“One of the hardest decisions you’ll ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or try harder”
– Ziad K. Abdelnour
To quit or not to quit – that is the question. Whether it’s a project, a job or even a relationship, deciding on whether to call it quits or to continue to forge ahead can be one of life’s most confusing and challenging tasks. Though we all have been in situations where we were faced life’s proverbial fork in the past, it doesn’t appear that it gets easier the second, third.. or even the twentieth time around.
So, how exactly can one decide whether to move on or to try harder? How do we effectively make the decision that is right for us? Here are 3 tips that I have personally found helpful that may just assist you to making the choices that most resonate with you.
1. Listen to Your Intuition
When things have not been working out, be it a project that you’re working on, a business that you are embarking or a romantic relationship you are in, deciding on whether you just need to press on or to move on can seemingly feel like an impossible feat.
In general, as human beings, we have a tendency to rely on our logic to make sense of things. As a result, we forget that we actually have a built-in compass, an inner guide that is able to significantly help us in navigating life’s complex situations – this incredible tool is called our intuition.
Chances are, whenever we find ourselves in difficult circumstances, our inner voice has given us constant clues on what decision and action are right for us – but they often gets muffled by our own mind chatter. We seek advice from our loved ones or even strangers when in fact the best advice can only come from within.
Understandably, with so much noise, information, and clutter found in today’s digital world, it can be awfully difficult to quiet our mind. I personally found that meditation, writing down thoughts in a journal and/or a long walk in nature prove to be effective ways in accessing my own intuition. Whatever method you choose, it is important to be honest to yourself. The fear of failure, of the unknown, of not finding something or someone better can all result in your gut feelings being pushed aside in favor of what may be perceived to be the safer or easiest option.
Choose to honor your gut feelings know that they are there to guide and support you. Listen to your intuition and don’t let fear override your decision.
Click here to find out more on learning to trust our inner voice.
2. Assess the Opportunity to Grow
I consider myself a risk taker, I tend to embrace risks as I believe that they are integral in order to become the best version of who we could possible be. This is why it probably comes to no surprise that over the past decade, I have found myself jumping around multiple jobs in various different industries all in effort to find out my life’s true purpose.
Naturally, with each job, there came a time where I had to really look within and decide whether I should stick it out or to walk away. Other than relying on my intuition on whether the job truly resonates with me, I would also ask myself the determining question “Have you learned as much as you could from this opportunity ? “. If I can answer “yes” wholeheartedly then I knew that it was indeed time to move on. If I hesitated or find myself (reluctantly) admitting that I still have much to learn, it often meant I had let my insecurities get the best of me – leaving me feeling as if I didn’t have what it takes to succeed in that particular job or project. When this is the case, I knew that I just needed some time to re-coup, seek out a little pep talk from loved ones and give it another go.
If you are currently contemplating on walking away from a job, a business, or a project, consider whether quitting now improves or limits your capacity to grow. Ask yourself whether you have really learned all that you could from the opportunity or you are just feeling a little defeated. If your situation happens to be the latter, understand that challenges and obstacles are there to help us to grow and step closer to become an even better version of ourselves. As the old English saying goes “A smooth sea does not make a skilled sailor“.
However, if you feel that you exhausted all your efforts and have gained all you can from the experience, know that deciding to quit does NOT equal to failure and it certainly does not make you a loser. To quote Seth Godin from his book, The Dip, ” Winners quit all the time. They just quit the right stuff at the right time “.
In this particular case, all quitting really means is that you understand that if you were to press on at something you are not all that passionate in, no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to give it your 110%. In fact, it’s highly likely that if you were to force yourself to stay in a job or project that you believe no longer fulfills you, you will end up doing the bare minimum of what is expected instead of going that extra mile. Quitting may not be easy, but setting yourself up for mediocrity instead of stepping to greatness is nothing short of depriving yourself of the chance of success.
3. Assess your Priorities
In the past, I often would find myself complaining about my hectic schedule while simultaneously (secretly) loving it. At any given time, in addition to a full time job, I often have a series of projects and a plethora of other commitments on my plate. But of course, as time goes on, with so much to do and so little time, I spread myself too thin. Before long, I became exhausted and ended up feeling resentful towards my commitments and responsibilities.
Though I was aware that I was entirely blame for taking on more than I can chew, it was difficult for me to admit it. Fortunately, I eventually came to my senses and realized that I was not doing anyone, including myself, any favor by forcing myself to treat all my responsibilities and commitments as priorities. With so much on my plate, something has definitely got to give.
As hard as it was to choose as to what projects and responsibilities to keep and those that I must let go, I found the decision became easier once I became clear on what my priorities are. To determine what gets to stay on my plate and what goes, I asked myself as to which of the projects and commitments most resonate with me and give me joy and the answer became crystal clear. To give yourself even more clarification as to how important a particular project or commitment is to you – ask yourself whether you would regret having to let go of it say 5 or 10 years down the line. If you find yourself feeling more relief than regret – then it’s definitely smart to cut your losses and redirect your time and energy to something than you feel more invested in.
Backing out of a project or a commitment that you have taken upon is never easy and you inevitably will disappoint some people in the process. But if you believe that quitting something is the right thing to do, don’t be afraid to do so because of the fear of what others might think. At the end of the day, you are the only one who are living your life so whatever you decide to do, make sure that it makes you happy.