Life Choices · Paradigm Shift

Is Quitting Ever An Option?

The Consequences of Failing

Why is quitting frowned on and viewed so negatively by society? Why is quitting associated with failure?

We commend and celebrate those who “hang in there.” It is emotionally satisfying when our television and book heroes and heroines push through and do not just give up when things get difficult. We embrace those characters and celebrate their sticktoitiveness and successes as our own.

There countless motivational quotes and motivational speakers who remind us daily that quitting is not an option, and those who quit are losers. I, too, have been guilty of chastising acquaintances whom I thought should have “hung in there” a bit longer. I reasoned that people who quit possess character flaws that would forever keep them trapped in mediocrity.

Why do you think there is such contempt—a general disdain toward quitters? Why do some believe it is okay to shame those who decide to abandon an idea or give up a dream, career, relationship, or opportunity?

We can all admit that it is never okay to denigrate anyone for their choices. But, is it ever okay to quit a pursuit or goal?

Bury the Goal, Mourn It, and Move On

It is helpful for quitting to have context. The reality is, people, quit for various reasons.

On the one hand, there are great rewards that can come from being goal-oriented and remaining persistent in the face of adversity. On the other hand, there are times when stubbornly pursuing a goal is simply not worth the mental, financial, and relational stress. There are times when the costs of “staying” significantly outweigh the benefits of “staying” or pursuing.

Suppose the pursuit of something close to your heart is sucking the life, energy, and passion out of you, causing unnecessary anxiety and stress. In that case, it might be helpful to put that activity on pause or pivot in a way that would eliminate the stress altogether.

What if more people realized that quitting is an option, and sometimes, the best option?

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