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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

3 Simple Tips to Strengthen Your Emotional Intelligence for Better Relationships

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Relationships are challenging. They make you examine yourself from all angles, and that can be triggering. For example, have you ever had a friend or significant other say something that sparked an argument instantly—only to find out you misheard what they said in the first place? (more…)

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If You Want to Avoid Failure Once and for All, Ask Yourself These 4 Questions

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You just invested in yourself and in your business. You are taking massive action but the results are just not clicking yet. While everyone is making 10X, 20X, and even 100X ROI on their initial investment, you have made $0 return. Failure is starting to overcast your bright shining positive attitude and you are feeling the pain and shame of it. (more…)

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3 Simple Hacks That Can Recharge Your Willpower and Help You Perform Better at Work

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How many times did you wake up feeling like you could conquer the world? You set ambitious goals for the day, you put on your best attire and walked out the door with a big smile on your face but eventually, life took over. Traffic, emails, work, family, and everything else you have around slowly but steadily started to drain your energy and made you feel exhausted.

You run out of battery, and the only solution that seemed viable was to rely on more caffeine. When that stopped working, all the temptations around you started to look much more appealing, and that sense of drive and commitment you had before slowly faded away. This is you running out of willpower.

Willpower: what is it? Why is it limited?

The American Psychology Association describes willpower as “the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.” In the book “The Willpower Instinct”, Dr. Kelly McGonigal, explains how every person’s willpower is limited, and slowly depletes throughout the day. The more “willpower challenges” you face, the quicker your reserve drains. Dr. McGonigal divided the different types of willpower challenges you might encounter in three categories:

  • I will: We face this type of challenge whenever we should do something, but we simply don’t feel like getting it done right now.
  • I won’t: We face this challenge when we try to resist temptation, or we try to keep cool in stressful situations.
  • I want: This is a particular type of challenge where we keep track of our long term goals, dreams, and desires. In this instance, we feel like we should take action right now to come one step closer to the goal. 

It’s easy to recognize it when you face a willpower challenge because you literally “feel it in your body.” Imagine being really hungry and walking in front of a bakery. The sight and the smell of pastries quickly triggers an “I won’t” type of challenge, and it takes a severe amount of effort and energy to walk away.

Every time you manage to win one of those challenges, a little bit of your willpower reserve gets used. The more challenges you face daily, the harder it will be to stay true to your goals.

Can you train or recharge your willpower?

A growing body of research suggests that willpower should be considered a muscle. To strengthen it, you should exercise it regularly, but you should not overwork it. Therefore, we shouldn’t try to “be good” at all times. Instead, we should learn how to relax and recharge our willpower.

The general advice on how to improve willpower involves sleep, proper nutrition, and regular exercise. This broad and general recommendation is often not downright applicable by most, because it consists of changing various daily habits. Luckily, three very effective hacks have been discovered, that have an immediate effect on our willpower and take just a few minutes to apply.

Here are the 3 ways to refill your willpower reserves:

1. Focused breathing

Breathing, when done correctly, can stimulate the release of calming hormones while reducing the release of stress hormones like cortisol and catecholamines. To make this effective, you should deeply and slowly inhale through the nose for at least five seconds. Fill your belly with air first, then your chest, and when there’s no more space for air, still try to do tiny inhalations through the nose.

You should feel a pulling sensation around your neck and trapezius muscles. Once your lungs are full, try to hold the breath for five seconds, then slowly exhale through the mouth for at least five seconds. If you repeat this process ten to twenty times, you should feel dramatically more relaxed. Use this method several times a day, especially when you’re experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety.

2. Reward yourself when you accomplish a micro goal

According to a recent study, frequent instant rewards can boost motivation, and therefore, willpower. Creating your own reward system can help you to accomplish your to-do list, and also resist temptations. Since every individual has different tastes, you should come up with creative ideas about the small and frequent rewards you will give yourself upon winning any willpower challenge.

You can see this hack in practice in Apps like the popular Duolinguo, where after completing each lesson you get presented with a chance to open a treasure chest. This rewarding system seems to keep the users much more likely to keep learning new lessons.

