The importance of perseverance is a well-known and valued life skill. And in our pursuit of success, we often hear encouraging mantras like, “Keep pushing, you’ll get there,” or “Just keep going; it will be alright.” These words serve as motivation. They’re undoubtedly valuable (and one I try to live by too). However, what we often overlook is the equally important skill of knowing when to quit.
While it’s great to give things time enough to fail or succeed, at times, what we NEED is to know when to quit!
Learning to quit in this aspect, is the ability to self-assess situations, choosing to keep going or quit.
It’s a skill everyone should learn to scale through life.
By no means am I writing this to sway you into quitting easily, and this is for sure not asking you to bail on a course with the potential for success, it’s about having the wisdom to step away from toxic circumstances without implying failure or surrender.
Quitting is a difficult thing to do because we’ve been conditioned to associate quitting with failure, not to mention societal pressures being the main culprit behind why we tolerate situations that causes us pain – our desperate need to avoid judgement from others.
Unfortunately, this predicament often spreads throughout many aspects of our lives, as the concept of “persevere to the end” has become so deeply rooted that we often struggle to discern when to persist and when to step away.
In reality, life presents us with unique circumstances where quitting a job or ending a relationship is the wisest thing to do. However, there are certain circumstances where most people gets blind sided through their decisions.
To provide clarity and context, here are three (but not an exhaustive list) critical areas in life where many commonly err:
- Making a wrong career move
- Staying too long at a job
- Toxic relationship
Making Wrong Career Move
Are your motives flawed?
Are you genuinely pursuing what you want to do or are you just putting yourself out there to please others? quell your Insecurities, bolster your fragile ego?
Assuming you want to be a model or an actor, is that because you’re genuinely passionate about the art of modeling/acting?
Or are your aspirations fueled by the fame and fortune that accompanies being in the spotlight?
If the latter is the case, you’ll be investing your time and effort into something that’s not worth it when you could be valued more elsewhere.
You might never find true happiness or fulfillment, unless you quit. There are a lot of undiscovered active models or actors on cue doing menial jobs, many of them seem to be okay with the small wins, hoping that one day, they’ll hit the jackpot and get discovered.
If you’re wondering why you’re unhappy with your career, check your motives, you might be at risk of being stuck, especially if you’re just after the think might make you look good.
Staying Too Long at a Job
Loyalty to a job is commendable, but it can also blind us to opportunities for personal growth and mental well-being. Knowing when it’s time to move on can be the catalyst for a more fulfilling professional life.
What does this mean to you?
If it means finding yourself in a situation where you genuinely care about your job, but external factors hinder your peak performance or taking a toll on your mental well-being. Or if the combination of heavy workload and low paycheck doesn’t compensate for your efforts, it might be a sign that your future lies elsewhere.
It might be time to explore other opportunities and make plans for your exit.
But what if you’re seeking a big change, like a shift in your career path? In this scenario, if pursuing a new career path holds significant meaning for you, don’t be afraid of change or the prospect of it.
Depending on your specific circumstance, if your financial situation allow, it might be worth taking the leap. Of course, this decision should be made after careful consideration, the financial implications (costs and benefits), and responsibilities. However, if your current situation doesn’t permit an immediate change, it’s still worthwhile to make plans and work towards your career transition.
I’ve seen what a toxic relationship looks like and I must say… It takes considerable foresight and courage to swiftly exit a toxic relationship —by swiftly, I mean making a run-for-it, as fast as your legs can carry you.
Here’s why, but first, it’s worth noting that bad relationships sometimes don’t seem bad at all, and things aren’t always a shithole from the inside.
Take for example a woman who loves her boyfriend so much she’s willing to help him overcome his addiction issues. You share happy moments and there are even glimpses of the change you hoped for, or moments that you believe are THE turning point.
But possibilities can be both a blessing and a curse.
The truth is, we don’t possess real control over other people, the only person within our control is ourselves.
Unfortunately, the potential you sometimes see in others, the hope you hold for who they could become, only goes that far… Trapped in the waiting zone, leaving you in a constant state of waiting.
For a miracle to surface, the other person must see and be willing to put in the work to be better. They must invest in the relationship just as much as you do, because it takes two to make a relationship work, not one.
However, this is where people fail to grasp this concept, or maybe they choose not to, especially when they are clinging to the hope of a miracle.
This is why many people have blind spots regarding their partner’s behavior, missing glaring warning signs. Sometimes, people endure toxic relationships not because they enjoy the mistreatment they receive from their partners. They just hold on to the feeling, hoping that their partner will eventually change. Consequently suffering because they linger until they are hurt, broken, and drained.
Why not call or see abuse for what it is, and call or see abuse for what it is and stop maintaining connections with people who continually take from you without any assurance of reciprocation. It’s not easy but your freedom and peace of mind is worth it.
Not everything has to keep heading in the same direction.
If you have even a modest familiarity with sports, you likely know what can happen when even the best athletes in history fail to recognize when it’s time to call it quits.
Take Ronaldinho, for example. He’s undeniably one of the most exhilarating players of the twenty-first century. This World Cup champion also graced Europe with his skills while playing for Barcelona during an electrifying career. Following an injury-plagued stint with AC Milan, he returned to his homeland, Brazil, to have one final flourish with Flamengo. Or so we thought, because he ended up playing for three different Brazilian teams with a stint in Mexico in between.
One could argue that Ronaldinho’s unwavering love for the game kept him on the field, not wanting to step away while he still had the ability to compete. There’s something admirable about his determination to play for lesser-known teams. However, if he had taken better care of his body instead of indulging in a party lifestyle throughout his career, he might have enjoyed a more extended prime. In the end, he extended his career for so long that almost everyone forgot he was still an active player.
The passage of time spares no sports star, not even the legends of a franchise. Ryan Howard, who spent his entire MLB career with the Philadelphia Phillies, experienced this inevitable decline. As his time with the Phillies drew to a close, it became evident that he had become a liability for the team. It’s a challenging moment when an athlete has to come to terms with their physical decline, and it’s equally difficult for a franchise to part ways with a player who was once a cornerstone.
In Howard’s case, one of MLB’s most exceptional players saw a stark deterioration in his performance, transitioning from one of the best to one of the worst. His batting average plummeted, ranking among the lowest in the league, and fans cringed as they watched him play. It was an unfortunate turn of events considering how phenomenal he had been in his prime. Even after he made an attempt to revive his career by signing a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves, he failed to make any significant impact. Sadly, by hanging on for too long, his once-illustrious career gradually fizzled out.
Lastly, Another example was Lance Armstrong. He was once considered one of the greatest cyclists of all time, but his decision to continue racing after being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles due to doping allegations somehow put a dent on his credibility. Many felt that his continued participation in the sport was a desperate attempt to salvage his reputation and so he lost the respect of the cycling community.
This famous figures experiences are testimonials for life in general, echoing quit when you should.
Not every face of your life has to keep going in one direction. Everyone should embrace the courage to walk away when the time is right.
And no one can teach you exactly how to do that better than yourself.