You hear people preaching stuff like this ALL THE TIME:
“Winners never quit and quitters never win.”
“It’s a slow process but quitting won’t speed it up.”
“The moment you want to quit is the moment you need to keep pushing.”
We’ve been hearing these types of things since we were young and so the mindset is practically ingrained in us.
However, I see a problem with this.
I believe, if you’re not careful, this kind of mindset can actually be quite dangerous to your overall well-being and your life in general.
Confused? Let me explain…
Have you ever felt any of these fears or thought any of these thoughts when deciding whether you should quit something or not?
If you quit:
- Then everyone is going to judge you as a loser who is weak and unable to handle the situation.
- Then you’re going to be letting people down and causing them to suffer and you just don’t know if you can live with that guilt.
- You could lose your safety net and make things very hard on yourself. This would make you feel very uncomfortable and scared so it’s probably just best try to be “smart” about it and not take the risk at all, or at least wait until the timing is better.
These fears are all very real (I’ve totally had them myself!) but the reality is that whatever it is you fear the most, there’s probably a good chance that it’s not actually going to happen. At least not in the way you think.
I think most people in this world don’t realize how strong they actually are or how capable they are of pushing through their struggles.
I think the thing people fear the most is simply the struggle. No one wants to get uncomfortable. Everyone just wants to play it safe.
That being said, let’s take a deeper look at what fear actually is...
“Fear is anticipation of the possibility that something unpleasant will occur.” - Dictionary.com
So basically, fear is just an emotion that is unpleasant.
That’s all it is. It’s just an EMOTION! It’s not real. It’s something you make up in your head!
When you look at it at this angle, it doesn’t seem so big and scary.
Worrying goes hand in hand with fear.
Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere.
I remember when I was trying to decide whether to quit my job or not 4 years ago, my roommate at the time (who already had her own web design biz) asked me a simple question that basically changed my whole outlook and helped erase a lot of the fear in me:
“What is the absolute worst case scenario for the thing you fear the most?”
I told her, “If I quit my job, I might run out of money and then I won’t be able to pay my bills … and then I’ll probably end up homeless on the streets feeling like the biggest loser.”
She laughed and told me the chance of that actually happening is slim to none.
She went on to say that if I run out of money, someone or something would probably help me out in some form or another.
So took a second look at the situation and decided to take the risk by quitting my job and starting my own business.
Six months later, my savings ran out and I needed some money.
I ended up getting a part-time gig (driving for Lyft) and also got a little financial assistance from my mom.
I also used credit cards (which I don’t recommend because I’m still paying them off) BUT the point is, my biggest fear of having to live on the streets and feeling like an absolute loser NEVER HAPPENED.
And here I am, 4 years later, still doing my own thing and SUCCEEDING.
Yes, I am still trying to pay off the debt I accrued. Yes, it was uncomfortable asking for money. But what I learned about myself, business, and life through the process has been ABSOLUTELY PRICELESS.
Bottom line: You might have to live uncomfortably for a bit of time, but it’s not forever. And it’s from those uncomfortable periods of time that you grow the most. The struggle is only going to make you stronger and wiser.
That being said, I don’t think quitting makes you weak.
I believe quitting makes you stronger.
I think our culture wants us to believe that quitting makes us weak, but in actuality, it’s used as a technique to invoke fear in us in order to have more control over us.
Who likes being controlled?!
Who gets controlled?
The people are afraid of getting uncomfortable, the people who let fear paralyze them and the people who just don’t realize their own intelligence and strength.
I believe in learning the difference between giving up and knowing when you’ve had enough of something.
I also believe if you want to be successful, you need to be a quitter.
Winners DO quit and quitters DO win.
If you don’t quit that thing you hate simply because you are afraid to, you’re probably going to spend the rest of your life doing it. You have to take responsibility for that. YOU are CHOOSING to feel miserable every day. Is an uncomfortable period of time worth not being truly happy the rest of your life?
The longer you wait to get uncomfortable, the longer you prolong your unhappiness.
The best lesson I’ve learned over the past 4 years of entrepreneurship is to be a quitter.
