Quitting has been given a bad name. We are told not to be quitters. We are told not to let our kids be quitters. Quitters never win, they say. I’d like to twist that and give you a bit of a hall pass, if you will, on quitting. I am a master quitter. And I’m darn proud of it. Let me explain.
As a teenager, I made the cheerleading squad. It was NOTHING like I thought it would be. I’ll save you the sob story but basically, I was so miserable wearing that uniform that I didn’t even want to go to school. It was affecting my grades, my friendships, my spirit. My mother, whose only concern was my happiness, allowed me to quit. The other mothers chastised her. I was, however, eternally grateful. A weight lifted, I loved school again, I felt like myself.
I can name at least a half dozen other times when I had tried something,(or someone) found myself miserable, and moved on. That’s not quitting friends, that’s soul preservation. Now before you start writing me unfriendly letters, let me say that I am not encouraging you to quit every time the going gets tough. Even the things that are absolutely right for us won’t be without challenges or seasons of rain. But you know yourself. And if you take the time to sit in silence and just be with it,you are easily able to discern between normal “bumps in the road” and “soul crushing misery.”
Life is about trying new things and exploring and discovering, but the truth is, not everything is going to be what we thought it would be. Not everything we try is going to end up feeding our soul. Fast forward to a few years ago. I was 35 years old and found myself launching a digital fashion magazine. From the time I was a teenager, I had wanted to be the editor in chief of a magazine. And now I had done it. I was managing a staff and working with celebrities. I was being invited to New York Fashion Week. And I was absolutely miserable. My dream had come true but it wasn’t MY dream anymore. My 25 year old single self would have been all over it. But my 35 year old mother of three self wanted nothing to do with it. I had outgrown the dream. So I quit. And my 35 year old life unfolded into something beautiful and nourishing. I had to let go of the weight of the magazine to make space for my true purpose. If I had committed to not being a quitter and stuck with it, I might have made a lot of money. I would have attended fabulous events and met fabulous people. But I would have been a ball of anxiety, and we never would have met!
Quitting isn’t always a failure. Sometimes you have to put something down so that your arms are free to pick up something better. I could name countless friends, but I won’t or they’ll sue me 😉 who stayed in unhealthy relationships far too long because they were afraid of giving up, or because they had already invested years of their life in someone. What difference does it make how much time is already in? If you are unhappy, be it in a relationship or a job or a city, how many more of your years are you going to give to it?
Let go of your ego’s attachment to how things “should” be or your fear of what people might think. Who’s life are you living? You’ve got to know yourself well enough to know when it’s time to, at last, turn the page. As long as you remain stagnant, living in contrast to your intuition, you cannot fully step into your possibilities. Make space for the blessings to pour in!
“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.”
― C. JoyBell C.
“Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.”
― Steve Maraboli