Quitting can be really hard. It feels like something we don’t always want to talk about. Like we’ve failed if we decide to quit something — whether it’s a job, a relationship or another circumstance that no longer serves us.
My parents used to question my decisions on leaving jobs and try to insert their risk-averse nature on me. I had to justify why I was quitting whilst they would argue why I should stay. Thankfully they’ve stopped questioning my every decision now, I think they realise my choices don’t end in catastophy.
I’ve had a few situations come up recently that have got me thinking about quitting, and knowing when to quit. These aren’t exclusive but these are a few of the situations when I find myself ready to go.
Values are burning
We all have values that drive the actions we take and the choices we make. I have a big value of freedom, telling me what to do often jars against that value. Sometimes I have to turn it down when it doesn’t need to be switched on, but most of the time it supports me in being curious and playful and exploring new things. When I feel trapped in something I need to check-in and decide whether to check out.
Everyone wants to feel like they add some value to something, if it’s hard to see how you are contributing to the bigger picture then it can be hard to keep motivated. Feedback is really valuable here, asking people for it can help you to see the contribution you bring when you cannot. If they can’t tell you, time to find a new place to wonder.
Learning has stopped
Knowing things can be hugely comforting and provide certainty in a pretty uncertain world. There is always something new to learn but if I get to the point where I’m no longer interested to know more then it’s time for change to happen.
Intuition is a hard one to explain, but if you can access and tune into it, it is full of lots of useful information. More useful than thinking sometimes, especially in relationships. When I am doing something or with someone where my gut is screaming at me to head the other way, it’s important to listen to it and know it’s time to reevaluate.
The thing is about quitting is you don’t really know if it will be a good idea or not, but experience tells me that not quitting and ignoring all the signs above doesn’t ever work out for the better. Maybe making a decision to quit is really taking responsibility for the choices that lie ahead.