Oh, and that everything is figureoutable. :)
14 THINGS I QUIT THAT MADE ME HAPPIER + HELPED ME BECOME MORE SUCCESSFUL
I Quit Living in a Cold Environment
Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to move to a warm beach city far away from home. Once I finished college, my original plan was to move to Florida, however, I couldn’t find anyone who would move with me. I was too afraid to do it alone so I kept waiting and waiting (for 6 years!)
Finally, in 2009, I decided to just pull the trigger because I simply didn’t want to feel unhappy anymore. I saved everything I could for a year, then quit my job and ended up moving all the way across the country, by myself, from Boston to San Diego. I had no job lined up, no place to live lined up and didn’t really know anyone, but I made it work and I’m still here, and thriving, almost 8 years later! It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I Quit my 9-5 Job to Start my Own Graphic + Web Design Biz
It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done (besides move across the country by myself,) mostly because I had no idea how to make money on my own and I was afraid of not being financially secure. I really had no idea what I was doing, but I decided to just jump off the cliff and figure out how to fly on the way down.
The past 4 years have not been easy at all, but all of the struggles I went through have been more than worth it. I’ve learned SO MUCH and feel SO EMPOWERED and SO HAPPY literally every day, and that is what success means to me.
I Quit Saying Yes to Everything
I’ve always struggled with the word “no.” I’m a people pleaser at heart and love making others happy. Plus, I love trying new things and discovering new opportunities.
Being “my own boss” only magnified this struggle because of this “freedom entitlement” mindset I had; I could do whatever I wanted and no one could tell me I couldn’t.
So I said “yes” to almost every opportunity that came my way. Being involved in so many things felt empowering for a little while (I mean, I had a ZEST for life! I could handle all these things at once! I was doing things other people couldn’t do!) but there came a point where everything started spilling over because I had piled my “yes’s” up too high.
That’s when the feelings of stress and massive overwhelm started surfacing. Then there was the negative self-talk I gave myself about how I was weak, questioning why couldn’t I handle everything and why couldn’t I just be better and do more?! What was wrong with me?!
Regardless, all of this stress and overwhelm actually forced me to let go of some things. I started with the things that weren’t bringing much value to my life. Even though I felt bad about letting things go, nothing bad actually happened. Actually, I noticed that I started to feel better, like a weight was lifting off my shoulders.
So that’s when I started letting go of more things… and then more and more.
With each new thing I let go of, I became happier and less stressed. That’s when I started to become more addicted with letting go and using the word “no,” because the feeling it made me feel was better than the feeling of something weighing on me, of something I felt forced to do simply because I chose to say yes to it.
And that’s when I realized there wasn’t anything wrong with me, I was just a human being who had limits, was able to recognize them and was able find the strength and confidence to make a change.
“You will never know your limits until you push yourself past them.”
For those who are struggling with this, I give you the permission to say “no” more often, especially if you feel like it’s going to somehow take away from doing the things you really want to do.
I Quit Letting People Make me Feel Guilty When I said No
I learned that I don’t have to say yes to everything and that I do have a choice, however, it takes more courage to say no because of the guilt that often comes with it.
I didn’t want to be someone who allowed others to push me around, manipulate me or try to control me, because I didn’t want to play the role of a victim who always complains “why me?”
In order to have more control over my life, I had to learn how to have more control over my reactions to people and situations.
Once I started practicing this, I felt much more empowered because I really could do whatever I wanted (or not do what I didn’t want to do.)
Even though people would still try to make me feel bad when I said no to things, I learned to not care so much and to just do what I had to do for me.
I Quit Dating
I’ve intentionally pulled myself away from the dating scene a few times over the past few years, in order to truly focus on my own personal development and to help me build my business.
As most of us know, dating can cause such a disaster of emotions, which can really suck the energy out of us, sometimes in sneaky ways.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had someone in my life that I was interested in, talking to or hanging out with, but I wanted to see what would happen if I removed that distraction from my life for a bit.
So the first time I tried this, I took a 6 month hiatus.
The second time, I took a whole year.
The amount I learned and achieved during those periods of FULL FOCUS was incredible!
