To Quit or Not to Quit...or Do Both!

January 30, 2019

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One of the first poems I memorized in my youth and still can recall today is called Don't Quit.  I suspect you may remember starts out, "when things go wrong as they sometimes will, and the road you're traveling seems all uphill."   Then goes on to read, "when things are pressing you down a bit, rest if you want but don't you quit!..."


try again give up keep going and trying self belief never stop believing in yourself road sign dont be a quitter persistence and determination  3D_ illustration

Earlier this month I learned that January 12th is the official "quitters day."  Who knew?  That made me laugh.  It takes on average only 12 days into their New Year's resolutions for people to walk away.  To quit.  How can it be after planning and communicating to friends, family or co-workers about a commitment to change, that it only last 12 days?  Are we just setting ourselves up for failure when we declare a New Year's resolution?  Or do we really just want to fail?  Or do we really believe we can tough it out? 

Don't get me wrong, I love a great turnaround story...and there are many who lose the weight, stop smoking, begin working out, become more patient.  Achieve whatever they set out to do.  But there are just as many, if not more who fail. 

Truth is, I sometimes quit in my mind.  When things get tough and I want to run I often pretend to quit.  I think through what I am going to say and do.  Visualize how it will all go down.  Yes, I often virtually quit.  But not in reality.  I just plan it out.  And then ultimately, I end up not quitting.  I end up figuring out how to move forward.  So, for those who do want to quit, or for those of you who didn't make it past January 12th with your 2019 New Year's resolutions, I have two suggestions:

  1. Quit!  And stop beating yourself up for failing.  Refuse to replay your failures...learn from them and be done.  At least you tried. And you learned (hopefully).  Most people don't even step into that arena.  Forgive yourself if you need to.  Celebrate what you were able to accomplish, even if it was only for 12 days.  Take a breath and then...
  2. Don't Give Up!  Don't Quit!  Try something new.  Or try again, differently.  Clear your emotions about what you did and what you want to do.  This is an important step for folks to do regardless of whether it is a big change or little change they are making. Yet most people don't know how or choose not to acknowledge and clear their emotions.  That is one of the major things that holds them back. Keeps them stuck.  Keeps the failure replaying in their minds versus moving forward.

Clearing emotions is not difficult to do, but critical if you want to move forward.  In fact when I would "virtually" quit, I was in a way clearing my emotions.  But in reality, I wasn't completely.  The tricky part is identifying and clearing the right ones.  And when that happens, we actually have a much higher chance of creating the life we want and succeeding at what we set out to do. 

Interested in learning more about how to clear your emotions and thrive through major change?  Check out our workshop:  Managing Corporate Change™.

Kate Johnson
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