I loved this article by Whitney Johnson on Knowing When To Quit. Our culture tends to look down upon any type of quitting as a big sign of failure. I do believe that there are moments that quitting is the wrong choice, but more often than we give credit for, quitting can be the best choice for our circumstance. (The whole principle of “pruning” is a major element in Living a Thriving Life).
So how can you tell if quitting is a cop out or a saving grace?
In a recent conversation with a friend struggling with the choice to continue a personal project she committed to or to leave it unfinished, the topic of “resistance” came up.
Anytime we are working to create something good in this world, we inevitably experience “resistance” (Steven Pressfield wrote an entire amazing book on the topic in War of Art.)
In my life, I’ve experienced two types of resistance:
1. Resistance from the Front.
2. Resistance from Behind.
Resistance from the front is when I want to desperately move forward, I have a passion and drive in my heart to accomplish my task, I feel my intentions are pure, but something is standing in my way blocking me from moving forward. That resistance can look like lack of time, money, procrastination, lack of ideas, lack of education or training, lack of support, or lack of vision. The heart is willing and pure but the path ahead poses challenges. This type of resistance is when we shouldn’t quit! Have faith and push forward! Things will work out!
Resistance from behind is when I feel like I could keep going forward, but something is holding me back. My passion may be gone, my desires or dreams may have changed, and ultimately deep down I am wanting to pursue a different path but it feels like a ball and chain is holding me in the same story. That resistance can look like fear of disappointing people, fear of looking like a failure, obligations and commitments, or guilt over not loving the path any longer. The heart feels peace and freedom at the thought of closing the door but resistance keeps us from trying something different. This type of resistance is a major signal that it’s time to reevaluate our commitment and find a solution that will better serve us.
Want further food for thought on this subject? Check out Alicia Caine’s most recent email on why you need a plan for quitting 🙂
Brooke Snow is a photographic artist and delights in the pursuit of a meaningful life. Sign up for her FREE e course “Living A Thriving Life” to learn more about how to find true balance in your life. Brooke lives in Northern Utah with her calm husband, adventurous 4 year old son and practically perfect new baby girl.