Quitting is good.
I’ll be the first to admit that this statement sounds insane and is utterly counter to everything we were raised to believe. You see, there’s this idea that we should never give up, and that we’re quitters or losers if we do.
Look, I get that this desire to never quit is coming from a good place. The idea is to develop resiliency, grit, and iron will. Those are the most important things a person can have. And it’s because of those attributes, not despite it, that we need to understand the value of quitting.
If You Never Quit, You’re Stuck With What You Have
Think of it this way: If you never quit anything, you’d be stuck with the “first” everything that you ever encountered. Remember your first job? How about your first relationship? How about the first career you ever wanted? Quitting is good because it gives you a chance to see what else is out there. It gives you a chance to be even more fulfilled.
You’re not going to always get it right straight out of the gate. You’ll make mistakes. You’ll believe things that you later regret believing. You don’t have to own any of them. Once you see the light, move on.
Changing Your Mind And Adapting Is A Sign That You’re Growing
Here’s the thing: Have you ever changed your mind about something the more you learned about it?
If so, that’s awesome.
Too often, society values consistency. So-and-so still feels the same way about X that he did 20 years ago. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it could be a sign that so-and-so hasn’t learned jack shit in two decades on this planet.
The more you learn, the more context you have. You may discover that you don’t believe the same things you did a year ago. You may discover that there are better things out there. Maybe you even find that you’re pursuing something that just isn’t fulfilling anymore.
While conventional wisdom says you should put your head down and keep moving forward, I’m here to tell you to check in with yourself, look yourself in the mirror, and ask, “Is this still what I want?” If the answer is no too many times in a row, then you owe it to yourself to change things up.
It Can Take More Mental Strength To Walk Away
It takes an enormous amount of willpower to keep pushing through something, but here’s the thing: It can often be easier than actually solving the real problem. If things aren’t working, then what good are you doing by continuing in that direction?
There’s something admirable about being stubborn and enduring — and there is a place for it — but many times it’s simply a delaying tactic because you don’t know how to really solve the problem at hand or don’t want to confront an underlying issue that needs handling. That’s where quitting is good.
While quitting or giving up on your current course of action may open you up to scrutiny, looking a problem square in the face and changing your approach means that you’re dealing directly with a problem. That takes even more guts.
When Quitting Isn’t The Answer
OK, I spent the bulk of this article selling you on quitting not being the cowardly act that people make it out to be — but sometimes it isn’t the right thing to do.
For example, let’s say you’re in love with someone but walk away from the relationship to avoid dealing with a disagreement. Let’s say you give up pursuing a career in music because you’re afraid of being rejected.
These are times when you’ll want to rethink your decision to walk away. Quitting is good when your beliefs have changed or you see a better path to fulfillment elsewhere. It’s not the best answer when you’re doing it out of fear.
Anytime you’re looking to quit something, the first step is not to blame yourself or question your character. We’ve all been there, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with quitting, despite what the rest of the world thinks.
Just make sure you ask yourself why. It could be for legitimate reasons. It could not be. Just make sure you know and make the best decision for you.