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6 Common Situations When Giving Up Is A Good Idea

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how do you know when to walk away

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.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Thea Dunlap

    Jun 7, 2016 at 2:11 am

    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. Brooke Davis

    May 31, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    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. Angelo Drake

    May 25, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    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. Rob Malone

    May 24, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    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.

    • Anubhav Srivastava

      May 25, 2016 at 6:36 am

      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. Tim Denning

    May 24, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    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!

    • Anubhav Srivastava

      May 25, 2016 at 3:11 pm

      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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Life

6 Reasons Why You Should Never Glorify Failure After You’ve Failed

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Many people are ashamed of failure. If they so much as smell a whiff of failure, they quit instantly because the public notices it quickly. But you shouldn’t be ashamed of failure. A lot of people have failed. I’ve failed over and over again in my career, business, relationships and more. Yet, I keep trying because failure isn’t the final verdict. (more…)

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How to Move Forward When All Seems Lost

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A few weeks ago, the relationship of my venture with a long-term client turned rocky. Losing them would mean a huge loss for my business, but it appeared like that’s where we were headed. My mind raced with unpleasant thoughts. Maybe the client had figured out that I couldn’t lead my team well. Maybe I was not good enough to be an entrepreneur. Maybe I was not good enough to do anything.

Why was the world so unfair?! Within moments, my anxiety had shot through the roof and my heart was racing faster than an F1 car engine. But I know I’m not the only one who feels like this.

Why Problems Overwhelm Us

As human beings, we’re good at solving problems, so they shouldn’t stress us out. Yet, they do just that. Why?

Consider some of these situations in life. When a relationship is headed for troubled waters, we wonder whether our partner loves us anymore. Our mind unearths memories of when we got dumped or rejected. We blame ourselves for falling for the wrong people and tell ourselves that we’re not worth receiving love.

How do you think the relationship will steer after that? If we cannot stick to a diet, we think of other times when we gave up. We remember what people said about things that we couldn’t do and ask ourselves, “were they right?” We tell ourselves that we don’t have what it takes to succeed at anything.

Do you think we’ll find the grit to stick to the diet after this? So here we are… thinking we’re not good enough to be entrepreneurs, to be loved, to get promoted, or to achieve our personal goals. Notice a pattern yet? We move in the wrong direction. The destination is to achieve the goal. And unless we stop giving into emotions and start addressing situations, we’ll keep failing to get there.

Negative emotions (and even extremely positive ones) blur our vision. The more we focus on them, the deeper we go into how we feel. We either get angry because things aren’t the way we want them to be, or get paralyzed by the fear of the worst possible outcome. This means we pull away from the one thing we must do to set things right — take action.

“If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there and worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the loss of sleep.” – Dale Carnegie

How to Take Action in the Face of Problems

Most human beings are good at solving problems. Where we get blindsided is at diagnosing the right problem. To diagnose the right problem, we must address the situation instead of emotions. We must see things for what they are, collect facts on what we’re worrying about, and then ask ourselves, “What should I do next?”

In his book “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”, Dale Carnegie wrote: “Neither you nor I nor Einstein nor the Supreme Court of the United States is brilliant enough to reach an intelligent decision on any problem without first getting the facts.”

To address the tricky situation with my client, I took the following three steps:

1. First, I acknowledged the feeling

Solving a problem doesn’t mean ignoring emotions. It’s important to acknowledge how you feel because it reveals the path, but domesticating your emotions is more important. I acknowledged how I felt by saying, “I feel anxious because the client might not want to work with us anymore and this will be a financial loss for us.”

Note how I said “I feel anxious” and not “I’m a loser.” If I had given into negative chatter, I wouldn’t have uncovered the direction to move in (the part after “because”). This is why domesticating emotions is crucial.

2. Next, I prepared for the worst

We often run from our worst fears rather than facing them despite knowing that the worst outcome rarely comes true. The result is that we stay stuck in fear instead of pushing beyond it. And we never discover what we’re really capable of, which sucks.

In my case, the worst meant losing the client. It would hurt but it was the truth. However, we could get more clients. Plus we already had other clients who helped us pay the bills. In other words, I wouldn’t have to live on the street.

The moment I accepted this, a huge weight got lifted off my chest. This prepared me for the third and final step.

“Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Lastly, I examined the situation

Examining a situation means setting aside your emotional baggage and focusing on facts. When you trust that you’ll be okay, you become better at diagnosing the real problem. Once I felt lighter, I could see things clearly.

I used the 5 Whys Technique (asking “why” five times) to figure out the real reason for the client’s dissatisfaction. Then I collected data on the issue and on what we had previously delivered.

Finally, I reached out to the CEO of the client and held a detailed and constructive discussion based on my findings. Within four days, the CEO and I were back to the way things were before.

The best way to prepare for tomorrow is to give today your best. I’m not sure whether the issue with the client got resolved for good or whether the client won’t pack up and leave one day. However, I am sure that I’m prepared to handle such cases better today than I was yesterday.

Control your emotions instead of letting them run amok. Accept things for what they are instead of what you want them to be. Be realistic instead of delusional. Address the situation instead of succumbing to emotions.

Don’t preempt what lies ten miles ahead and get paralyzed by fear. Address what lies clearly in front of you and keep moving. One day you’ll be surprised about how close to your destination you are.

How do you move forward when all hope seems to be lost? Share your advice below!

