There are times when we feel we have just had enough. Whether it’s a bad job, a family crisis, or a horrible diet, there are times we all consider quitting. Quitting isn’t always a bad choice. We’ve been taught to believe that quitting is synonymous with failure, but some activities or relationships aren’t worth continuing. It’s important to arrive at a decision to quit or continue consciously, rather than making a reflective decision.
Avoid quitting prematurely:
1. Hit the pause button. Most poor decisions could be avoided by taking a short pause. When you’re stressed, overworked, overtired, and fed-up, rash decisions become the norm. Give yourself the time you need to make a wise decision. Allow your head to clear before you make a decision that changes your life. Most decisions can wait.
2. View the situation objectively. Try to be objective and weigh the situation carefully. Enlist the help of a friend if necessary. It can be easier to evaluate someone else’s situation accurately than your own.
3. Consider the worst-case scenario. Think long-term. Quitting is an easy choice when you only consider the short-term ramifications. You can relieve your stress almost immediately! However, what are the long-term consequences? If you quit your job, what will happen if you can’t find another one?
- Reconsider quitting if the long-term consequences are too severe. A little relief now isn’t worth long-term pain.
- Who will be impacted by your quitting? Your boss? Coworkers? Family? The members of your church softball team? Who is affected?
- What message are you sending to your children? What would you recommend to a child in a similar circumstance? Your children are always watching. Be sure to set a good example.
4. Ask yourself if a new approach is warranted. Maybe you shouldn’t quit. Maybe you need a new plan. Not getting the results you desire isn’t necessarily a sign that you should call it quits. Poor results indicate an ineffective process. Perhaps all you need is a tweak to your approach. Major accomplishments are accompanied by numerous failed attempts.
5. Ask yourself why you’re considering quitting. Is it because you don’t believe you can be successful? You don’t have the resources you require? Do you not enjoy the job, activity, or relationship in question? Are you lacking the necessary time?
- Some reasons for quitting are better than others. Quitting a second job you don’t need so you can spend more time with your children is a good reason to quit. Ending your marriage because your spouse won’t pick up his dirty socks might be a bit extreme.
- Is there another solution besides quitting?
6. Consider the times you’ve given up in the past. How do you feel about those events today? Was quitting a good idea or do you regret it? How are you likely to feel in the future about quitting in your current situation?
7. Sometimes it’s necessary to lower your head and keep going. There are times when quitting is the best choice. However, when it’s not the best choice, it’s necessary to be strong and keep going. Stick with that horrible job until you have something else lined up. Give counseling a try before quitting on another relationship.
- If your default coping mechanism is quitting, you’ll never accomplish anything.
Take a moment before making a hasty decision. Quitting isn’t to be taken lightly. Before making the decision to quit, consider the consequences, consult with a trusted friend, and consider your history. In some instances, quitting is final. Avoid creating long-term challenges to alleviate stress in the short-term. Give yourself the time you require to make a wise decision.
Some beliefs have the power to stop you in your tracks. If you believe that you could never run a marathon, you will never try. Some toxic beliefs can permeate multiple areas of your life. These beliefs are more damaging than specific beliefs. Believing you can never learn to play the banjo doesn’t have the same negative impact as the belief that you’re too old to follow your dreams. Rid yourself of the 5 toxic beliefs that limit your life:
1. It’s too late, or I’m too old. Sometimes it is too late. You’re probably not going to start playing in the NHL if you’re 43 years old. But the number of things you can do is far greater than the number of things you can’t. Colonel Sanders didn’t settle on a chicken recipe until he was 49 years old. Yet, you know who he is and you’ve eaten his chicken. There have been a few medical students that didn’t get started until their 60’s. Avoid jumping to conclusions regarding your age. You can do a lot more than you think.
2. Failure is bad. Failure is normal. If you’re living, you’re also failing from time to time. The trick is to fail in the right way and make good use of it. Failure is nothing more than an undesired result. Take the opportunity to learn from your failures and adjust your approach. If one way doesn’t work, try another. If you continue to improve your method, how can you possibly fail over the long haul?
