Updated: Sep 2, 2020
You've probably heard "Don't give up" more than once in your life right? Well I disagree, sorta. There's an art to recognizing when it's time to let go. From a bad relationship, to a terrible job, you don't want to be stuck staring at a dead end simply because you can't see its going nowhere. On the flip side, if you're trying to lose 40 pounds, this is exactly when you need to adopt the "I can do it" mantra while pushing through the muscle aches and stay true to your low carb diet.
People who win at life know when to quit. They try something and it doesn't work - so they try again, and at some point it doesn't work enough times that they say "hmm, okay lets change directions". There are others who are too consumed with proving their original idea will be a success they can't see past the failure to adapt and evolve, thus they repeat this cycle over and over, never making it to the winners circle.
At some point, you should demand more from life, which will force you to give up on something that isn't working and say okay, what have I learned from my failures and how can I take what I learned to succeed. Development is a constant, and in order to do this, we must be evaluating our current state and looking for ways to improve. This is why we have to first identify the problem, and be willing to utilize the tools we've learned to create a new solution.
When choosing to let go, don't look at your choice as quitting, which has a societal negative outlook. Instead, choose to view your actions through rose colored glasses - you are moving forward, discarding toxic energy from your life so that you can evolve and reach new potential. You can stay in a situation, keeping you stagnant, causing frustration - or you can shift your attention to focus on what you've learned and develop new skills.
As mentioned, the hardest part about quitting a job, a relationship or a crappy diet is knowing when its time. Don't fret my Career Crew, below I've listed out 5 Warning Signs to help trigger your radar when you need to move on.
Mood Changes: When you're stuck in a toxic situation your body knows. You may experience a lack of interest, a gnawing feeling in your stomach or even anxiety and depression. Listen to your body and its messages.
The Test of Time: Sometimes time is the only measure we have to see if something will work. From a relationship, to a career choice, you may need to wait it out for a few months to a few years before you can make an educated decision to determine if this is working out. If you've got a little time under your belt and the result is still a thumbs down, it could be time for a change.
Development: Growth is constant in everything we do, and we should be evolving and learning (hence the saying "learn something new everyday"). If you've noticed you're development has become a bit stale lately, it could be time to spice things up with a new scene.
Dead-End Destination: This one is for my entrepreneurs. Often times, we are forced to try multiple avenues to reach our goal. We walk down Road A and it dead ends... so we go back to try Road B and guess what? Dead end, womp womp womp. That's okay, as an entrepreneur one of our many qualities is the ability to persevere, so we walk back and try Road C. Here's the catch - you can only do this so often. If you've hit the dead end on every road, perhaps you need to stop all together and instead, evaluate the process and switch up the original product.
Walking Alone: Competition is a great motivator in any field and it indicates when a goal/objective is marketable. For example, Human Resources is a highly competitive industry. It's tough to advance in the HR field without having a broad knowledge of the field and a niche, plus certifications to back it up. If you find yourself walking alone, it may be a red flag - why hasn't anyone tried (or succeeded) in this industry? True, you could be so brilliant you are the first. However, its more likely someone has tried and there wasn't a large enough need for your idea or product to wow the masses.
Some people struggle recognizing when it's time to quit; if this feels familiar, try to focus on my warning signs from above first. If you feel you are ready to transition into a better situation, but aren't sure how, reach out - I can help you with this too. Ultimately, don't quit because its hard - quit because it sucks.