“Don’t be a quitter.”
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this during my life from my parents, friends, family, significant others, and other insidious sources. Eventually I internalized this message and, because of it, ended up sticking with some things longer than I should have—and always to my detriment. And when I did quit, I was made to feel bad about it from others or (worse) myself.
I finally started asking myself, “What wrong with quitting?”
The answer is always nothing, absolutely nothing.
Our preferences change. We evolve. What once fit us to a T now feels constricting and awkward.
I’ve quit a lot of things, including jobs, friendships, college majors, relationships, sports, hobbies, diets, careers, doctors, hair stylists, and workout programs. You name it; I’ve probably quit it at one time or another. And every time, I quit because whatever or whomever no longer fit the me I had become.
I did it. I quit. And I don't feel bad about it.
After posting a daily delight for 165 days, I decided to quit. Yes, my intention was to post once a day for 365 days. Believe me, my ego tried to talk, cajole, and bully me into continuing. Once I realized the exercise had become ego-driven and was more about striving to reach the goal, I knew it was time to quit.
Just allowing myself to consider quitting opened me up to accepting that posting my delights no longer felt delightful. Instead, the exercise left me feeling drained, and the thought of posting for 200 more days felt extraordinarily heavy.
The exercise served its purpose—to connect me more deeply to myself. I learned a lot from the practice of capturing something delightful every day. The most valuable lesson I learned was the gift of presence. It’s all too easy to see and remember the negative things that happen. Being on the lookout for something delightful kept me focused on the positive throughout the day. Oftentimes, it really was the little thing that was the most delightful and something I probably would have missed otherwise.
Move toward love
I’ve learned that sometimes the kindest thing I can do for myself is to quit. Where is the joy in sticking with something that no longer fits you just so you can say you’re not a quitter? If I never quit anything, I couldn’t make room for something new, something even better. Because, really, there is always something better.
If you're holding onto something out of fear, quit. Let yourself move toward something that feels more like love.