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When is the right time to quit?

This question has been coming up for me more over the past few weeks, as I’m working with my clients- and noticing in myself- the sense that it might be time to “clean house” in both our businesses and lives.

when-is-the-right-time-to-quitPerhaps this is tied to the hints of Spring, and the yearly rite of spring cleaning, but it’s definitely coming up strongly right now.

Certainly, there is a lot of bound energy and heaviness in clutter; whether that clutter be physical or emotional.

One part of “cleaning up” centers around the idea of endings- or quitting.

Letting go is really hard to do. Is there ever a right time to quit?

For most high achieving and driven adults, the answer to that question is “No.” Quitting is never really an option.

Yet- what to do you do if you can’t get traction, no matter how hard you try?

What do you do if you don’t see the results after weeks and weeks of working faithfully?

When is the right time to quit?

I’ve been working with one of my clients, Mary-Ellen*, in helping her re-evaluate her working schedule and the ways in which she’s working. It’s starting to seem like there might be some things that need to be let go, and quitted. As Mary Ellen is a person who typically achieves a lot, there is anxiety and guilt and some shame in considering that she might no longer want to pursue some of the things she’s been doing.

Yet, she feels bored, and exhausted, and irritated at some aspects of her work.

She’s not sure what else she might want to do, but she’s becoming increasingly sure it’s not this.

And in that space, I think, is the answer.

It’s the right time to quit when it feels more painful or more difficult to stay where you are, doing what you’re doing, than it does to make a change. Now, ideally, none of us would have to get to the point of deep pain and angst before we made changes. Yet, truly, that is often what it takes.

We are driven by habits, and we don’t like change.

We often wait until the pain of not changing becomes greater than the fear of changing- stated directly, we hurt a lot, and then we change.

Once we’ve decided a change is needed, I think it’s ok to quit doing what you no longer want to do.