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.
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 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?
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.
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.
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!