3. Taking cold showers

Your body has an autonomic response to cold water. Getting into a cold shower is a difficult (but minor) willpower challenge on its own. As I previously mentioned, winning a willpower challenge strengthens your willpower muscle. Having a morning cold shower, on top of having multiple health benefits, will set you up for a positive winning streak of further challenges.

High performance is the sum of many small habits. Successful people don’t have an unlimited reserve of willpower, but they do have a set of daily rituals that made them succeed. These three hacks are some of the most effective techniques to develop willpower, but some of them may not fit every individual. You should try to find the perfect mix of daily practices that best fits your lifestyle and likes, so that you can strengthen your willpower muscle and perform better at work.

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3 Inspiring Lessons We Can Learn From Jim Carrey About the Law of Attraction

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You’ve more than likely heard of Jim Carrey before. Over the years, he has starred in many popular films including The Truman Show, The Mask, and Bruce Almighty (just to name a few.)

But his personality goes a lot deeper than just his comedic persona and movie star charisma. In fact, Jim Carrey is probably one of the most philosophical individuals on the planet

Although he isn’t in the spotlight as much anymore, throughout the years, he has credited his success and fortunes by applying the Law of attraction into his life. What’s even more inspiring is that Jim Carrey, like you and I, came from humble beginnings. No silver spoon or easy ticket. In fact, his family was very poor throughout his childhood. So what made him so successful in attracting such an extravagant and self-fulfilling life?

Here are 3 lessons you can learn from Jim Carrey when it comes to manifesting your dreams into a reality:

1. You Have To Take Action

You can’t just visualize then go eat a sandwich”, Jim Carrey says. It goes without saying that the law of attraction does require action. You cannot simply rely on visualizing and expect to see results, especially when it comes to manifesting desires that other people would like to achieve also. E.g. Careers, scholarships, competitions, anything that involves another individual.

Visualization and positive thinking are crucial when it comes to using the law of attraction, but you have to meet the universe halfway with the steps you take as well. We are physical beings that require physical steps to get physical results. The real key is to make daily plans/goals in order to get you closer towards achieving your desires. So after that sandwich, make sure start taking action toward your dreams!

This could be working on your hobbies or passion, applying for that dream job or studying to get better grades. As long as you are moving toward your goals then there’s no reason why it can’t happen. So get out there and kick some butt.

2. Double Down On What You Love

My father could have been a great comedian but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant and when I was 12 years old he was let go from that safe job, and our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father. Not the least of which was that: You can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

If this story of Jim Carrey’s father doesn’t pull on your heartstrings and inspire you at the same time, nothing else will! This is such an undeniable life lesson that everyone needs to learn. A lesson to take risks, push comfort zones and go all-in on what you love doing. So if your dreams, hobbies or goals seem far fetched to the majority, then you are already beating the other 99%.

Be that 1% that’s willing to dream big and rise above the norm. Unfortunately, in today’s society, our ancestral instincts still rule our everyday life. Fear is one of them and controls the majority of our population. It’s scary to push comfort zones and try something new, the thought of failure is often paralyzing to many. But my question to you is, will you look back one day and regret the chances you didn’t take?

3. Keep Your Eye On The Prize

As far as I can tell, it’s just about letting the universe know what you want and working toward it, while letting go of how it comes to pass.” Holding onto every little detail when it comes to manifesting, can conjure up more harm than good. The reason is that the universe will deliver in ways you might not expect.

If you are too busy wondering when your desires will manifest, comparing yourself to others, or ignoring every sign that doesn’t look like your detailed plan you’ve written down, then you may be missing out on opportunities that are right in front of you! Your visualizations don’t have to be perfect, in fact, it’s better to just let go altogether and focus on the result itself rather than dwelling on every little detail. This doesn’t mean to simply forget about what you want but instead having the confidence it will happen in time. 

An example of this is when Jim Carrey wrote himself a check for 30 million dollars. The only detail he knew was that he would earn it through his acting career, and he did indeed achieve this goal! So make sure to tell the universe what you want, but try not to hold onto every little detail!

Jim Carrey is just another person like you and me, with his own personal ups and downs in his road to success. He is someone to look up to when applying the law of attraction in your life too. It doesn’t matter if your goals or desires are different because the core foundation will always stay the same. You can and will do this if you think, feel and act as if it will happen!

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