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Why Quitters Can Become Winners Too

Why Quitters Can Become Winners Too

At the age of 25, my career accelerated when I was promoted from an engineer to a manager within a growing I.T. company. At the time, I was the youngest manager in the firm steering a diverse team of engineers. It was my dream job to lead a team of professionals using my passion and knowledge for coding in order to add value and achieve big things. It took four years of hard work to end up getting promoted to the top where I continued to produce bigger and better projects in new and exciting directions. I was living my dream.

Yet two years later I quit my job.

Everyone around me couldn’t understand why after all my hard work and dedication. I was going places on a fast track to bigger and bigger success. But I decided to quit despite all this and a while later, I found Lifehack.

The True Courage Behind Quitting

Quitting isn’t all about giving up when it feels like you’re failing. Quitting in the face of potential success is one of the most courageous things you can do.

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We grow up being taught that what isn’t broken needn’t be fixed. This shapes our belief that you should never quit while you’re ahead and it comes out of fear of the unknown. Quitting your job, for example, could negatively impact your career and spill into your personal life and finances. And because of this, we choose to stay safe, living in our comfort zones despite it not making us truly happy or fulfilled.

    However, while the idea of staying in our comfort zones feels generally warm and safe, we’re really just staying for the sake of not changing. While we do this, we’re not fully considering opportunities to grow and improve ourselves which is a big factor in creating our personal happiness.

    Leonard Schlesinger, president of Babson College and coauthor of the book Just Start: Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future sums this up by saying,

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    I find a lot of people paralysed by their unhappiness with their current reality.

    It’s this paralysis that stops us from taking that leap of faith into the unknown and keeps us stuck in the same job despite it feeling mundane or easy. Daniel Gulati, tech entrepreneur and coauthor of Passion & Purpose: Stories from the Best and Brightest Young Business Leader, believes

    most people stay too long in bad jobs because the corporate world is geared towards keeping us in roles, not matching individuals up with their ideal roles.

    In other words, we’re simply not growing and not creating situations where we will thrive and move forward.

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    The Real Reason You Feel Stuck

    If you feel like you’re stuck in life, the chances are it’s because you’re choosing to resist quitting what isn’t working for you and ultimately not preparing for the change quitting would bring.

    You may believe your main reason for not leaving a job or any unhappy life situation is because you haven’t figured out what it is you really want. However, this kind of thinking is flawed. You won’t learn or discover your ideal career, for example, by sitting around thinking about it. If your current situation is making you unhappy, it’s important to find that inner courage to look for something else.

      It’s only in this kind of action and headspace that the true breakthroughs will happen. People who do the same job day in, day out but not ever finding real meaning in what they do, will never be the people who flourish and succeed no matter how hard and persistent they work.

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      The Magic of Quitting and the Growth it Brings

      The idea of quitting is instilled in our minds as a negative thing. Quitting is negative when used as a way to flee away from challenges and responsibilities. But in some cases quitting is a necessary path to success. It’s all down to embracement rather than fear. Successful people quit to win and embrace new challenges – not because they fear change.

        Sometimes, quitting is exactly what you need to do in order to find what’s best for you – something you may never find doing the same things every day: “If you don’t know what to be gritty at yet, you need to try lots of things – knowing you’ll quit most of them – to find the answer” (Barking up the Wrong Tree by Erick Barker). In other words, don’t fear quitting as a failure, just see it as another step closer to finding your purpose.

        And the true magic of quitting without fully seeing the next step is urgency. We all know that feeling of urgency that brings about uncomfortable fear but it’s this sense of urgency that creates the space to find the next thing that really matters to you. That path that’s really worth your investment, passion and time. That path that you’d never find staying in your comfort zone.

        Change Your Mindset on Quitting

        The main idea to take away here is quitting for growth not quitting to flee from challenges. Make quitting meaningful by asking yourself these questions in order to fully know your reasons for quitting:

        • What makes you happy?
        • What can’t you stop talking about?
        • What makes you think that it’s worth suffering for?
        • What are you really good at doing?
        • If you knew you could not fail, what would you do?
        • What would you do for free because you love it so much?
        • If you had 12 months to live, would you still be doing what you’re doing now?