I learned how to become more independent and support myself without feeling like I needed to lean on anyone else. I solved all my own problems. I took myself out on dates. I complimented myself. I did what I wanted to do without having to compromise my time. And I ultimately learned to love myself.
And THAT is one hell of an empowering feeling! No one can take that away from me.
I now feel like I can pretty much do anything myself. :)
I Quit Reacting to Negative People
I’ve experienced my fair share of negative and toxic people. They were the ones who were always trying to “one-up” me, diminish my accomplishments, play these stupid mind games and intentionally try to hurt me in one way or another. They were also the ones who always seemed to have something to complain about.
I could never understand why I kept attracting these kinds of people into my life and why I could never seem to escape them, but I learned over time it was because I would stick around to try to HELP them, only to continue to be used and abused, chewed up and spit out.
Eventually I had had enough, so I started doing some extensive research to better understand why they were behaving that way and how I could deal with them.
I learned these people were just insecure and most likely mentally ill individuals who were suffering internally. They felt threatened by me, for one reason or another, and so all they wanted was to knock me “off my high horse” in an effort to bring me down to their level so they could see me suffer. This was their sick and twisted way of feeling “powerful,” by trying to suck the life out of me.
I realized it was a waste of my time and energy trying to help them simply because they didn’t want help. The only person who could save them was themselves but since they weren’t willing to put in the work to make changes then they would just have to live in their own eternal misery… without my company.
The best way to deal with these types of toxic people was to give them no reaction to their drama, ignore them and make it my mission to stay the fuck away from them.
And my life has been much more peaceful ever since!
I Quit Bartering my Services
I used to barter my services with design clients of mine, but I realized over time that this was not really that great of an idea.
Since I’ve never been very good at figuring out how to price my projects, I’d always estimate them too low. I also have the tendency to go above and beyond for people, so I’d end up giving too much.
As a result, I felt like I was always getting the short end of the stick in our deal but never had the heart to tell them or simply didn’t know how to tell them.
Plus, the services they were providing me in return were always things I really didn’t need. What I needed was money, to pay my bills and to help me pay off all my debt.
I decided to stop wasting my time and energy on this and just chalked it up as a lesson learned.
Once I did, I naturally started making more money, stopped feeling so stressed and started to see my debt amount go lower and lower!
Work for what you actually need and charge what you actually deserve!
I Quit Putting my Work Phone # on my Website
I really don’t like talking on the phone, especially to people who I don’t really know.
I also hate being interrupted when I’m in my zone and getting phone calls while I’m trying to work only interrupts my flow. Once the phone call is finished, it takes me a while to pick back up where I left off, and when I do, it’s usually with less energy because I’m thinking about all the things we just talked about. Plus the phone is just draining on me.
I’m all about efficiency and focus and so I’ve decided no phone calls! Emails only.
As a result, I’ve achieved more in less time and am less stressed overall!
I Quit Doing any Kind of Service Work
All of these jobs were awesome, flexible ways to support my income, until I realized they were taking up ALL of my time and energy which meant I didn’t have any left to actually work on what I wanted to work on.
Not to mention the fact that I wasn’t truly happy! I knew I was meant for bigger things and I knew I had to do what was right for me. My goal in life wasn’t to work for other people. My goal in life was to work for myself and only myself, creating things that I wanted to create.
So I chose to let them go, one by one, in order to succeed in a way that felt right for me. It was a pretty scary process, mostly because I was afraid of not being able to make enough money on my own, therefore potentially putting myself deeper in debt.
I also felt guilty because I felt like I was letting people down and/or making things harder on them (it’s never a good time to end a relationship, haha,) but I tried to ignore the feelings of fear and guilt, stopped trying to make everyone else happy, and chose to move forward with courage and confidence.
And now I’M finally happy, which proves to me that I made the right decision.
I Quit Spending Money on Things I Didn’t Really Need
Going out to eat, going out drinking, buying new clothes, buying lots of supplements. These are all things I didn't really need.
I started downsizing and trying to make my life simpler and more minimalistic, and in turn, have been able to save a lot more money, feel less stressed and have more time to focus on my goals AND at my full capacity!
I Quit Surrounding Myself with People who were Bad Influences
My friends are all great, however, some of them just don’t have the same kinds of goals as me.
