So, last week I tried everything. I wanted to run the marathon. I’d trained, I was fast and I was determined. Screw the process (I too get caught up and ignore my own words), I wanted this. PT, massage, more PT and believe or not acupuncture (OMG – now that’s a story for a blog post … I was literally freaked out the entire time as I lay there with needles sticking out of my body… true desperation).
When I came home and told my boys about my “activities,” my son said, “Mom, those are the signs of a desperate woman.” He was right. But, did I listen to my body? No. And despite my better judgment, I ran, I had my worst marathon time of my life, I cried on the course, I crossed the finish line and I can’t walk today.
Why don’t we ever allow ourselves to just quit? What’s the issue? We stay in marriages/relationships too long, we stay in jobs too long, we try the same tactics with our kids, for way too long. What’s wrong with stopping and evaluating and quitting?
We know the signs that we should “quit.” Those signs were screaming at me on the course. But we’re afraid of “failure” and humans hate change – regardless of the potential outcome.
Still, how do you know when it’s time to quit, to move on, to let go?
1. Is there more frustration or pain than happiness or reward? You’ll always have the bad with the good. but is it more negative than positive? Have you considered a change, but are too afraid?
2. You know you can’t stay “here” forever. If you know this won’t last forever, than begin planning. You don’t have to quit right now, but you know you will and you should start preparing. Getting rid of fear takes time. Allow the time.
3. Staying or doing the endeavor will cause more damage. This is where you have to ignore your fear of quitting. This is where I didn’t ignore my fear of quitting. Will you be ok if you quit? Could you be better if you quit? You know the answers here.
4. You’re staying for “commitment.” Have faith in yourself that you’ve worked out whatever commitment you had to and you’ve met your responsibility. Staying does not make you a better person/partner/employee. It makes you tired and takes away your precious time.
Quitting can actually free us up to find other things we love, whether it be a different line of work, a new creative pursuit, or a new person in our life.
Maybe it’s not so much about embracing quitting as it is about reframing – let’s call it “making room for starting.” Because really, everything you’ve ever quit began as something you started – and everything you started came because you’d quit something else. Who knows who I could have hung with on the marathon course had I not run …
Embrace the ability to quit and start something new today!