6 Common Situations When Giving Up Is A Good Idea

6 Common Situations When Giving Up Is A Good Idea

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how do you know when to walk away
Image Credit | elephantjournal

Persistence is said to be an incredibly powerful thing. There have been countless examples of how persistence has rescued people from hopeless situations. Because they pushed on and never gave up in the face of setbacks, sooner or later they succeeded.

However, there have also been many examples of misguided persistence where people persisted for so long that they dug themselves into a deep hole they could never get out of.

Like anything else in life, it too can lead to both good or bad consequences, depending upon how and where it is directed.

Here are 6 situations when giving up is acceptable or even advisable:

1. When what you are doing will harm you

You aren’t going to say that “winners never quit and quitters never win” applies to smoking or doing drugs are you? If you are following self destructive habits you are in trouble.

If you are eating food that will harm you in the long  run or are following a lifestyle which clearly is not going to result conducive to your goal or your health, it’s time to give it up.

 

2. When you hate what you do

Passion is extremely important for success because unless you love what you do, it is going to drain the life force out of you, especially when things get tough.

If you hate what you do, even if you get the money, your quality of life will be horrible because all the money will not be able to buy you any happiness, peace or even quality sleep.

If you hate something to the point that you feel that it is sucking everything good out of your life, it is okay to give it up. But if it is a stable job you plan to quit, saving up as much as you can before quitting is advised.

“You have to do what you love to do, get get stuck in that comfort zone of a regular job. Life is not a dress rehearsal. This is it.” – Lucinda Basset

3. When you have given your absolute best and there is no sign of a reward in the future

Sometimes people keep doing what they don’t enjoy, especially when they have a family to feed, because they are at least getting some reward out of it. But then there are also times, when you neither enjoy what you do nor do you get a justifiable reward for it.

There are times, when you have given your absolute 200 percent into something, have tried every strategy possible that you know of, but things just don’t seem to be changing.

At that time you need to be honest with yourself whether it is even worth it to continue. If you are so in love with what you are doing that you can’t imagine a life doing anything else, only then should you continue. But be prepared for the possibility that the reward may not always come.

 

4. When you just can’t become good at what you do, no matter how hard you try

It is not a bad idea to move on to something else when you lack any aptitude for what you do. Sure, hard work and dedication will make you much better at what you do, but you have to be honest with yourself.  Will all your hard work and dedication actually improve your skill by such a huge degree that you can make a great profession out of it?

If no amount of practice leads to such an improvement that you can objectively become a pro at something, you are probably going to be wasting time in it. It is probably wise to move on to something that is actually your strength. Your chances of getting the reward you deserve will skyrocket.

 

5. When you get no respect

Sometimes you may actually be incredibly talented and hardworking. And yet you are not being appreciated and are constantly being ignored or exploited.

If you have to constantly deal with egotistic people whose main motive in life seems to keep you down just because they dislike you, it is going to be incredibly hard to succeed in that kind of environment.

In this situation you don’t have to quit the industry you are in altogether, you just have to quit the toxic situation that is bothering you at present. The decision may not be easy if you are getting some cash to stay complacent. However, if you want to realize your true potential, you will have to make the switch.

“At the end of the day, you can focus on what’s tearing you apart, or what’s holding you together.” – Unknown

6. When times have changed or there are better opportunities

If you are driving a car, should you only look at the road ahead or should you also be aware of any vehicles coming from behind or sideways at intersections? If you only look at the road ahead, a car will ram into you from sideways or behind and you won’t even be able to avoid it.

Focus can sometimes distract you from spotting opportunities that are way better or from threats that are coming your way. If you are in the candle making industry, your business would have been affected when the light bulb was invented, no matter how hard you persevered.

If you were making pagers, your business would go down with the advent of smartphones no matter how hard you tried to maintain growth. Unless you’re passionate only about making candles or pagers and don’t care about the money, you should probably change direction with changing times.

Conclusion

Persistence is not a universally potent quality that will always lead to favorable end results.  Persistence has to be coupled with awareness and knowledge. Contrary to popular belief, quitters can win, especially when quitting is used as a strategy to keep pushing on in a new, fruitful direction.

However, don’t use this as an excuse to quit at the first sign of setback. At the end of the day, intelligent persistence, when directed properly is indeed what will set you apart from others, and coupled with luck (which you have no control over), it is going to be one of the most decisive factors for your success.

What situation have you experienced before? What was the outcome? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
Anubhav Srivastava is an author, speaker and the director of Carve Your Destiny, a first of its kind, comprehensive motivational movie on the principles of success. It has been seen on Youtube by close to a million people.  Visit Anubhavsrivastava.com for his inspirational blog. See the film here.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Love this article. Number 5 has more impact for me. I have been pleasing this person (a family member) for years but still won’t give me a little respect and everytime I please her, she doesn’t see it. I gave up pleasing her and if she goes on upset with me, I just ignore her.

  2. Anubhav – this is one of the best articles on quitting that I’ve seen. As someone who had to walk away from a very debilitating job (it brought on a health crisis, I eventually had no passion for the industry and was giving 150% with no acknowledgement, etc) I knew I was making a risky decision. It ultimately turned out to be one of the best choices of my life.

    Your point that persistence has to be coupled with awareness and knowledge is key. Sometimes moving on is the best thing to do and having the awareness (and bravery!) to do it always gives you opportunities to learn, grow, and live better.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Nice article Anubhav.

    We need to stop looking at certain words or actions with black and white vision. We associate the word “quit” with a negative connotation and yet if you apply it to quitting a destructive relationship for example, then it’s a positive thing.

    No matter how far down a path you have gone, you can always turn around and get on a different path. So what you changed your mind, so what it didn’t work out. Thats okay, you just altered your direction.

    I like to say this to people from time to time:

    Be free like a bird. A bird know’s where it is going, it knows where home is. If the wind changes however, it doesn’t fight it. Instead, it flows with the wind and takes a different path to it’s destination”.

  4. Anubhav, very insightful post. I think you nailed it when your talked about that persistence does not guarantee success. I think a lot of people are pursuing something that they have no passion for because they think it will be profitable and the odds are that no matter how long they persist it is unlikely they will get great results.

    Or there are others who are passionate about something and there is no demand for what they are passionate about. No matter how persistent you are if the market place doesn’t want it you will never succeed.

    Maybe the one thing everyone should be persistence with is learning, growing and finding their inner power.

    • True, being passionate about something when the market doesn’t care about it can be a hobby but rarely a profession. Unless of course, there is a niche market you can still sell to in order to make a decent living.

      It’s important to be persistent but only when coupled with the right knowledge and awareness, only then it pays off. And I do agree that one should always be persistent with growing and learning. Thanks for your kind words.

      Anubhav

  5. Anubhav thank you for this insightful piece. You raise some good points and I also believe that quitting can be a very good idea. It’s easy to get stuck doing something you hate or that is not serving you. When an opportunity doesn’t work out the best thing you can do is cut your losses and move onto the next thing.

    If you’re in business then there are going to be plenty of so called dead ends. Point two has resonated with me the most because a few years ago I was working in a business that I hated. The decision to quit was something I now see as a great idea.

    Thanks again Anubhav!

    • Glad you enjoyed the article Tim. I believe even if you fail at something you love, at least you can say you loved it. The worst kind of failure is when you keep persisting forever with something you hate, in the hopes of an elusive reward that never comes.

      Thanks for the comment!
      Anubhav

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