaning my house and hired a mom who loves doing it and is grateful to  get paid to do it. It was so liberating to remind myself I am grown and I am not going to get a beating for not cleaning – or not cleaning perfectly! 

Even though it isn’t easy to let go of what I’ve been programmed to believe is traditionally expected of me and my role, I know I am a better mom, wife, and overall human being when I invest my time and energy in activities that I love. When I delegate what I dread, I can truly contribute my gifts and talents to help others, with love and enthusiasm.

And here’s the thing about dreading: it drains your energy and it creates emotional burden that prevents you to operate as your best self. It may only take two hours to fold the laundry, but it may take fifteen hours thinking about how the laundry needs to be done, why the laundry hasn’t been done, and what a failure you are for not having done it. When you are dreading a task, whether at home or in your work as a mompreneur, you will not be able to be present for that and those you love.

Giving up is not always a sign of weakness or failure. It can be a sign that you have outgrown a certain person, path, or purpose, and are ready to align to your true calling. Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOM

Giving up is not a sign of weakness or failure, it can be a sign that we’ve had enough, that we have outgrown a certain person, path, or purpose, or that we simply are ready for a new adventure that is more in alignment with our true calling. Surrender and allow yourself to quit that which makes you unhappy or unfulfilled, so that you can free up your time for new opportunities and possibilities to show up and to do what you love and brings you life.

Don’t know what to quit? Here are 21 things you can quit to start moving in a positive direction:

Quit people-pleasing. Quit living in the past. Quit overthinking. Quit procrastinating.

Quit complaining. Quit putting yourself down. Quit holding on to the illusion of control. 

Quit blaming others. Quit wanting to always be right.  Quit feeling offended.

Quit wanting to impress others. Quit comparing yourself.

Quit labeling what you don’t understand. Quit trying to be supermom.

Quit your addictions and attachments.

Quit living up to someone else’s expectations. Quit seeking perfection.

Quit ignoring your inner voice. Quit saying yes to what doesn’t serve you.

Quit putting yourself last. Quit minimizing your value. 

I’m not saying quitting is easy, and it’s especially hard when you must first admit you took the wrong path, but quitting can be your best move yet. Isn’t it true that sometimes the scariest choice is the most necessary?

Just QUIT and BE Happy! | Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOM

I invite you to practice what I call intentionally quitting, which means asking yourself whether a particular action or direction is truly serving you and contributing to progressing toward a life you love.

As you think of the different areas of your life, where do you feel contracted? 

What would it take for you to feel like you can breathe again? 

Where do you feel you are compromising your happiness and selling yourself short?

Instead of getting caught up in the false sense of Monday morning motivation, practice inquiry and self-exploration. 

Quitter are not losers, quitters are choosers | Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOM

As you develop this awareness, you can intentionally choose what you wish to quit, and set boundaries that will allow you to consciously choose where you want your energy to be invested.

Quitters are not losers, quitters are choosers

Quitters choose to save everyone involved some unnecessary pain

Quitters choose to create space for what they really need in life

Quitters advance in the direction of their dreams

Quitters refuse to waste energy and time – others’ and their own

Now you can see there’s an upside to quitting. Quitting can be the right thing to do! When you quit something, you let go of what doesn’t serve your progress or accelerate your growth. When you quit, you can forsake distractions and focus your attention and effort on that which is more meaningful and more productive.

"Just quit!" NOT "Just do it!"

Don’t feel guilty because you want to quit. Just quit! But don’t feel guilty because you don’t just quit. Honor where you are at the present moment. Honor your willingness to strive for a better way, and travel the journey at your own pace and on your own terms. 

Are you ready to just quit? As you embrace who you are and who you are not, share with us what you are committed to do and what you are committed to quit. Congratulations, love!

Elayna Fernandez - Author - 
Speaker - Success Guide to Moms and Mompreneurs
© Elayna Fernández ~ The Positive MOM

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33 thoughts on “Want to be happy? Just Quit!

  1. Again I feel like you are writing the words that are in my head and that I need to hear and share! Especially the suggested items to quit. Quitting a job may not be so easy; but it is easier to quit putting myself down, quit comparing myself to others, quit doubting myself, quit living in the past. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  2. You make so much sense. We always made ashamed if we quit. The feeling of disappointing others is one we fear. But in all honestly like you said we need to quit trying to please others and do what is best for us. Quitting what we dread will only make room for things that we enjoy.

  3. I love this post. My grandson quit playing football on his village team. People were saying “after 3 years”, “he’ll learn to quit everything.” No, he won’t. He will be just fine. My son did the same thing 20 years ago and his life is wonderful now.

