“If you quit on the process, you are quitting on the result.”
– Idowu Koyenikan, Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability
There have been many things that I have quit throughout my life. I quit participating in Girl Scouts. I quit my pursuit of becoming a college professor. I even quit writing for a time. (Fortunately, I picked that one back up.) Giving in to the fears, criticism, and other obstacles will create a mindset that accomplishment is out of reach. Because of this, habitual quitting – which is much more prevalent than a single case – is the demise of any goals that you may have.
The concept of quitting is so despised that there is often a sense of disappointment from others when you quit. “Quitters never win and winners never quit” has become a sort of slogan to remind people that quitting shouldn’t be an option. People have written articles on how to achieve goals and even made careers out of coaching others to follow through on their dreams and desires. While the intent behind this idea is likely to be positive reinforcement, it usually results in a person feeling disappointed in himself when an action or goal has ceased before completion – even if they stopped instead of quit.
You see, there is actually a huge difference between quitting and stopping. Quitting is often the result of feeling as if you absolutely cannot continue. It is a cessation, the end of something, and usually a purely emotional response. Stopping, on the other hand, is just another step on the journey.
Recognizing your strengths can be difficult. Acknowledging your weaknesses can feel impossible. There is power behind that ability, though. There is a strength in being able to objectively look at a situation and say, “This is no longer benefiting me.” I had to learn that toxic relationships, destructive behaviors, and even unprofitable businesses are not things that you quit…they are things that you stop. You have to take a step back, demand more of yourself, and end your involvement in anything that is damaging or draining.
Albert Einstein is often credited with saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. While it’s important to give yourself the opportunity to see if something works, it is just as important to know when something is not working. You don’t have to quit; you just need to stop what you’re doing and try something different. If your promotional tactics aren’t working, that doesn’t mean that you need to stop promoting your business or shut down completely. Just change what you’re doing. Maybe your customers prefer custom coffee mugs instead of tools. Maybe you need to revamp your online marketing. If you are instead trying to reach the status of a social influencer, a lack of followers doesn’t mean that you need to give up. Just change your approach. Maybe you stop utilizing Facebook completely and focus more on Instagram. Maybe you stop blogging. But don’t stop reaching for your goals. Start something else – YouTube videos, daily tweets, etc.
Don’t continue making crazy decisions that hinder you, simply because you don’t want to be seen as a quitter. Know when to stop actively doing something that doesn’t work – and start something that could change everything.