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Last Updated on January 12, 2021

Why Quitters Can Become Winners Too

Why Quitters Can Become Winners Too
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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.

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        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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        Last Updated on July 21, 2021

        17 Traits That Make a Successful Person Stand out from the Crowd

        17 Traits That Make a Successful Person Stand out from the Crowd
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        If you are like most people, you probably have big goals and dreams that you would like to succeed in — you want to be the top in your career, live a healthy lifestyle, or flourish in your relationships.

        Everyone dreams of a positive future, but most people don’t realize the secret to a truly successful life:

        You determine your future in the way you spend your everyday moments. If you want to be a successful person, you must consistently develop good daily habits. As Aristotle pointed out:

        “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”.

        Building positive daily habits is a huge challenge, but can you imagine the amazing things you could accomplish with just a little commitment and determination?

        Creating lasting, healthy habits is the real key difference between people who are successful in life and those who are unsuccessful.

        You might be wondering which specific habits make the biggest difference. Not to worry, I’ve compiled a comparison list to help you get a jump start on a successful future.

        1. Successful people embrace change. Unsuccessful people fear change.

        Change is a constant for all of humanity, and it is important that you develop a positive relationship with it.

        When unexpected or unwelcome changes arise, ask yourself how you can embrace it instead of running away. A few practical ways to reverse a change-fearing mindset include:

        • Take a moment to recognize and address any fears associated with the upcoming change.
        • Communicate with a person you trust about your negative feelings toward change.
        • Practice positive thinking, which you can read about in the next section.

        2. Successful people exude joy. Unsuccessful people think, say and do negative things.

        A joyful, positive disposition can seem like a distant reality in today’s cynical world, but it may be easier to achieve than you think. All you have to do is notice the good things around you and practice being thankful.

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        Mindfulness and gratitude are not just buzz words – choosing a positive attitude can honestly change your life. Many studies have found that thankfulness leads to greater happiness. Furthermore, research indicates that gratitude may even have a lasting positive impact on the brain and overall mental health.[1]

        3. Successful people forgive others. Unsuccessful people hold grudges.

        As a human being, you have likely been offended or hurt by others plenty of times. Don’t give in to the temptation to hold a grudge. Let it go.

        Note that forgiving someone does not equate to giving up your boundaries (which are very important) or even admitting that the offending party is right. You should choose to let go for your own peace of mind.

        4. Successful people track progress. Unsuccessful people just criticize.

        Some kinds of criticism, such as constructive criticism, are good for personal and professional development. The kind of criticism I’m talking about is the pessimistic, nagging, unhelpful variety. This is the kind of criticism in play when you are unfairly harsh to yourself or others.

        Toss unfounded criticisms aside and consider tracking your “wins” or your progresses, no matter how small. Take mental notes or keep a progress journal.

        If you have a solid sense of what you have achieved, you will be less tempted to be hard on yourself.

        5. Successful people share information, data and ideas. Unsuccessful people hoard.

        If you have useful information or generate brilliant ideas on the regular, your first instinct may be to keep it all to yourself for personal gain and solo recognition.

        Instead of hoarding bright ideas, share them with your team. Your talents will be on display for the team, and the team will be able to support you and make your ideas a reality.

        6. Successful people are humble. Unsuccessful people talk more than they listen.

        Humility is key. The ability to listen to other people, really listen and understand, is essential to success in both work and relationships — and to listen you have to be humble.

        Everyone has experienced the frustration of being in a one-sided conversation. When someone approaches you with a question or concern, put your own world aside for just a moment and give them the kindness of your full attention.

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        7. Successful people take risks. Unsuccessful people take the easy way out.

        The next time your heart is racing and you want to walk away, consider embracing the risk. You never know what might happen if you take a chance.

        Embracing risks looks like accepting the speaking engagement even though it seems a little scary. Success takes the courageous route, not the easy route.

        8. Successful people learn, improve and read every day. Unsuccessful people stop learning.

        Instead of binge-watching a show tonight, save an hour before bed to read a book and expand your mind.

        Unsuccessful people are afraid to be flexible – they don’t challenge themselves to learn new things. Avoid this pitfall by exposing yourself to new thoughts and ideas every day.

        9. Successful people handle problems well. Unsuccessful people act before they think.

        The next time you run into a problem or even an emergency, try to work through your initial panic reaction with a few deep breaths.

        Instead of acting rashly, think through your next actions as quickly but as logically as you can.

        Learning to handle problems thoughtfully is an absolutely essential tool in the successful person’s toolbox (that’s you!).

        10. Successful people accept responsibility for their failures. Unsuccessful people blame others.

        Along with a previous tip about humility, this is one of the hardest things you’ll ever learn to do – but also the most rewarding. When you’ve failed, you must fight the urge to pass the blame. Successful people are able to fail honestly and gracefully.

        And, hey, don’t feel bad about failing. Some of the most successful people in the world have failed too many times to count. It’s all a part of the process.

        You can check out this article for more tips on how to fail well:

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        How Failure Helps You To Succeed and Grow

        11. Successful people work with passion and commitment. Unsuccessful people have a sense of entitlement.

        A short and sweet lesson for you:

        You should never expect to achieve the things you want without working hard.

        Follow your passion and stay committed to pursuing it. Work hard and stick to your habits every day. You’ll earn your reward.

        12. Successful people spend time with the right people. Unsuccessful people think they already know it all.

        A lot of people miss out on useful relationships and information sharing because they think they can do it all alone.

        Spend time with people who inspire you, spur you to be a better person, and remind you that you can’t go it alone.

        13. Successful people make to-do lists and maintain proper life balance. Unsuccessful people waste their time.

        Ah, time management. Unsuccessful people never master the art of organization and planning.

        Here are a few tips for you when it comes to time management:

        • Make to-do lists. Seriously, this will help you. Make time to do it every morning, evening, or whenever you are able.
        • Keep track of your time. Are you happy with the way you are currently balancing things? What changes can you make?
        • Keep a calendar full of your long-term goals (see next tip).

        14. Successful people write down goals and think long term about their burning desires. Unsuccessful people get distracted every day.

        Why is it so important to keep a long-term goal calendar? Here’s the deal:

        The things you are passionate about today need a backbone.

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        Give your passionate ideas sustainability by writing down goals and staying on task instead of succumbing to distraction.

        15. Successful people compliment others. Unsuccessful people try to bring others down to their level.

        There is no greater confidence than saying “no” to sudden jealous or envious feelings and choosing to sincerely admire someone’s talents instead.

        Unsuccessful people live in a world driven by competition, but successful people know that building people up is far more rewarding than bringing them down.

        16. Successful people want others to succeed. Unsuccessful people secretly hope they fail.

        In the same vein as the point above, this tip is all about good intentions.

        Care for the people around you. Encourage them toward their successes. Hoping that others fail will not help you at all.

        17. Successful people know their purpose and mission. Unsuccessful people don’t know what they want to be.

        The last thing that differentiates successful people from unsuccessful people is one of the most important:

        Keep your mission in mind.

        Don’t be swayed to and fro by passing emotions and events. Know who you are and pursue your dreams wholeheartedly.

        Final thoughts

        Above all, stay confident. Truly believe that you can be and are successful. Strive to prove it in your day-to-day habits and activities!

        What are you waiting for? Choose one of the habits above and get started today.

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        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Berkeley University of California: How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain

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