When It’s OK (even advisable) To Quit

Recently, a friend of mine took a full-time job, and then had to resign soon thereafter due to a number of factors. I know she struggled with the decision. I understood her angst. I have taken on too much of late, and I’m having to rethink some of my goals. It feels like such a failure I can’t do everything I set out to do. But how many of us set unrealistic expectations for ourselves? My husband says I do (and he’s usually right).

When I googled quitting, there were literally pages of inspirational quotes about why quitting is bad. (You know, quitters never win, and all that stuff.) But I did find a Chinese Proverb that took a different view: “Of all the strategems, to know when to quit is the best.”  Yea!

But how do you know when is when? When is it okay to quit and when should you tough it out?  These are some very loose guidelines I came up with for myself:

It’s okay to quit…

…when you’ve gathered new information that makes the original plan unworkable;

…when the timing is wrong;

…when you thought you could do more than you can;

…when you’re changing directions;

…when to keep going will deplete you of energy you need for something else (or allows you to regroup your energy);

…when you made a mistake;

…when quitting is the most compassionate thing you can do for yourself at the moment (my personal favorite).

This is the shortest blog post I’ve ever written. I really thought about developing each and every point above, and giving more examples. But sometimes you have to know when to quit…

(Note: This is an old post from a different blog, but someone I care about is going through a rough time with a decision, and I think this may speak to her.)