I don’t know about you, but I grew up in a world that spoke this message into me over and over again:
Quitting is not an option
Winners never quit
The only way to fail is to quit
So. Much. Quit. Shaming.
I have loyalty written into my DNA. When I decide I care about something, I am ALL IN. My family and friends know this about me. “Oh man….here she goes again…she’s got a new thing.” Once I’ve committed, I can be clingy.
I’ve been in the same relationship since I was 18. I’ve been using the same brand of skincare since I was 20…I’m 33. Our last three car purchases have all been the same brand, and we intend to keep it that way.
I struggle with quitting.
Some of the greatest suffering I have caused myself is not acknowledging when a seasonal friendship was ending. Aren’t all friends supposed to be for life? What is happening here?
Written into my core belief system is that you aren’t supposed to quit. Suffering is part of the experience. You just push through.
Well….at least it WAS part of my belief system. It is no longer.
A few years ago I had to make a decision to quit on a goal I was pursuing with all my might. I spent FOUR YEARS waking up every single morning with the same goal as my main focus. That is 1,460 days of my life that I pushed, pursued and refused to quit.
I had set a goal for a business I was growing and revolved everything in my life around that goal. Every. Thing. And I loved the pursuit. I loved the race. I loved the growth I went through.
Until one day I didn’t anymore.
It wasn’t actually one day. It was a gradual experience. Moment by moment, small experiences occurred that made me doubt if I was in the right alignment for my future.
I slowly came to realize I was on the wrong airplane. I had to get off.
Have you ever flown Southwest? I love their model. When you book your ticket it will tell you if it’s direct, 1 or 2 stops, or 1 or 2 transfers (Side note…who actually books the two transfer options? That just sounds awful. I always elect to give away more of my money to avoid that.)
I have done all three. Direct from Tampa to New Orleans with no interruptions. Easy, breezy experience. I’ve flown Tampa to Vegas and had to wait while we stopped in New Orleans for some people to get off, others to get on, and I just kept my bum parked in the seat. And then of course, I have had to get off at an airport that is not my destination and switch planes to get where I needed to go.
One isn’t right or wrong. They’re just the best option we have to get where we are going and the price we are willing to pay for it, right?
I came to realize the goal I set for myself was no longer the right fit. I had my eyes on the final destination, but the longer the flight went on, the more and more uneasy I felt. Something didn’t feel right.
And then one day, the plane landed at an airport, and I got off. I just exited. I didn’t know where I was going. I didn’t have the ticket for my next flight. I didn’t know my next destination. I just knew I had to get off that plane.
Have you ever been there?
UGH! That time at the layover airport is the actual worst, isn’t it? You’re not on the next flight, you’re not on the old flight. You’re just sitting. In a state you don’t want to be in. Disconnected from your bags. Not at home. Not at the new place. Just hanging out in limbo.
When I chose to walk away from a goal I was so tied to, it hurt.
The voices in my head told me I was a quitter.
The voices told me I might be making a giant mistake. But the louder voice told me the bigger mistake was going to be to staying on the wrong airplane.
I may have done it with a career goal, but I’ve seen lots of people around me do this too.
Have you seen someone walk away from a marriage and you’re totally shocked? How on earth could this be?!?!? But then five years later you see them with a new spouse and a new life and you go “Ohhhh….wow….THAT potential was sitting inside them and they knew it. They were matched with the wrong person. This person is such a better compliment to them. I’m so happy for them.”
But did you actually talk to them when they walked away? Were you actually happy for them when it was really ugly? The shame. The guilt. The comments people made. The criticism.
As of today, 2020, I’m on the next flight. I spent 2.5 years walking around the airport. Eventually, I figured out what city I wanted to go to, and then I had to find the right plane to get me there.
And I have to say….I am SO PROUD OF MYSELF FOR QUITTING.
Now, am I telling you to let your kid quit two weeks into soccer practice because they decide they don’t like to run? Maybe. I don’t know that answer. I think what I am saying is “Maybe, maybe not.” Maybe they need to learn physical fitness, commitment, teamwork and some other lessons. Or maybe this was a terrible mistake and if you pivot quickly enough there is still a chance to grab a spot on the chess team that practices at the same time and is a much better fit.
Recently I hosted a free webinar event where I talked about how to live a peaceful life. Do you know what one of the most important components is? Being in alignment with yourself. Listening to that inner voice calling out that there is more than this. Listening to the voice telling you that maybe you are a square peg in a round hole. There is nothing wrong with square pegs or round holes, they just don’t align.
Dear friends, what I want you to hear today is that if you are misaligned somewhere in your life…
There is no trophy for she/he who endures the most suffering. There is not a martyr prize for the one who is so loyal to something/someone else that they lose themselves.
If I had not gotten off the plane three years ago, I wouldn’t be here tonight investing in this blog and building this brand. I am on the right plane now. And it feels oh so good.
P.S. If you are reading this blog and you want to be notified when things like free webinars come along again, or you just want to get these posts delivered to your email inbox, then drop your email below. Oh! And BONUS…you’ll get a free e-book downloadable PDF when you do called “Creating Peace.” I wrote it just for you. I hope you enjoy it.
Until next time,