Have you ever heard the saying, Winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win? I think that holds true most of the time.
However, there are occasions when quitting is actually more beneficial than forcing ourselves through situations which may not be valuable or important to us anymore.
As a business coach, one of the things I do is help people, whether they are small business owners or executives, to achieve the results they want. Coaching is a very rewarding experience, however doing a lot of one-on-one coaching can sometimes feel like a job and can also take up a lot of time, from preparation to the actual coaching session.
A couple of years ago, I realised that doing one-on-one coaching was taking my focus and time away from creating other products I wanted to create. So I decided to quit coaching indefinitely even though it was a tough decision. The downside was it affected my cashflow, which I was okay with. The upside was it freed up so much time for me to focus on other, more important projects.
As a result, I was able to write and publish three new bestselling books within a two-year period plus start a new blog, which helped me establish a new brand identify in the areas of team building, leadership and coaching for performance. Had I not made the decision to quit coaching, chances are I probably wouldn’t have written three books or been consistent with my blogging.
The concept of quitting often has a negative connotation to it because we’ve been led to believe that when we quit, we’ve actually failed. Quitting is a decision. In his book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill revealed that one of the major causes of failure in life was due to indecision and the habit of changing decisions quickly and often. Quitting can be likened to changing decisions quickly and often.
While having the habit of quitting often is unhealthy, there are valid reasons why quitting can be beneficial to us. Here are five reasons why quitting a project or goal may be the best choice for us sometimes.
- It frees up mental energy. Whenever we agonise over whether to continue doing something that is no longer important to us, we use up valuable mental energy. Not only does it cause us mental fatigue, it also affects our mindset or thought process, and our ability to make informed decisions while experiencing such mental turmoil.
- It will improve our focus and concentration. When we don’t have many things going on at once, we’re able to concentrate on the task at hand a lot better. Having too many projects going on at once is like multitasking, which is not an efficient or effective way to work. When we clear something off our agenda, it offers us the opportunity to do the thing we want to do well.
- It helps clarify what’s important to us. There are times when we start something, which is important to us at that time, however, as time passes by, that thing no longer is a high priority to us. Rather than struggling through it and using up valuable time, energy and resources, it is better to quit the thing if there aren’t any major repercussions. When we quit, it confirms what is or isn’t critical to us and our success.
- It creates the space to bring something new into our lives. If we have a full agenda, we can only bring in something new if we clear off or let go of something. Whenever we quit things, we free up time. We can choose to add in something new or devote more attention to the things still on our agenda.
- It teaches us valuable lessons. We often quit things when we have overcommitted ourselves, or taken on something that seemed meaningful or exciting initially, but no longer is anymore. Whenever we make the decision to quit something, it is an opportunity to reflect on what we can do differently or better next time we’re in a similar situation.
Quitting things should not become a habit for us. There are occasions, however, when it is the best choice we can make, given the situation we’re in. If we’re able to accurately assess where we are in relation to our projects, goals and commitments, we’ll then be able to make informed decisions that will support us moving forward.
Question: What have you found to be beneficial when quitting something?
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