We often hear the phrase, "Winners never quit, and quitters never win." However, I believe that's not always the case. More importantly, often, we need to quit on one thing that's not working for us so we can choose a different direction to focus our energy.
There will be times when circumstances will force us to quit, while other times, it will require us to introspect and think deeply if we need to continue doing what we're currently doing.
In this post, we'll talk about why quitting is not for losers and can even be necessary.
Table of Contents
What is Quitting?
Before looking into the pros and cons of quitting, let's first define quitting. Generally, quitting is to stop doing something. It can be giving up on a task, a job, a relationship, or a habit.
Though quitting is a difficult decision, it can sometimes be necessary to improve our current condition.
I remember reading a book called "The Dip" by Seth Godin. He said quitting is necessary if you're experiencing a dead end or, as he calls it, a cul-de-sac, instead of just a temporary dip or setback.
The real challenge is determining whether what you're going through is temporary or permanent. It will be your choice. Just remember that quitting is also a strategy of focusing your time and energy on the things with the highest chance of success.
Common Misconceptions About Quitting
Quitting usually comes with a bad taste because it is generally associated with losers, so giving up is usually not an option - even when, in reality, it's the best option.
It also takes a lot of courage to quit, especially in a familiar but unfavorable situation. So, to tackle this sensitive topic, here are some common misconceptions about quitting:
1. Quitting is a Sign of Weakness:
Quitting is often seen as a sign of weakness or lack of character, but it is not always true. While there are instances when quitting is not the best solution, there are also times when it is.
Quitting is also difficult, especially after you invest time, energy, money, and emotion. This is why we have the term sunk-cost fallacy, which refers to a person's tendency to commit to something that is not working because they have already invested too much and don't want to feel like they wasted all their efforts.
So, no, quitting is not a sign of weakness. In fact, it requires a lot of courage to quit something you've spent time on, like taking a job not connected to your degree or giving up on your collapsing business venture.
2. Quitting is a Failure.
Another common misconception about quitting is it's synonymous with failure. However, quitting is never a failure if it will improve your current situation.
For instance, if you're in a job that you're miserable or doesn't pay well, then quitting that job will only lead you to success or at least give you a chance to find something better.
Also, if you have money-wasting bad habits, like smoking or drinking, that harm your health, then quitting is a success.
3. Quitting is Easy
Have you ever heard someone who is an addicted gambler or smoker say that if they want to quit their bad habit, they can, and it will be easy? Then, they add that the only reason they don't quit is because they don't want to.
Unfortunately, that is not always true. Many people engaging in addictive habits want to quit but can't because it drags them back to it. So, the best way to quit is through support groups, medication, and counseling.
4. You Can Only Quit Once
Another misconception about quitting is that you can only quit once; after that, you must continue, as you will be a serial quitter, which is a sign of weakness.
For instance, I quit the corporate world to shift my career to the academic field. Then, I temporarily left the educational field to try freelancing and other jobs. I don't see myself as a failure, and I believe these experiences are only realignments to a better future.
Another thing is that many people have quit several times before finding their true calling or niche where they bloom and succeed. So, don't lock yourself up in a box when you know it's time to go.
Instances When Quitting May Be Necessary
1. A job that's making you miserable.
Working continuously for a job that's making you miserable doesn't make you a hero. In fact, if it takes the joy out of your life, then you are only making yourself a martyr.
Quitting a job has warning signs, so if you saw them, you should consider if it's time to go and look for a greener pasture, especially if your current job doesn't align with your principles and goals.
2. A toxic or abusive relationship.
People usually stay in toxic or abusive relationships because of their prior investments, like time, energy, emotion, and money.
Some would rather hold on to an unhealthy relationship because they don't want anything to go to waste, or they don't want to go back to zero or even lose the opportunity for companionship.
However, often. It's best to leave toxic or abusive relationships while it's still early or with the earliest signs - there are always red flags.
3. An unhealthy habit.
The best things to quit are bad habits, especially if they damage your health, like smoking, drinking, too much sugar, and illegal drugs. I would also add gambling, pornography, and a sedentary lifestyle.
These bad habits rob people not just of a healthy body but also of a healthy mind. Quit these things as early as possible.
4. An unreachable goal.
We set goals for ourselves when we are younger or when our circumstances are different. However, a time may come when those goals are no longer realistic and achievable. When that time comes, quit.
For instance, you want to be a professional basketball player; however, if you're 32 years old and a bit too short, that dream is over. No matter how good you are, there are limitations that you'll have to acknowledge later on.
5. When a better opportunity arises.
Quitting is not always to escape a bad situation or circumstance; sometimes, quitting is necessary because a better opportunity arises.
For instance, if you work a good job in the Philippines but are often stressed because of the traffic, you're overworked and underpaid. Then, an opportunity came to you to work abroad and bring your family along.
So, to grab this better opportunity, you'll have to quit your current job, even if it's already good. The only thing that should be on your pros and cons list is if you are content or satisfied with what you currently do and what you have.
Benefits of Quitting
1. Improved health.
Quitting unhealthy habits, like alcohol, smoking, and illegal drugs, will help your health and improve your quality of life. You can have more energy, a healthy heart and lungs, and reduced lifestyle diseases.
2. Reduced stress.
Quitting a stressful job, relationship, or lifestyle will significantly improve your mental and emotional health and well-being. You will be less anxious and depressed and regain the time and energy to focus on other, more important things.
3. Increased happiness and fulfillment.
Quitting something that's making you unhappy is the first step towards happiness and a more fulfilled life. Using your time and energy for the things that you enjoy will improve your well-being.
4. Save money.
Quitting unhealthy habits, like smoking, drinking alcohol, gambling, and eating fast foods, will save you a lot of money in the long run. I wrote a related post about ten money-wasting habits you can avoid.
5. Improved relationships.
If you're less stressed and healthier physically, mentally, and emotionally, other aspects of life will follow. It will allow you to maintain and build healthier relationships with your loved ones.
6. Increase self-confidence.
Quitting a difficult situation, like a job or relationship, is difficult. However, if you're successful, it will boost your confidence and overflow to other areas of your life that will allow you to achieve your other goals.
Quitting is not a simple task. It requires courage and strength to leave something or someone hindering your growth and damaging your overall well-being.
However, quitting is not just something you do haphazardly. You must establish facts, verify opportunities, weigh pros and cons, and other things to make an informed decision.
Remember, quitting is not for losers. Sometimes, it's necessary.