  4. You are right. Sometimes the most freeing thing you can do it quit what is dragging you down. I’ve given up on a few things over the years and feel that my overall happiness increased drastically when I was able to say, ‘no more’.

  5. Of all these things you listed, I think I need to quit being a supermom. I assign my kids chores but if they “forget” to do it, then I have no choice but to do it myself. That has got to stop. I am so tired everyday!

  6. There is a saying in my country: the less you know the happier you are because you don’t have to think too much or stress over the things you can’t achieve. It is good to be competitive but we should know when to say stop, as you have highlighted in your post.

  7. I really like the idea. And you are so right, now we are bombarded with message of just doing it, no quitting, etc. I didn’t realise it, but it can (sometimes, not always) be a very harmful message. So thanks for your alternative.

  8. This is great advice mama! I feel the same way: I’m always scared to look back on life and wish that I did things or did them differently so I try to jump right in!

  9. Great post, very helpful and insightful. I think there is positivity in certain types of quitting. It would have been cruel to have forced your daughters to continue if it no longer made them happy, happiness is something we all strive for, its great to encourage your children and you gave them an amazing opportunity and I am sure as they grow older they will really admire how much you did for them but if their happiness lies elsewhere that’s also ok and they are lucky to have a mum who understands that 🙂

  10. You nailed it! You are truly correct. Sometimes what we think we cannot quit, because it will make us a loser, in reality, it will make us happy and move on to the direction we really want.

  11. You always speak to my heart girl. Today I left a position I knew I wasn’t a good fit in and I felt ALL of those emotions that you spoke of. You’re right – me leaving opens it up for someone who truly would succeed in it and help them out!

  12. I know very well sometimes quitting is the best you can do. I worked for more than 10 years teaching English in high school until I realized it was draining the life out of me. I no longer enjoyed my work and I was unhappy and stressed all the time. I quit when my baby girl was born and now that she’s a little older, I’ve decided to pursue my dream of being a writer. People think I’m crazy for not going back to teaching!

  13. I have to say that if you start something and it is something you really do not enjoy at all and it makes you that unhappy to do it, then you should quit. You will never give your 100% o that situation and it is unfair to everybody else if you continue and are not fully there. Anything you do should be done with the intent and willingness to do it and not a forced situation.

  14. Awesome thoughts Elayna! This is precisely the problem most of us don’t realise, even in adulthood- when to quit a toxic job you dread heading towards or stop that business/product that no one seems to be interested in. Keep writing. You do it well.

  15. I love the quote from Elayna Fernandes, and it’s not even giving up. It is more letting go of things that don’t make you happy as they use to and because you want to pursue another path. With time things change, always for the better!

  16. I love this post. The other day I was talking to one of my younger sister about many phrases that we have heard since childhood that people have repeated enough time that now we think they´re true withouth question them.
    This post is a validation to that, because we have heard -as you explain- that quiting is equal to fail, but you has just unveiled that lie. Quiting sometimes can be more than that. In adition to what you said, I think that quitting can means you are making yourself free of something that is emotionally draining. That makes quitters choosers and brave people.

  17. This is so true! We are all pushed to keep going and not to give up and quit. So many times, we push away the thought of quitting so we aren’t a failure. It’s so important to realize when it’s time to move on and when things no longer serve us.

  18. A friend once told me Happiness is a passing feeling. But satisfaction and the sense of fulfilment is lasting. I totally agree with your #JustQuit article, something I’ve been trying to put across to an unhappy friend. Sharing this to her for her own happiness!

  19. This is so true! That’s how it was for me when I was playing the flute. I wasn’t happy at all and I dreaded going to practices and performing. I was so happy when my parents let me quit!

  20. I wish I could just quit my job. Really I do. It is something that I’ve grown to be good at but not something I love. But bills need to get paid so I have to create an exit strategy where I can leave doing that job and put myself in a position where I want to be indefinitely but I love that quote you put up. I have to pin that and share that pin with others.

  21. I loved all of this! You are right, quitting has such a stigma. I just thought of the many times I’ve told my kids “we are not quitters”, or the decisions I didn’t make that prolonged pain and suffering just not to quit and trying to save the “investment” I had already made. When I have done it, it has been liberating, indeed!

  22. Many times we end up doing the things that are dragging us down just because we are frightened to quit and do something more challenging, something that will make us happier.

  23. I have a very hard time with this concept and have learned that quitting is ok as long as it doesn’t become a habitual character flaw. It’s a fine line between quitting just because something is hard and staying because you don’t want to be a “quitter”. You make some great points chica. Food for thought indeed.

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