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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

        Ditch Work Life Balance and Embrace Work Life Harmony Habits and Motivation: Master Both for Big Results How to Prevent Inaction from Leading to Regret The Ultimate Night Routine Guide: Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive Stop Waiting For Your Dream Job and Go Ask For It

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        1 Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes You Might Not Know 2 Can You Stop Depression from Damaging Your Brain? 3 How to Practice Mindful Meditation to Calm Your Thoughts 4 10 Personal Development Goals for Success and Happiness 5 10 Things You Can Do Now to Change Your Life Forever

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        Last Updated on May 21, 2019

        Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes You Might Not Know

        Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes You Might Not Know

        People who have low self esteem are always hard on themselves. Sometimes they even cannot truly accept compliments because they would second guess people’s intentions.

          In this article, we’ll look into the symptoms of a low esteem person and what you can do if you find yourself having self-esteem issues.

          Symptoms of a Low Self-Esteem Person

          Common Symptoms

          • Unable to trust your own opinion
          • Always overthinking
          • Afraid to take challenges, being worried you wouldn’t overcome them
          • Hard on yourself but lenient with others
          • Frequent anxiety and emotional turmoil

          Lesser-Known Symptoms

          Being a workaholic

          At work expectations are set clearly. Even if there’s pressure in the workplace, compared to relationships or the social world where so much is unknown and uncontrollable, work is more straightforward.

          It’s easier to meet the expectations and perform well at work. Therefore, some people with low self-esteem would shift their focus to work and put all their energies there.

          Overachieving or underachieving

          Many of us have already heard that people with low self-esteem tend to be under-achievers as they’re too afraid to take new challenges and not confident enough to fully utilize their talents.

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          However, there’s another extreme. Some of them are too anxious of failure and being rejected, so they will try their very best to be outstanding to prove their worth.

          Causes of Low Self-Esteem

          Most of the time it stems from our childhood. Here’re some negative early experiences that lead to low self-esteem:[1]

          • Frequent punishment
          • Frequent neglect
          • Chronic abuse
          • Harsh parental standards
          • Being bullied/boycotted
          • Being on the receiving end of someone else’s stress or despair
          • Lack of praise, warmth and affection
          • Staying in a family or group where other members are prejudiced towards

          Childhood is when we form our “Bottom Line” and “Rules for Living” which affects the way we think, that’s why all the negative early experiences can have a very long-lasting effect on our adulthood.

          How “Bottom Line” Affects Your Self-Esteem

          “Bottom Line” is how you usually feel about something, based on your early experience. For example, “how you felt when you first left home becomes the emotional bottom line for when you leave other things in your life.”, according to therapist Robert Taibbi [2].

          When we talk about self-esteem, the bottom line is about how people around you treat you, as we grow up taking the voices of people who are significant to us. Did they say you’re adorable, or you’re always not good enough? Did they neglect you that made you feel worthless?

          That largely affects the way you view yourself and hence affect your self-esteem.

          How “Bottom Line” Determines Your “Rules for Living

          Based on the “Bottom Line”, we would form our “Rules for Living”, which are the strategies for dealing with life. For example, if you have the belief that you are always inferior to others, your Rules for Living would be “better not to speak up and to keep a low profile”.

          How Low Self-Esteem Affects Every Aspect of Your Life

          So what are the consequences of having low self-esteem?

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          It Makes You Confuse Love with Low Self-Esteem

          Having a low self-esteem, you expect people to treat you badly.

          When people are being just quite nice to you, you feel overjoyed and have unrealistically good feelings for them. This can be easily mistaken as love and also scare people away who might be just interested in being friends with you (at first).

          It Makes You Have a Lower Hand in the Relationship

          As you think your partner is too good for you, you bear things that you shouldn’t stand for.

          Sometimes you even confuse love with self-esteem. Are you giving in really because you love him/her so much or you just dare not to speak up and bargain?

          It Makes Your Employers Feel That You’re Not Talented

          People with low esteem sometimes are actually gifted. But they don’t know how to show it and “sell” themselves.

          During meeting, they keep quiet, during presentation they speak weakly, during daily conversation they say “sorry” and “maybe” too often…As a result, employers and other colleagues perceive people with low esteem as people without much talents.

          It Can Lead to Depression

          Over time, low self-esteem can lead to depression according to a study done by University of Basel researchers.[3] Psychologist Dr. Lars Madsen added that low self-esteem is “a key factor in both the development and maintenance of depression”.

          How to Improve Self-Esteem

          As we can see, low self-esteem is a deeply rooted issue and leads to lots of consequences. To solve it, it’s not an easy task, but it’s possible. The key is, to use the right ways.

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          1. Ignore All Those “Positivity” Advice

          Very often, we hear people say “Stay positive”, “Hey cheer up!”. People with depression know all these do not help. It just makes them feel worse.

          Same for low self-esteem, simply telling people “To me you’re wonderful!”, “You’re actually awesome”, “Why don’t you appreciate yourself more?”, or even worse “Hey you should be more confident” does not improve their self-esteem. Instead, they would feel inadequate or even guilty of their behavior.

          2. Focus Elsewhere

          “Healthy self esteem needs to emerge subtly.”[4]

          Same as happiness, you don’t immediately feel happier when you tell yourself to be happier. You need some concrete ways to do so like pursuing a goal that truly matters to you, like spending quality time with your loved ones.

          When you want to improve your self-esteem, don’t try too hard on thinking of ways to do so. There’s no direct way to improve it. It should be a by-product of our overall life’s satisfaction.

          According to psychologist Abraham Maslow,[5] to live a fulfilling life, you should take care the 5 levels of human basic needs. To help you understand more about this psychological model we made a video to explain it:

          Or you can refer to the graph below:

          5 Levels of Human Basic Needs

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            To focus elsewhere, we’ve summarized the above items and put them into this list for you:

            • Deep connection with loved ones
            • A healthy body
            • Sense of control
            • A meaningful life purpose
            • Recognition and respect from others
            • Sense of security
            • Creativity

            As you gradually equip yourself with the skills to fulfil the above needs, you’ll forget about self-esteem and suddenly you’ll find that you just feel proud of yourself when you know so much that others don’t.

            Resources to Help Increase Your Self Esteem

            To help you gradually build your self-esteem, here’s a list of the best self-help books that can help you fulfil the goals:

            1. How to Win Friends & Influence People
            2. Outliers: The Story of Success By Malcolm Gladwell
            3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
            4. Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
            5. The Paleo Manifesto: Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Health
            6. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Busines
            7. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts
            8. Thinking, Fast and Slow
            9. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
            10. Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

            The Bottom Line

            If you find yourself having low self-esteem, don’t be hopeless. Have faith in yourself that you can regain self-esteem and become a confident and successful person.

            How?

            Understand the root causes of your low self-esteem and overcome these causes with the advice in this article.

            Featured photo credit: Joe Gardner via unsplash.com

            Reference

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