Should I quit

We are often faced with difficult decisions when we come to a crossroad in life. It is especially difficult if one of the options is to quit. Quitting can sometimes seem like the easy way out or feel like the only sensible option. We are left questioning how realistic our expectations and goals really are. We wonder if we have covered sufficient ground and will save time, money, and effort by getting out before we reach our goals. I have found this is a common problem both in clients who come to me for stress management and time management issues. I find that although they are unhappy about not achieving their goals, they are also not completely honest with themselves about what they value most in life. So if you are faced with the big “Should I quit” question here are a few tips to help you make that decision.

Stop and evaluate

Before you take an arbitrary decision to quit, stop, and evaluate your situation. Your goals may have changed without you realizing it; the same may be the case with your priorities. The pathways to your goals may have changed or more options have opened up. You might find that your life’s purpose has shifted, which would mean your decisions, behaviour, goals, and sense of direction need to change. Focus on your current values, beliefs, and alignments.

It’s okay to quit

Once we realize that we have grown away or evolved from our original trajectory, it is perfectly acceptable to refocus our energies on a different path. It is OK to quit because our needs and values have changed. Once you redefine your position in life, you may find a lot of things redundant. You may find that a lot of things no longer align with your beliefs, no longer give you fulfilment or satisfaction, and are best left behind. When I work with people they sometimes quit their jobs, businesses, possessions, and friendships, not because I have asked them to, but because they have found clarity – that they don’t need those things anymore.

When not to quit

I had worked in the film industry for over twenty years. I had started at the age of fourteen. I studied and was groomed for a career in performance from one of the best performance art high schools. One of the biggest lessons that I learned was that there are times when you should not quit. Especially in that industry, you need to go from one audition to the next. Inevitably, you will face a lot of rejection, so there is no question of quitting just because you haven’t yet succeeded. I learned that after all the rejection will come success. Focus on the ‘success’. 

Don’t be too quick to quit

My first application to film school was rejected, but I believed in myself and was determined to get in. I kept applying until I got in. The school that I applied to, was one of the two premier film schools in Australia at the time. It was highly competitive. They would get over fifteen hundred applicants for twelve to fifteen seats. On my graduation day, the Dean of the school said that I was the first woman that had applied more than once because most women quit after their first attempt. It’s probably changed now, but even today a lot of women give up the fight too early. Do not be in a hurry to quit.

Don’t let others force you to quit

There will be times when you face opposition. Times when people block your path to success. You cannot let that affect you. You need to persist. When I was first starting my business in time management coaching, there was an exclusive networking group that I wanted to be a part of because I felt that I had reached the professional standard to qualify. A woman who was a performance coach in the corporate sector took it upon herself to block my entry. She told me that I wasn’t good enough. I have never forgotten how that rejection felt especially because it came from a person who was supposed to empower women. I felt very demoralized and started to lose belief in myself. What I did learn from that situation was that I was not going to become like that woman, I would never deflate the dreams of someone else, rather my goal and vision was to empower people. I wanted to motivate and inspire people to be their best selves. 

Hold on to hope when you are tempted to quit

What I have learned in life is that you need to identify and focus on the skills that make you unique and special. You need to recognize that they are your power and strength. A CEO once told me that along with nice things I should also expect criticism and blows. So it’s important to have a reservoir of powerful self-affirmation statements to use when difficult situations happen.

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About the Author:

Barbara Clifford (The Time Tamer) is a time management strategist and stress management practitioner based in Alice Springs, Australia.  She has spent over 20 years working in time precious and stressful industries such as film, hospitality and marketing.  She has always had a burning passion for creating order and making sense of things.

She is on a mission is to become the no.1 resource to help people unclutter the chaos and break free from the shackles of overwhelm so that they wake each day inspired and motivated to work in peak performance and to live on purpose. Barbara is known around Australia for her training, coaching, online programmes, webinars and as a guest speaker.

Her professional experience has included contracts with small business, Not For Profits, Aboriginal Organisations, Media, Marketing, Aged Care, Universities, Health Services and Cruise Ships.