We are told to never quit, to never give up. That quitting constitutes us as failures and disappointments. It’s virtually plastered on bill-boards, advertised on television and is even inspiration for many sport/apparel companies. But when I was nine, I had a burning desire to quit the clarinet. Never in my life had I wanted to quit something more. But my mom being a typical mother made me follow through all year. What I thought was going to kill me at nine years-old, obviously did not. I mean it did teach an important lesson right? If you start something you should always follow through. But what happens when following through, ends up turning into the dreaded nine to five job you told yourself you would never be tied down to?
I was confessing to a friend the struggle of my current career path and how I no longer have the desire to pursue that type of lifestyle anymore. Many changes have happened in the past few months that I am excited to venture into, that have absolutely nothing to do with my almost degree. I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. How can I give something up I have been working four years on? Then, she said “lets play truth or dare?” With out even asking me which one I wanted she said, “I dare you to quit”. And not to quit school because you have ninety days left, but to quit everything that makes me unhappy.
So then I asked myself, when is it ok to say, enough is enough and call it quits?
When You’re Being Held Back
If you feel there is no longer room for personal growth or positive change, it may be time to let go. Tightly grasping onto goals that no longer serve a purpose, staying in a relationship just to have the title, or stuck in a career because it is simply money driven are some reasons that may be holding you back.
Actions Are Only Benefiting Others
If your actions are merely for someone else’s benefit and not your own, then quit now. I am not saying to stop being selfless. What I am saying is, stop trying to make everyone else happy and leaving yourself behind. You will become mentally and physically drained. To put your best self out there, you have to take care of yourself first. Ask yourself, “What do you love?” “What do you strive for?”
It’s A Habit
We are creatures of old habits and we get comfortable at a certain point in our lives, we all do it. We put ourselves in our own comfortable corners, then we tend to stay there and not stray from it, because we are safe there. But being comfortable does not always translate to happiness. I was comfortable at a job for a few years and I excelled, but I was miserable. Being uncomfortable to put it blankly, is uncomfortable. But from this, stems growth, and we learn things that may take us on a completely different life path.
You Don’t Feel Like You
Seems obvious I know, but people will ignore this sign. We try to force something to fit when we know it won’t. Think of it as forcing a square into a circle slot, no matter how hard we push, it will not go in. If it doesn’t feel right, it’s not right. To get you feeling more like yourself, find what makes you feel best. Is it dancing, writing, singing or playing with your kids? Your head will clear and you will make the correct decision.
My instrument career thankfully was short-lived, but it did teach me the importance of rhythm, which came in handy when I started dancing and I absolutely love dancing. I guess mom had a point.
Now, I promise quitting something you no longer love or never loved does not make you a failure. And if you’re afraid your family will think that way, they won’t. It actually makes you strong enough to accept the fact your life is changing and you’re not the same person you were a few years ago. Quitting for these reasons makes you an absolute winner.