3. The past equals the future. You have an amazing ability to change and adapt. Just because you’ve been lazy, made poor choices, been uneducated, had poor social skills, or self-destructed in the past doesn’t mean the future can’t be different. The past only affects you if you permit it. You can choose to drop the past and live in the present.
4. People will criticize me, laugh at me, or think little of me. You’re right. They will. This isn’t an inaccurate belief, but it’s harmful to be concerned about the opinions of others. No matter what you do, there are people that won’t be impressed. And there’s always someone ready to make a negative comment. Why do you care? You don’t have time to worry about such silliness. You’re no longer in high school, so let go of the peer pressure. Please yourself and avoid worrying about anyone else’s opinion.
5. I’m not smart, good with money, good with people, educated enough, special, or No one is good at everything. You can learn to be good at whatever skill you’re lacking. Don’t know how to save money? Read a book. Not good with people? Take a class. Lacking in real estate knowledge? Find a mentor. Successful people are often surprisingly ordinary. You don’t have to do anything spectacular to have spectacular results. You can find or create whatever you’re currently lacking.
A toxic belief could be holding you back from the success you deserve. These negative beliefs are difficult to recognize because you’ve been carrying them around for so long. Do a personal inventory and evaluate all your beliefs that inhibit you. How do you know they’re true? What are they costing you? Get rid of them and proceed to bring your dreams to life!
Over 80% of New Year’s resolutions are abandoned within a week. If change were easy, we’d all be wealthy, fit, and happy. It’s frustrating when you know what you want to do, but you can’t get yourself to do it consistently. If the new behavior would obviously be of benefit, why isn’t that change easy to make?
Change is challenging for several reasons:
1. Habits are strong and pervasive. The average person has far more habits than they realize. Each morning, you wake up and follow the same routine. You take the same path to work. You think the same thoughts as you did the day before. Much of your day and night is a repeat of the last 500.
When you feel bored, you soothe yourself in the same 2-3 ways each time. You only eat a few foods regularly. You talk to the same people. Habits avoid thinking. They’re done automatically. Anything that minimizes thinking seems to be your brain’s preference. The fewer decisions, the better. To change, you must be certain that change is in your best interest. Otherwise, your habits will always win.
2. Change is hard because it’s uncomfortable. You already know how to lose 25 pounds or how to find a better job. But the thought of taking the actions necessary to accomplish those goals creates discomfort.
3. What you’re doing is already working, sort of. Your brain is preoccupied with your survival. Our brains are programmed to resist change, because what you’re doing is allowing you to live. Any change could potentially lead to death. You might be unhappy today, but you’re still alive! Most of us prefer misery than facing uncertainty.
4. You’ve tried to change in the past and failed. You’re no dummy. If you’ve tried to change several times and failed, part of you says, “Obviously, I can’t change. What’s the use in trying?”
It isn’t easy to change, but change is possible. The primary issue keeping you from following through on your plan to change is attempting to change too much, too soon. Smaller changes are easier to accomplish and to maintain.
How You Can Change! Change is possible with an effective approach:
1. Be prepared to change. Expect that change will be challenging. Your odds of success improve if you’re prepared. Have a plan.
2. Start small. To minimize the discomfort that change creates, only change a little each week. Meditating for two minutes each day is easier than starting with 60 minutes. The key is to get in the habit of doing the new behavior each day.
3. Have patience. It can take months to make a change permanent. It’s often quoted that a new habit requires 30 days to instill. That’s not true. Studies show that it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the habit and the person.
4. Be willing to change yourself and face the consequences. Changing yourself is scary, because you don’t know what the results will be. Accept that your life will change in some way. Discomfort isn’t always a bad thing.
5. Expect to relapse. Falling off the wagon is to be expected. Attempt to enhance your approach and keep going. Aim for 90% compliance. That’s all you need. Perfection is an illusion that will only serve to destroy your confidence.
Change requires patience with yourself. Understand why it’s so challenging to change and choose to make changes slowly and incrementally. Imagine how much you could change over a few years if you changed just a tiny amount each week. The results would be staggering! How much have you changed over the last few years? Give slow change a chance.