No one wants to be described as a quitter, myself included. However, there are some times in life when quitting one thing and changing directions is exactly what you should be doing. If continuing what you are doing is causing you or someone else harm and can be avoided, QUIT!!!
Recently, I participated in a 30km Coastal Trek. I knew that some of it would be on the sand which could cause problems for my chronic illness. I did it anyway with some strategies in place to overcome these challenges. However, I was not prepared for the first 4 hours of the walk to be on soft, shifting sand. It destroyed me. I had never walked this long on the sand before and was unprepared for how my body coped. It didn’t cope well. At the 21km mark I had a terrible, dangerous hypo (low blood sugar) which impacted myself and the team. After I recovered, I had to make the decision to continue (which I wanted to do, remember I don’t want to be known as a quitter) or walk another kilometre and then leave the group. I was upset. I didn’t want to leave but there was just so much uncertainty in the remainder of the course and how my body was reacting that I decided it was unsafe to continue. I left the group at the 22km mark and got picked up and taken home, very unhappily. Was it the right thing to do for my body? Yes. Was it the right thing to do for the group? Probably. Did it matter that I didn’t finish? Not at all. Then why was it so difficult to quit?
It got me wondering….is it good that it is difficult to quit? If quitting is the last thing we want to do, does avoiding it produce stamina and perseverance in us? Or does this high standard of never wanting to quit just beat us up for a decision we have made to ‘change direction’?
It’s interesting to notice how you respond when you quit something.
Is it easy for you to quit….
- a diet?
- an exercise program?
- a way of thinking?
- negative self-talk?
- biting your nails?
- your job?
No doubt, in that list, there are some things that would be easy for you to quit and others that would be difficult. So, it seems that it is not the action of quitting that is hard or discouraged but rather that many people fear the unknown after you quit. Could it be that the fear of something new is what we don’t like? You see if you have been doing something a certain way for a long time than on an unconscious level you think it must be a good way of doing it. So, change isn’t simply about embracing something unknown — it’s about giving up something old (which you preceive as good) for something new (and its negative implications).
If something is worth quitting and changing, it is helpful to know what values you want to live your life by. When it is difficult to decide, it can sometimes be because you are unclear on your values and core drivers.
Knowing your values and how you want to live your life is like a runway being lit up in lights. The runway is always there but when the lights are not on, it is hard for the plane to see it when it is going so fast and up so high. When the runway is lit, it can be seen from a distance and guide the plane to land safely.
If you value good health, then knowing whether to quit smoking or an exercise program will inspire you to stick at it.
If you value family, then knowing whether to quit a job that has you working ridiculous hours and travelling all around the world and never seeing your family will inspire you to consider alternative options.
Obviously, it isn’t always so black and white however it is helpful especially when your decision involves the words – QUIT and CHANGE.
If you are unclear on your values, let’s catch up. I can help you define your values and understand your core drivers so that you can create a life where decision making is easier and congruent with who you are. Mindsets and beliefs often need to be challenged and re-framed and as a coach I can be the perfect person to help you do that. Supporting, encouraging and providing insights every step of the way to make it less scary, clear and achievable.
Much love, Lisa xx