Knowing when to quit

calling it quitsHave you ever poured your life and soul and heart into something only to have fizzle and die–to never take off and soar like you had dreamed and hoped and imagined?

I certainly have, more times than I would like to count, ha.

Brance and I laugh that this is our life-story. You know. Failure. We have attempted quite a few things over our decade-long marriage that for some reason or another didn’t work out–businesses and business ideas, hobbies, and plans that have gone up in flames.

Ironically, it seems that while your dreams are in the midst of being dashed to pieces there is someone out there doing it, succeeding marvelously at that thing you just can’t seem to make work.

It’s funny how life goes.

And while perseverance is so important and often key to success, there is a time where it is appropriate to call it quits. To say, “Okay, so, this didn’t work out. I should count my losses, learn any lessons, and move on.” Quitting sometimes is the wisest move.

Don’t get me wrong, Brance and I strongly believe in giving something your all–in not giving up too early.

For example, one study we read, as I embarked on this blogging journey, found that the majority of bloggers gave up right on the cusp of their blog taking off. That if they had just hung in there a couple of more months they would have experienced success.

Thankfully, for me, blogging is just a hobby–one that I hope empowers other people to live more joy-filled lives. So I keep typing away, regardless of what my stats say, fueled by those who have said reading my words help them. (Although, I wouldn’t mind if it turned into something more down the road–something that impacted more people’s lives. It’s a little dream of mine.)

But, it’s funny how personal we make quitting in our own head, right?

We wonder how other people will view us. Will we forever be identified as a “Failure”, a “Quitter”? Will it only confirm that I was foolish to pursue this dream in the first place? So out of the fear of others and their opinions, we continue on.

But it doesn’t matter what other people think! We have to stop this dysfunctional way of living–one where we orient our lives to please and impress. Where we orbit around people who could care less for us.

Interestingly enough, many of the most successful people to live found their success on the heels of repeated failure.

This wouldn’t have happened if they identified themselves as a “Failure” and incapable.

I love the story of how former Apple CEO and founder, Steve Jobs, was fired and kicked out of his own company. But, did he allow this huge setback to keep him down? Did he identify as a “Failure” and forever hide away? We all know he came back stronger than ever founding Pixar and then eventually was hired back as the head of Apple again, taking it to soaring levels of success.

Although Jobs didn’t technically quit, I think there is something for us to learn here. Successful people do not identify themselves with their failures, nor do they let the opinions of others determine their future. Steve Jobs was fired for crying out loud.

Jobs isn’t the only one. History is replete with examples. Abraham Lincoln lost more elections leading up to his presidency than I am sure he would have cared to admit. Yet, he would have never become the great Emancipator and one of America’s most beloved leaders if he had viewed himself as damaged goods, as a “Failure” the first time he wasn’t elected senator.

It’s important to remember that because something doesn’t work out, and we have to move on, we are not a “Failure” or “Quitter”.

We are living and learning and growing and finding our way. And we can be thankful for the opportunity that failure provides for this.

Because, there are lessons we would never learn if we were always successful. And how grateful would we truly be for our successes in this life if we never experienced failure?

Okay, folks, here are 9 signs pointing to gracefully calling it quits and confidently move on to greener pastures.

  1. You’ve given it your all. You’ve devoted adequate resources, time, and energy and just can’t seem to make it work.
  2. Quitting wouldn’t be immoral or harm other people.
  3. You’re tired and burned out and even with extended vacation and rest you have lost your passion and vision–you are no longer driven to pursue this thing.
  4. You wouldn’t regret moving on 10 years down the road.
  5. It is draining you financially and/or physically and/or emotionally with no foreseeable turnaround and just doesn’t make sense to continue forward.
  6. You’ve sought counsel and insight from trusted advisors and experts and over a period of time still can’t make it work.
  7. People you love and trust in your life are encouraging you to move on and pursue something else.
  8. You don’t feel peace about continuing.  Or feel a strong pull in another direction.
  9. The thoughts of actually quitting and moving on are relieving to your weary heart and mind. You daydream and fantasize about just being done.

I hope this helps as you navigate this beautiful, crazy thing called life !

With love,



2 thoughts on “Knowing when to quit

  1. So true. I feel like I’ve failed at doing things in life as well. More like, not completing anything. I’m starting a new venture and I’m praying so hard that it takes off. And I’m really going to be giving it my all. I hope this blog takes off for you as well.

    1. Thank you :). And how exciting!! I LOVE new ventures. It’s so much fun to dream and plan and then start something from scratch. I’ll pray this new venture of yours is completely, over-the-top successful. And that you have the strength to continue in any rough patches.

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