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8 Effective Tips to Improve Your Emotional Wellbeing

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You know what they say, “Health Is Wealth”. But, more often than not, we only mean it in the context of physical health. There’s no question that being fit is the world’s greatest treasure. Unfortunately, not a lot of us take time out to look after our emotional health and wellbeing.

Let’s not forget – it’s ‘Mind Over Matter’. So, if you are able to take control of your emotions, thoughts, how you feel through the day and how you respond to myriad situations; there’s nothing quite like it. When you become the master of your emotions; health, prosperity, and basically all good things are bound to follow you.

With that said, here are 8 surefire ways that will improve your emotional wellbeing:

1. Practice Mindfulness

Half the time, we don’t even know what we’re thinking or how we’re feeling. That’s because we let our minds operate on autopilot. It’s time to take control of your mind. Be aware of what and how you feel throughout the day. The upside to this practice is that you can detect negative emotions right on the onset and quickly change them and their corresponding feeling.

Feelings of anger, jealousy, hatred; they are not good for the mind, soul, or the body. Paying close attention to the spectrum of emotions you experience throughout the day, will help you detect the negative ones and kick them away before they fester deep enough to take away your happiness and emotional health.

2. Stay Physically Active

As you engage in physical activities, your brain produces a whole bunch of feel-good hormones such as endorphins and dopamine. These hormones are what causes the ‘elated’ or ‘euphoric’ feeling. Being physically active uplifts your mood and your outlook towards life. It readies you to take the challenges more head-on instead of becoming overwhelmed by the littlest of inconvenience.

You are better able to analyze tough situations and take a more proactive rather than a reactive approach. It’s no question physical health is in direct proportion with emotional health. A healthy mind resides in a healthy body and vice versa.

“Caring for the mind is as important and crucial as caring for the body. In fact, one cannot be healthy without the other.” – Sid Garza-Hillman

3. Get Sufficient Sleep

Ever noticed how you feel depressed and cranky, and just out of focus the day you fail to get a good night’s sleep? Well, if you fail to get sufficient sleep for a couple of days, you are bound to feel more depressed, cranky and eventually more prone to a host of negative emotions. Research shows that sleep deprivation sends amygdala – our brain’s emotional response center into overdrive.

Amygdala controls our immediate emotional responses. When it becomes overactive, we become more reactive rather than active. We become more irritable, angry and anxious. A good night’s sleep is vital to improving your emotional wellbeing.

4. Develop a New Hobby

Learn to swim. Try arts and crafts. How about painting? Swimming is a ‘happy’ activity. You get to make new friends and stay fit. Arts and crafts, as we all know, tends to have a relaxing effect on the mind and the nerves.

Just the process of creating something from scratch makes you confident and gets those creative juices flowing. Similarly, painting helps you express yourself. All these factors together create a ‘happy you’. The one who likes to engage in new things instead of resisting change or difficult situations.

5. Eat Healthy

Ever heard of the phrase, “You are what you eat”? Well, it’s true to the last syllable. When you eat foods rich in salt, sodium, fat – you are bound to feel lethargic. It takes longer for the body to digest such foods. That means the body is forced to deprive organs of blood and use it for the digestion purpose.

Result? You become lazy, moody, not ready to take any responsibility which leads to feeling cranky and irritable. On the other hand, eating fibrous vegetables, fruits, salads, and complex sugars keeps you upbeat and healthy.

6. Laugh Your Heart Out

Laughter is the best medicine. That is why they have a dedicated ‘laughter session’ in yoga studios. You don’t even have to mean it. The simple act of spreading your cheeks and pretending to laugh sends a signal to your body that you are happy.

And what happens when you are happy? Your brain releases happy hormones like dopamine, serotonin and what not. In fact, many studies have gone so far as to stipulate that laughter alone is capable of treating all kinds of physical ailments. Why should emotional ailments be any different?

7. Try Relaxation Techniques

‘’Visualization technique’’ where you imagine yourself in a happy place is a surefire way to calm your nerves if you find yourself distressed. You may also try praying to elate yourself. Praying is good for the mind and the soul.

Controlled breathing or ‘biofeedback technique’ are some other relaxation techniques that can tame how you feel and even your bodily functions. Try surrounding yourself with aromatherapy or scented candles because the smell is a big factor in governing how we feel.

“Positive emotional energy is the key to health, happiness and wellbeing. The more positive you are, the better your life will be in every area.” – Brian Tracy

8. Count Your Blessings

We all have so much to be thankful for. It could be a friend who stands by you or a happy family. Good health. Financial freedom. Make a list of all the things that you feel grateful for in your life. If it’s a person, be sure to communicate your feelings and express your gratitude.

You will feel so much happier. Happiness is the diet of a healthy mind and an intelligent emotional response mechanism. You could also try writing a poem or simply expressing your gratitude through the power of prayers.

There are so many ways to become emotionally intelligent and not one of them requires any investment or special skills. Practically anyone and everyone can do it. All you need is the will and the desire.

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How You Can Use the Power of Gratitude to Your Advantage

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The word gratitude has been tossed around, but do you know exactly what it means or how to implement it into your life? Someone has probably told you in your life, “Express more gratitude.” Well, that sounds like a great idea, but if you don’t know what gratitude is, how can you fully express it in your life? It’s a concept that once you grasp, it will change your life. (more…)

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