How in the world do you quit doing something you love?
For some, the question is, “why would you quit?”
I can answer that.
This isn’t the article on how to quit smoking but if that’s how you got here… read on.
Every artist, athlete, and entrepreneur faces a time when they have to decide to push forward against all odds, accept that this is where they will peak, or quit.
You, too, have likely had something that you wanted to pursue and either became distracted by life or forced to move on. Maybe it was starting your own website, or writing that book you’ve been pondering, or planning that vacation.
There comes that time when we are faced with the seemingly impossible choice of continue or quit.
I think, and have experienced first hand, that being faced with the decision to quit forces you through the stages of grief. The interesting thing is that going through those stages may be an incredibly powerful experience.
Studies have shown the stages of grief to be denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
Now, while denial and anger may definitely not appear as good things, when channeled properly, denial may buy you time to continue where it isn’t detrimental and anger may be a good motivating (and situationally blinding) factor. Most of the time, though, they aren’t that great.
Bargaining, however, is absolutely wonderful. Feeling the need to negotiate your situation will hopefully force you to come up with ways to sustain what you have valued so preciously. You may be able to find resourceful compromises or reasonable sacrifices that will allow you to choose “push forward” instead of “quit.”
Depression is never good. I have experienced it time and time again and I will tell you this; it can sneak up on you and take over your life. If you even suspect you’re depressed or you feel like you’re lacking motivation please click here and use one of these resource.
Acceptance is both powerful and peaceful. Finding the courage to accept your position will allow this peace to come over you, and a contentment, and a wave of enthusiasm that you get to do what you love and you know exactly where to do it. Accepting that it may be over is equally as liberating. Often times, accepting that the season has passed allows you to smile when you utter “I remember when” to yourself or your friends.
So what’s this about quitting?
I will introduce three things to you. Quitting something you love is pretty painful. But what if you could have hope? The hopes that either you can do it again sometime or that it can continue even if you can’t?
– Start over.
Have you ever played that first person video game, or played with Lego’s, or even put your make-up on and it was ah-mazing! One thing that I’ve learned from those situations (I don’t wear make-up though…) is that the quit looks different; it’s a start over. I’ve spent countless hours building with Lego blocks and getting that perfect creation only to want to do it again. Then of course, I would break my awesomeness and build again. Anyone who has played golf will tell you they quit all time time, but they play again because that one swing looked and felt sooooooo good.
Even as I write this, I’m “quitting” the business of photography; and I really enjoy photography. I am already entertaining ways to start over in the future.
Sometimes quitting really isn’t the answer. It may be that the thing you want but haven’t found the right time in your schedule or your life for yet. I played baseball all through middle and high school; even at community college. Once school was over I had no where to play but I obsessed about that game. Now, nearly 20 years later (shut your mouth! I’m not old!!!), I’m playing baseball again and I love it. Maintain your hope by trying to find the right time to do it even if your pause looks like a quit.
– Succession planning.
I learned about succession planning a long time ago; before I knew how to use it. The concept is very simple. You find someone or something to continue, or succeed you, in your absence. As we in the always great United States of America are readying ourselves for the transition of Presidents, the current administration is preparing for it’s successors. They are outline the way things have been done and the processes currently being executed. There are clear lines of delineation for various responsibilities. And the POTUS and incoming POTUS are discussing matters of national security to prepare the thing that we all love, America, to continue regardless of who is at the helm.
Are you quitting for real?
A little while ago I wrote and article called, “How to stay motivated when things just aren’t working out.” If you are quitting due to a lack of motivation I encourage you to give that article a read.
When you have taken the time to objectively look at your situation, and you know it may be time to quit or move on, I hope this helps. I hope that this article and the things mentioned here can give you hope to continue, or let continue, the thing that you love.
Let’s be better; together.