“When it’s over, that’s the time I fall in love again …” Sugar Ray
Despite what they may say, quitting isn’t actually easy. It is, in fact, quite difficult to give up a part of yourself that is no longer really a part of yourself, especially when you’ve devoted lots of time and energy to nurturing and developing that part of yourself. Know what I mean? Even more when that thing is a huge part of not only your identity but also how you generate revenue.
If the work that you are doing, the business that you are running or maybe the partnership that you’ve been in for a while is no longer working for you, it probably feels a little something like this:
Like you are going through the motions but your heart is no longer in it.
Like you are really, really good at this thing that you’ve been doing for a really long time, but you’re realizing that you’ll never be great at it–or, you don’t want to be great at it.
Like almost all of your company’s revenue is attached to a particular offering, yet that is not enough to keep you interested in continuing to offer it.
Like every cell in your body is telling you that you need to walk away from something that you have so much invested. It feels unfathomable to walk away but also impossible to have peace and happiness if you stay.
Quitting evokes a sort of mourning. Mourning a career, a relationship, a business that you’ve fantasized about for years–that you’ve worked towards for years. You remember back when you romanticized what it would be like to have that “white picket fence” dream, so it is sad to discover that the dream will never be. Not because you failed or you weren’t good enough, but because, if you’re being totally honest (which I hope you are), it’s no longer your dream.
You don’t want it anymore.
What you want is something else and that is okay. Allow yourself to mourn this thing that you’ve dreamed about for years. That’s the healthy thing to do. But don’t allow yourself to stay when you know it’s no longer right for you. That’s the not-so-healthy thing to do.
Allow yourself to be scared about life without this thing. There is a ton of uncertainty there, and that is scary as hell. But don’t allow yourself to huddle in a corner and let the fear stop you from moving on towards your NEXT BIG THING ← That thing that is calling you.
“Does it spark joy?” – Marie Kondo
Quitting really isn’t about quitting, is it? It’s about making space for the next phase of your life. It’s about giving your next set of dreams an opportunity to flourish.
Quitting is about listening to your body when it tells you, ‘I’ve done what I came here to do and now it is time to move on.’ It’s about having room to create that thing that does spark your joy.
Most likely you’ve quit before. You’ve quit that God awful job you used to have. The one in the gray cubicle that came with practically no vacation time and a ton of office politics. You’ve quit toxic relationships, hobbies that no longer brought you joy and drinking 40 ounces of soda a day (or maybe you still do that, no judgment).
Quitting gets a bad rap but the truth is …
Quitters sometimes win and winners sometimes quit.
So if you are thinking about quitting that thing (you know which thing I’m talking about), don’t feel bad about. Instead ask yourself a few smart questions:
Am I quitting just because it’s hard (if you are, ask yourself a follow up: do I want to be the kind of person who gives up on their dreams simply because it’s hard?).
Would I be happy with this work/this business/this partnership if I was meeting my revenue goals? (If you would, then don’t quit. Instead stay tuned to get more information on this new thing that I am creating, it may be exactly what you need).
Do I feel called to do something greater with my life? And follow up Qs: Is it time for me to say ‘yes’ to that big dream even though it’s scary as hell? And even though it requires me to move away from the things I’ve been doing for so long? (If you answered yes, yes and yes, it’s probably time to quit).
Give yourself the space to mourn and then forgive yourself for being totally over that thing (‘cause there’s really nothing wrong with that). And then quit with all the panache that you can muster.
Is it time for you to quit something? What big dream do you need to make space for?