        We all know deep down, what makes us happy and what doesn’t. We don’t always have the courage to change because fear and worry takes over. But to truly live a happy life, quitting something that’s no longer serving you or allowing you to grow should be viewed as a necessity rather than choice. Don’t view quitting as a negative, see it as a chance to win at life and boost your value to the world.

        More by this author

        Leon Ho

        Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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        Published on November 20, 2019

        14 Personal Goals for a Better You Next Year

        14 Personal Goals for a Better You Next Year

        Personal goal setting starts with having a destination in mind.

        If you don’t know where you’re going, why bother moving forward? You’ll just get more lost or find yourself back where you started again.

        “If you don’t know where you’re going, every road will take you there.”- Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland

        You have to have a destination of who you want to become in order to get there.

        Personal goals will be easier to make if you know where you want to go.

        You must start with how to get there and break down the steps. These steps must be realistic.

        That doesn’t mean you can’t dream big; in fact,

        “Shoot for the moon, and if you miss, you’ll still land among the stars.”

        Dream big no matter what but be realistic at the same time. Be open to detours, too.

        According to Action for Happiness[1], ways to make goals include deciding on goals, writing steps down, telling someone about it and plan out each step.

        Here I will outline 14 personal goals that can help you become a better you:

        1. Live Authentically

        You don’t have time to be living your life as someone else. All you can do is be yourself. You must choose to be who you really are. That’s the best way to live.

        Being yourself is not easy though. It requires dedication to your values and dreams. You won’t be able to be authentic without losing your fear of what others think of you.

        There’s only one way to be successful in this life and it’s if you do it for the right reasons. It’s if you choose yourself. It’s not until you find that you will be free.

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        Get inspired by my other article: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

        2. Take Time for You in Self-Care Prioritization

        Self-care is not something you should take for granted. Often, we don’t prioritize it well enough. Some examples include finding time for yourself, do things that make you feel good. Get dietary advice to eat healthy and exercise to improve your health.

        Take a break. Go outside. Relax. Read a book or watch a good movie with someone you love. It’s about rewarding yourself with your joys and hobbies.

        You can find more examples here: 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit

        Self-care is not selfish. It’s important to find time for yourself so that you CAN give more of yourself to the areas of life you need to. You deserve it. You are worth it. Remember that.

        3. Don’t Take Things Personally

        The less you are concerned with others, the more you can focus on doing what matters most to you. What others say does not reflect the real you. It is just their perception, which may not be the full picture or the truth.

        People who try to hurt you are not happy.

        “Happy people don’t try to bring other people down.” – Anonymous.

        That’s why it’s just not worth holding on to their words.

        When you refuse to take things personally, it’s because you know who you are.

        4: Decide What You Stand for

        4. Decide to Be Who You Are Meant to Be

        Look for things you are passionate about. Advocate to make yourself and others heard. Join groups that support your beliefs.

        “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”- Anonymous.

        So, decide what you value and what you stand for. Then, you can do anything.

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        Take a look at this guide if you aren’t sure what you’re passionate about: How to Find Your Passion and Live a Fulfilling Life

        5. Find the Silver Lining

        Find happiness in any situation by finding the silver lining. You can decide to be happy because of the good you find. You must choose to look at the good.

        People often think about the bad first, and they dwell on it. It’s human nature, but if you can look for the good or the silver lining, you will be happier for it.

        You can learn from any situation or use any situation to better yourself or humanity. Take that and you will overcome it all.

        6. Do Something Good for Someone

        Instead of just focusing on your problems, do good for someone. It will not only take your mind off what problems you have, but also help you see that you are capable of doing good — right, you still have things to offer.

        There are many opportunities to do good. Volunteering, checking on a friend or family member, get involved in a project that serves your community, etc.

        The more good you do, the better you will feel.

        7. Practice Daily Positive Self Talk

        Every day is a new day. The way you talk to yourself is how you can ensure you build resilience and endurance through any challenge.

        Here are some positive self talk examples:

        “Things may have not gone my way but I can see the good in the situation still.”

