Be a Quitter

“I quit something every Thursday”  -Bob Goff

It was the summer of 1981 and my first serious… real…. job!  A hard company to get an interview with and even harder to get hired.  I did it! I got the job and was on top of the world.  That was… until I met my direct supervisor.  A mean and nasty perfectionist that found fault in everything, I mean everything I did.  One day he even criticized me for the way I smiled. Every day, all day it was one criticism after another.  I lasted two weeks and during that time I was a real mess.  I didn’t sleep at night, I stopped eating, I found myself visiting the bathroom often to get sick, and I couldn’t focus my mind on anything but how miserable life was.

The work environment was obviously toxic, and I clearly knew each day when I went to work, I was going to drink more poison. The big problem was “I was not a quitter!”  I had adopted a belief to persevere in any situation and even the thought of quitting meant a character flaw or weakness in myself.   To confirm this belief, when I finally made the decision to quit this job, my nasty supervisor told me I was making a huge mistake and I would never ever get another opportunity like this one!

Boy was he right!  That once in a lifetime opportunity taught me to never ever allow myself to be talked to or treated like I was in that job! That opportunity taught me to select work environments which were more supportive.  Most important, that opportunity taught me that quitting a job, a relationship, or a behavior can often be the best decision I will make for myself.

Don’t get me wrong.  

This is not to say that the moment something becomes hard, it’s time to quit.  In fact, there are many circumstances and challenges in life I believe are totally, 100% worth persevering and fighting for. Some examples include fighting for a marriage, fighting for a prodigal child, and fighting for a better quality of life for you and your family.

Quitting isn’t always the easy way out and sometimes it can be difficult to decide whether quitting is the best decision.  In his book, Necessary Endings, author Dr. Henry Cloud compares making the decision of quitting to a beautiful rose bush needing to be pruned.  Dr Cloud explains that a rose bush left alone will produce more flowers than its branches can sustain.  For the rose bush to live a beautiful life reaching its full potential, pruning must take place.  It is in the cutting back that fruitfulness and growth takes place. The 3 areas to prune include:

1. Healthy buds or branches that are not the best ones = good things in our life but not the best for us.

2. Sick Branches that are not going to get well = circumstances we try to turn around but cannot.

3. Dead branches taking up space for healthy ones to thrive = situations in our life simply taking up space.

What’s on your list to quit?

As you think about this question, I’m curious if your answers surprise you.  Look at this list below.  These ideas come from myself, coaching clients I’ve worked with and from friends I’ve recently had conversations with.

Be a Quitter to:

Worrying about things out of my control
Negative thinking
Self-Doubt and Self-Criticism
Working too much and playing too little
Relying totally on myself and not on God
Hanging around people that bring me down
Watching too much news
Storing up resentment
Staying in a job that offers no future
Doing things out of obligation or pressure from others
Living in fear of the “what ifs”
Eating food that’s unhealthy
Drinking too much
Sitting on the couch instead of exercising
Being alone, feeling disconnected, and isolated
Feeling selfish about making an Investment in myself

Hopefully, this list has helped you to start thinking about your own life. Can you relate to any of the items on this list? What would you add to your list?   As you  make your own list either on paper or mentally, ask yourself these questions.

Am I reaching my full potential like a beautiful rose bush or am I settling for a mediocre life?

What items in my life are holding me back from living a beautiful life?  

Need help figuring out what to quit or do you need extra support to encourage you as you make the necessary changes in your life?   I would love to have a conversation with you!

Remember………Your Life Always Matters!


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