Interesting note about this post: I almost “quit” it – yes, it almost never got published. (In fact it posted a day later then intended.) Was it worth it to “stick through it” to the end? Should I have just passed it by and not hit publish? You be the judge…
“Once You learn how to quit, it becomes a habit.”
~ Vince Lombari
QUESTION: Is this quote true? How do you know when to quit something and when to stick with it?
As I work at the ongoing struggle to maintain balance in my busy life, I’ve noticed that occasionally I have trouble distinguishing between whether I am just temporarily overwhelmed by OR truly dislike and need to give up on a commitment I have agreed to take on.
For example, there are days (usually in the spring) as a teacher when I feel like sometimes I just want to quit. Maybe out of frustration because I am not getting through to my students, or occasionally because I might feel undervalued, overworked, or not appreciated.
Summer comes and I get a break from the struggles of teaching. And typically, when fall arrives, I return feeling refreshed, renewed and re-energized – ready to tackle the hardships and challenges that come with education and teaching a diverse group of students. And again – I love the job.
In hindsight, it seems that most of my frustration in teaching is more often due to the well-documented fact that in the spring I start to get overwhelmed in other aspects of my life.
I have taught college students for nearly 12 years now and most every year I recognize the same pattern: spring brings feelings of frustration and by fall those same frustrated feelings have all but disappeared.
And it is in recalling this pattern from teaching, that I’ve learned with all my commitment decisions:
a.) I need to give myself time to process and evaluate my choices
b.) I shouldn’t make quick, rash decisions to quit something without really thinking through the consequences of those decisions.
The Consequences of Quitting
We are all looking for our “easy button.” And regardless of how simple it sounds, quitting something is never easy because often it involves:
- Letting other people down,
- Letting yourself down, and
- Giving yourself a nasty case of “guilt.”
However, even through all its discomforts and hardships, quitting is still often the easier way out. It typically takes much more work to get through the tough times than to just quit.
What does it take to be successful at something?
Sometimes it takes talent, but many times it just takes a little follow through, perseverance and commitment. Most importantly, being successful often takes having a clear sense of self and priorities before deciding what you want to be successful at.
Questions Without Clear Answers
Every responsibility we take on tends to have a “honeymoon” stage, and eventually this honeymoon stage does end. And just like a marriage, any project we commit to takes time to make it a success.
So, back to the questions at hand: When do you quit something and when do you stick with it? Does quitting become a habit?
I struggle with this. My only good solution has been to attempt to take preventative action. I tend to put a lot more thought into my initial decision-making process of what TO and what NOT TO take on. (Perfect example: how this blog began)
Once I do make a decisions to pursue something, I tend to be much more successful at reaching the planned end result because I truly committed to it. However, on the flip side, occasionally by taking the time I felt I needed to thoroughly think through a choice, I over-evaluate things and miss out on opportunities.
Yes, I get
Yes, I often need to go back and review my priorities.
Yes, sometimes I just feel like quitting – quitting whatever at the time is overwhelming me.
And yes, I do think that once you learn how to quit – it does start to become a habit.
Yet sticking with things and riding out the overwhelmed feelings I am finding also becomes a habit.
Which habit would you rather have?
“Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.”
~ Lance Armstrong
Leave a Comment: Do you think quitting can become a habit? How do you decide whether to quit something you haven’t finished yet OR carry on through the tough times? Do you ever jump into something and realize later that you might have made a rash decision?
I am also linking up with Bianca at Bits of Bee for her Quotable Bits Link-up.