        “At least I am alive. I have my health, my abilities and the opportunities to use what I have for good.”

        “I am worthwhile.”

        “I can do it.”

        Even more here: 10 Positive Affirmations for Success that will Change your Life

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        The more you practice positive self talk, the more you will overcome and accomplish.

        8. Surrender, When Necessary

        When you surrender, you give in to the current rather than fight against it. It means you value inner peace most of all. You don’t sacrifice your inner peace for anything. You know your worth, and you are willing to see how a situation unfolds. You don’t try to force solutions either.

        Instead of forcing solutions, you allow the best ones to come forth. You also know how to use what you have. You don’t fight against your situation. You instead use it.

        When you surrender, you are accepting what is. This makes it easier to move forward.

        9. Ask for Help in One Area of Your Life

        We are often taught that needing help is a sign of weakness but it is actually a sign of strength. It’s developing skills that you might not be as well versed in. It’s developing mentor/mentee relationships to help you succeed.

        Success is subjective to every individual. When you are developing yourself, you need others’ input. You need help to be who you are meant to be.

        There is no shame in asking for help. Asking for help instead opens doors for you that you may not have been able to open yourself.

        10. Never Stop Learning

        Learning is meant to be lifelong. You can follow your interests, and everything is a “Internet Search Engine” away. But how to really commit to this? Take another class, sign up for a workshop, read books on the subject of interest, develop new hobbies…

        In Success Magazine,[2] Ramit Sethi, author of I Will Teach You to Be Rich suggests 3 techniques to never stop learning:

        “1. Embrace the Mind of a Child.
        2. Put yourself in the hands of a trusted teacher.
        3. Read, read, read.” Overall, be responsible for your own growth in life.

        You are never too old to learn something new. Start today.

        11. Set Boundaries and Say No When Appropriate

        Having boundaries can feel uncomfortable because we are telling others what we do not accept. It is also necessary for healthy relationships. You will use them to protect yourself, your heart and your mind.

        No one can make you do anything. If you are uncomfortable with something, you have a right to say no. Those who truly care about you will not be offended. You are also setting the bar high, or setting an example for others who are too scared to have boundaries too.

        You will make better choices if you have better boundaries: How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

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        12. Follow Your Gut

        Trust your instincts. They are trying to tell you what to trust in.

        You may not want to do something but feel pressured to do it. Your gut is the one speaking to you, telling you not to do it if you don’t want to. It can save you from many things, for example preventing you from making poor choices.

        When you follow your gut, you preserve your interests and secure yourself.

        13. Do What You Love

        Are you doing what you love? You must choose what you can’t live without. Don’t sacrifice that for anything. Life is too short.

        Your best also comes out when you are doing what you love. You can give more, do more if you’re happy with what you are doing.

        So, do what you love. Don’t question it: Why You Should Always Do What You Love (And How to Do It)

        14. Appreciate What You Have

        Good Deeds Day defines gratitude as,[3]

        “Gratitude allows us to recognize good in our lives. Focusing and appreciating the good in our lives constantly reminds us about the great things all around us… Gratitude allows us to see that the sources of that good are usually close by. Practicing gratitude allows us to recognize those who bring goodness into our lives and humbles us in order to give credit to those we are grateful for.”

        At the end of the day, you need to recognize what you do have rather than focusing on what you don’t have. You must choose gratitude as your attitude in order to live a happier, better life. You will win then.

        Counting your blessings everyday will help you bring in more blessings. You are limitless. You will overcome more too if you have that positive perspective.

        Appreciating what you have starts with the simple things in life. Recognize what’s working. Find your reason to hold on. And then change the world.

        Here’re 32 Things You Should Be Grateful For if you need some reminders.

        Final Thoughts

        Goal setting is about finding what will better yourself and lead you to happiness. You will find peace with yourself when you are on the right path.

        You have to make the decision to make the best of everything, and you have to remember what really matters. Your goals will shape you for the rest of your life.

        Good luck!

        More About Goals Setting

        Featured photo credit: Anika Huizinga via unsplash.com

        Reference

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