Actually, most of them don’t, which makes it difficult for me to actually accomplish the things I'm trying to accomplish.
So I’ve been spending less and less time with friends who “enjoy life” a little too much (partying, vacationing, going out to eat, etc.) and now spend more time with people who are working hard on achieving the kinds of goals that not a lot of people can say they’ve achieved.
This has been helping me stay more focused and motivated instead of getting distracted and setting myself back. It’s all about making the right choices, making sacrifices and having that self discipline.
I don’t want to work really, really hard for something and then lose all the progress I made simply because I got distracted by something shiny. That’s the difference between being average and being a high achiever.
I Quit Working Out so Much
I love working out and I love staying active, but there came a point where I realized I was working out too much for my own good.
I used to workout for about 3-6 hours a day, on average, but because I never knew how many calories I was actually burning I didn’t know how many calories I needed to eat. I ended up binge eating a lot because I often didn’t eat enough and I was just SO HUNGRY.
Working out this much meant I needed to eat a lot of food, which meant I had to spend more money and time shopping and planning out my meals. Time I needed to use to make money, not spend money.
I was trying to achieve specific fat loss goals while also gaining muscle, but I couldn’t do that by working out more because it was causing me to actually burn up too much muscle. That being said, I ended up achieving a “skinny fat” physique, which I definitely did not want.
So I cut down my weight lifting workouts drastically to about 1 to 1.5 hours a day, 4-5 days a week and started doing a powerlifting style of training.
All of this has helped me create a HUGE change in my body composition. Plus it allows me to measure my strength progress instead of just going to the gym to burn off all the food I ate or working out just to look good.
I am LOVING the process of getting stronger and creating more curves in all the right places! ;)
I Quit the Gym Routine that Was Working Against Me
For about a year and a half, I was going to the gym with a friend of mine and doing her routine (lots of jumping around/plyo-type exercises) on her schedule (at 5pm once she got out of work.)
However, 5pm just happened to be the busiest time of the day so I was forced to fight traffic, fight for parking and then fight for machines in the gym.
All of this was really frustrating and stressful for me and I found myself feeling anxious all day over it. I didn’t look forward to the gym and so sometimes I wouldn’t go, simply because I just didn’t want to deal with “all of that” that day.
I didn’t have to go at that time, but I did, just so I could hang out with her.
I found myself constantly complaining yet I wouldn’t change the time to a less busy time, even though I had the freedom to ( she didn’t want to go later because it was harder for her to find the motivation to go back out once she went home.)
At some point, I realized all that anxiety and stress just wasn’t worth it anymore and I had to do what was right for me. I decided to make a change and go when I wanted to go, even if that meant leaving her behind.
And strangely enough, once I did, my stress levels dropped drastically and I started becoming more consistent with my workouts.
In addition, I noticed that powerlifting really helped decrease my knee pain (FINALLY!) because I was no longer doing all that jumping/plyo shit; the type of exercises that caused the pain to flare up.
Plus I’m finally achieving the kind of results I’ve always wanted. :)
I Quit Guessing how Many Calories I was Eating
I always felt like I was working so hard yet I just could never seem to achieve the results I was looking for. I was in a constant state of “spinning my wheels.”
My body composition began to change in a positive way when I started learning how to weigh my food using a food scale, started trying to only eat at restaurants that had their nutrition info posted online and started being more consistent at tracking all my food in MyFitnessPal.
This helped me have more control over what I was putting into my body, while also allowing me to eat a flexible diet that fit my macros and calorie goals.
In addition, it has really made everything more efficient and simple. All that hard work I put in day in and day out doesn’t feel like wasted energy any more.
This is a way to work SMARTER not HARDER.
Hopefully this post has inspired you and motivated you in some way.
What things have you quit in the past that made your life better? What is blocking you from doing that again?
Remember, everything is a choice. Take control of your life by getting in the driver's seat and choosing the direction you want to go in life! We can be our own worst enemy sometimes because we are standing in our own way!
“Don’t complain about things you’re not willing to change.”
Stay tuned for a second spin-off post I'll be writing about some things you should consider quitting if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur!